In a prelude to Christmas, Perogies and Jam held their 4th annual community Gospel and Christmas Night on Saturday, November 21 with over 120 in attendance. Perogies and Jam MC Don Harfield and Rev. Carolyn Woodall welcomed the attendees to this year’s host church, the Vegreville United Church. In contrast to this past week’s news of terrorist attacks and unrest in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, this evening was a joyful and fun occasion.
The doors opened at 6:00 pm and the music started at 7:00 pm with the United Church choir performing the hymn How Great Thou Art, followed by songs Try a Little Kindness, and Jimmy Brown accompanied by Brenda Tuck on piano. This was followed by the Vegreville Youth Ensemble, led by Colleen Albert, performing Rejoice in the Lord Always, Peaceful River, Glory Glory Hallelujah, Love the Lord God, and I’m Gonna Live Forever.
Announcements were made by Rev. Carolyn Woodall and local Pastors in attendance were acknowledged. Pastor Darryl Crocker of the Alliance Church, and chairperson of the Vegreville Ministerial Association, extended an invitation to attend church, especially to those who may not currently have a church home. Many in the audience had attended all of the previous three Gospel Nights which were held at the Maple Street Worship Centre, St. John’s Lutheran, and Vegreville Alliance churches respectively.
Donations of $ 1,003 were raised this evening and all proceeds were provided to the Vegreville Association for Living in Dignity (VALID) which is a multi-service, not-for-profit community based organization supporting people with developmental disabilities to have an inclusive life in the community. On behalf of VALID, Val and Jodi Miller gratefully received the donations this evening and spoke to the audience about the important work they do.
Debbie Fedoruk and singers, Tristan Neil, Barb Rybchuk and Ken Timanson each performed songs including Go Tell It on the Mountain, Proclaim the Glory of the Lord, How Can I Keep from Singing, Immanuel, and Lord of the Dance. Rod Werezuk with his wife Juanita, daughter Meghan, and accompanied by friend Darrell on guitar, sang original and familiar songs Little Drummer Boy, Itty Bitty Baby, Peace and Forgiveness, and Nothing But a Child.
Randy Kereliuk took a break from managing the sound system and performed three Jonny Reid songs: Waiting for Christmas to Come, It Started with a Child, and Change the World. The St. John Lutheran Church choir concluded the performances with Waiting, Christmas is Coming and a benedictory song The Lord Bless You and Keep You.
The performances ended at 8:50 pm with MC Don Harfield, Rev. Carolyn Woodall, Pastor Darryl Crocker thanking everyone for their attendance and generosity, with the added invitation to attend Christmas programs coming soon at their respective churches. After a prayer of thankfulness by Rev. Woodall, the United Church hosted light refreshments in their auditorium.
Perogies and Jam thanks the many volunteers leading up to and the hosting of this special annual event. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe holiday season!
Photos Courtesy of Anna Tomyn