On Sunday morning, My Joy and I went to College Mennonite Church, and we went to her Sunday School Class. We heard life stories of Ivan Kauffman, retired pastor and Mennonite denominational administrator with whom I worked in the past, and Luke Berkey, Mennonite hospital administrator. Luke and Verna Berkey are neighbors to My Joy at Greencroft Retirement Village.
At noon, My Joy and I joined other family members to celebrate the 13th birthday of a great granddaughter. At 3:00 p.m. Joy and I went to College Mennonite Church to enjoy the rendition of Handel’s Messiah by the Goshen Community Chorale and Orchestra.
The chorale included 20 soprano, 17 alto, 13 tenor, and 20 bass voices. High School students of superior ability and maturity who were recommended by their choral directors were included among the singers.
The Orchestra included Violin I and II, Timpani, Oboe, Viola, Trumpet, Cello, Bass and Harpsichord. Christine Gerig Way was the accompanist. Soloists were Susan Naus Dengler, Soprano, Rebecca Dengler Kauffman, Mezzo-Soprano, Ben Kambs, Tenor, and Matthew Stump, Bass-Baritone.
The program included all three parts of Handel’s Messiah. The text begins in Part I with prophecies by Isaiah and others, and moves to the annunciation to the shepherds, the only “scene” taken from the Gospels. In Part II, Handel concentrates on the Passion and ends with the “Hallelujah” chorus. In Part III he covers the resurrection of the dead and Christ’s glorification in Heaven.
The Old Fool was impressed by the nature of Handel’s work, done in the eighteenth century, and by the massive community effort that made its production possible in 2013. The question posed by the bass solo in Part III: Why do the nations so furiously rage? portrays the anguish of today’s torn world. The question is followed by another: Why do the people imagine a vain thing? The answer must be in the vain imagination that peace can be achieved through arms. The nations and tribes of the earth have rejected the Jesus way to peace.