Some time ago a few of the Murchison UCA folk decided that they could do something to support congregations and organists by providing recordings of hymns for use when an organist isn’t available (or just wants a break!)
As the Paul Kelly song goes “from little things, big things grow…” Well the UCA folk have been joined by the Anglican and the Catholic folk and some of the UCA folk from Colbinabbin, Rushworth, Toolamba and Tatura have joined them. This Ecumenical Choir meets fortnightly at the Muchison UCA. Jeanette Robinson records the hymns on tape and transfers them to her computer. Mavis Rohner provides the music and the choir gives voice to hymns and choruses from all traditions.
Mixing with different traditions has been very much a matter of much learning about each other and how we worship for all concerned. We may well worship the same God, but we all have our different ways and emphases. What we consider as well known hymns, are very much unknown by some. Our Anglican neighbours in Murchison also use Together in Song, but our Catholic friends have a different set up with respect to music altogether.
The choir has begun to record some choruses, so the current routine is to have 2 hymns from the psalm section (1 to 97), 2 from Anglican favourites, 2 from the Catholic favourites, 2 choruses, then a couple of “well known” others, and introduce a couple of new hymns from Together in Song (director’s choice).
It is important to stress the recording of hymns is not to replace current organists, just as a resource for when they are not available – so that the churches with just one can allow that one to have time away. Jeanette says that “As Mum has been a church organist all my life, I am very aware of the family sacrifices that this role entails. I am pretty enthused about our hymn recording and think we are developing something that will be really useful for many people.”