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Church Choirs Urged To Sing For Effective Christian Formation-Most Rev. Asante   
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Most Rev Prof Emmanuel Kwaku Asante
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Most Rev Prof Emmanuel Kwaku Asante, the Presiding Bishop of Methodist Church, Ghana, has said it was important for church choirs and gospel musicians to evangelize and win souls for Christ with their songs instead of merely for entertainment.

He said singing, as much as preaching, was a powerful tool which put the word of God into the hearts of Christians and non-believers alike for effective Christian formation and growth.

Speaking at the official opening of the 15th Biennial National Delegates Conference of the Association of Methodist Church Choirs, Ghana (GHAMECC) in Cape Coast, Most Rev. Prof. Asante also appealed to hymn and song composers to write songs that built faith and trust in God.

The five day conference which also marked the 40th Anniversary of the Association, was on the theme, “Witnessing to Christ; singing for effective Christian formation”, was attended by more than 2,000 delegates.

Though formation of Methodist church choirs began several years before 1974, it was in April the Association was established by a group of dedicated choristers.

The objective was to bring all Methodist Church Choirs together on a common platform for the discussion and prosecution of issues of common interest as well as to bring uniformity and correctness in singing.

Most Rev. Prof. Asante said early Methodists led by John and Charles Wesley were identified as people of God through singing and that the lyrical heritage of Methodism was partly grounded on the recognition of congregational singing as a potent means of teaching faith.

He said Methodist choristers were at the forefront of the Church’s discipleship process, teaching and nurturing of faith through the medium of music and therefore urged them to intentionally prepare themselves as a fitting instrument.

“There is the need for you to realize that your primary duty in singing is not for entertainment alone so let what you sing expose your listeners to the wide range of biblical image and story backed by the power that spirit imparts for the holistic redemption of our faith communities”, he said.

The Central Regional Minster, Mr. Aquinas Tawiah, said the core responsibility of the choir and gospel musicians was to propagate the word of God and that their failure had dire consequences and urged them to work hard to eschew negative tendencies.

Mr. Quansah commended the Methodist Church for its contribution towards the development of education, health and other and wished the association the best as they sing to touch lives.

Prof. Yaw Sekyi-Baidoo, National Chairman of GHAMECC, paid glowing tributes to founding members and all those who had contributed to the welfare of the Association since its establishment.

He said challenges facing the Association included the unavailability of musicians especially organists to help choirs in rural areas, budgetary support for implementation of commendable suggestions and depletion of members due to old age.

He said as part of efforts to strengthen music in the church, GHAMECC had planned to establish music centres across the country to help train song teachers and organists and give attention to the incorporation of music into crusades.

Prof. Sekyi-Baidoo said the Association also plans to publish a new hymnbook made up of Ghanaian composers in the spirit of the Ghanaian local taste and also step up dialogues on placement, formation, training and management of junior choirs to replenish the senior choir.
Source: GNA

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