Finale with Tonight (Reprise)

What a wonderful time we have had at St. Andrew’s, Lindsay, offering the Living Christmas Tree to you this year!  It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.

We hope that everyone who came was blessed by the message and will continue to spread the good news.  Our full committee will come together in the new year to talk about how things went and how our processes can be improved for the next Living Christmas Tree services.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered during our services in 2015.  Thank you to everyone who attended our services this year.  We hope you were inspired by the music and the message that was presented by the choir and our ministry team.

We look forward to seeing you again next Christmas when we celebrate our 35th year of spreading the gospel message through music!

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Go Tell

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It would be safe to say that after nearly 6 months of preparation by the core planning team, a couple of full committee meetings, regular mini meetings held on Sunday mornings by the planning team, delivery, build, and lighting days, lighting interpretation meetings, preparations by the sound, lighting and a/v teams, the slideshow organization and interviews, and ten weeks of practicing by the choir that we are ready to go tell the good news.

Christmas isn’t just the presents and bows or the holiday music or the shopping and preparations we do to celebrate.  Christmas is about the “baby in the manger that the whole world needs to know.”  Now it is up to everyone who sings and hears this message to take it out into the world and spread it in their own way.

One of our team members was asked to participate in an interview for a story that appeared online.  Visit http://www.kawarthanow.com/kawarthanowguide/2015/11/17/living-christmas-tree/ for more information about the Living Christmas Tree program.

A little more info: Lighting Interpretation and Sound

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So you’ve attended a Living Christmas Tree service and are wondering what do the lights mean?  The lights have a meaning?  Yes!  The lights enhance the message (words, music, narration) of the cantata.
Each colour has a distinct meaning and will be turned on during specific times when certain words are spoken and sung.  The intensity of the colours changes as the music and beat intensifies.
Lights and their meaning:
Green = creation
Blue = sky, night
Gold = royalty, light
Red = richness, royalty, redemption
Cross = Messiah, salvation, redemption
Star = intensity changes when the star is sung about
Light = star, icicles, twinkles
Blue and Gold background lights =  Bethlehem.  With the wooden spears behind the top of the tree structure it looks a little like what Bethlehem might look like.
Light and Sound:  Making it all come together
A small flat board with coloured thumb tacks and white plastic arrows is used when the lighting for each song/narration is being determined.  On the board, around each thumb tack, is written “touch 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full.”  (1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full refer to the placement of the dial, which controls the intensity/brightness of each individual colour, twinkle and icicle light, background lighting, cross, and star.)  As the music is listened to, and a colour is decided, the arrow is moved to one of the markings on the dial. If there are more colours on, the arrow is moved to the designated spot. If the star is on, that tack with the arrow is moved, and/or the cross/or background lights.  All of the colours and brightness is written into the lighting book over each word / phrase that is spoken / sung.  It’s easier to watch our team at the lighting panel than it is to explain how it all works!
Once the dials are turned on the lighting board there is a need to make sure the two volunteers have enough hands to turn the dials and make sure they are ready for the next changes.  Transitions from one piece of music to the next through narration have to be written in.  Again, colours are used to emphasize the message being spoken.  Our lighting crew members are not able to watch the tree light up each night.  Their eyes and hands are constantly moving on the dials from one transition to the next!
A pointer is at each station (lighting and sound).  These are two people who read music and are able to keep the light people on track and help the sound person with mics during each song selection.
The process to design the lighting interpretation takes many hours with a group discussing the message of each song and possible colours. Once this has been done, the lighting technician and sound assistant spend many more hours preparing the light book with the colours and the sound book with the narrators, soloists, their placement in the tree, and when to turn the mics on and off.  The sound people also control when the house lights come on and off.
There are so many things to think about when it comes to sound and light.  We send a HUGE thank you to our volunteers for the many hours they spend each year organizing the lighting and sound for the services!

Changed By A Baby Boy

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Why does the choir and church community continue to come together each year to sing a Christmas cantata?  The answer comes from the mission statement  that was determined in August.  For 33 years there was a mutual understanding regarding the reasons we do this.

The mission statement was constructed this year in advance of our 34th year to center ourselves so we all understand why we offer the Living Christmas Tree at St. Andrew’s.

The purpose of the St. Andrew’s Living Christmas Tree is:
to reach out to our non-churched community and to reach in to our church family, using their gifts and talents by presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ in a clear, inspiring and non-threatening way to the glory of God.

We, at St. Andrew’s, hope that we are able to continue offering these annual services for many years to come.

He Drew The Line

Out Living Christmas Tree Choir was fortunate enough to have been asked to sing at the local tree lighting ceremony on November 20.  The choir sang two songs from this year’s cantata.  They were received warmly and were humbled to be able to spread the gospel message through song to everyone in attendance.

We hope that this extra bit of advertising will prompt people who attended the tree lighting to contact the church to order their tickets for this year’s cantata.

As of November 28, only a few tickets remain for our December 5 service.  Be sure to contact the church via telephone (705-324-4842) or visit our website at living-christmas-tree.ca to order tickets today.  Tickets ensure an unobstructed view of the tree structure.  We suggest arriving when the doors open an hour before each service to ensure you get the seats you’d like.  Of course, if you are unable to acquire tickets, you are welcome to come and sit under the balcony to hear the music and narration.  It’s a great way to start the Christmas season.

What A Time, What A Moment

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The tree was delivered to the church on November 18.  A great team of volunteers arrived to help unload the trailer at 9AM and the pieces were organized in the Great Hall and sanctuary within a few hours.  Thank you to the volunteers who assisted during this process!  Many hands definitely made light work!!

Our tree building day took place November 21.  What an amazing crew of volunteers who came out to help!  After our appeal from the pulpit for more strong and able bodied people, the turn out has been quite tremendous.  Lots of strong men (and a 10 year old boy) came to build the tree this year!  Our volunteers started their day with coffee and doughnuts and a time of fellowship in the kitchen.  Once they were dismissed to the sanctuary, final instructions were given by our team leaders and a prayer for safety and a good day was offered.

The care that goes into building the tree keeps everyone in the choir safe during the services.  Thanks to our volunteers for taking care of our safety each year!

Before we even have the Living Christmas Tree structure delivered to the church, our lighting interpretation team meets to discuss how they would like to use the lights during the cantata.  We have green, gold, blue, and red bulbs, and icicles and twinkles.  Our star and cross are also lit during the cantata.  The lighting interpretation is different from year to year and the lights enhance the music and narration.  The lighting of each song is different and our lighting technician saves his special “roll” for the finale.

Thank you to everyone who meets to discuss the lighting interpretation and the team who faithfully attend each evening and work together to ensure the lights come on at the right time!

Our volunteers came to screw in light bulbs and string the strands onto the structure on November 22.  The process takes approximately 7 hours from beginning to end.  Thank you to members of our choir and congregation who came to assist with this process!  Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated!

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Listen To The Angels Singing

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Can you hear them?  The angels are telling the shepherds the good news that a baby boy has been born!  They want everyone to hear that message of good news!
The choir also offers the message of Christmas and redemption through the cantata every time they climb into the tree.  They attempt to make each service special.  The choir, along with our ministers,  encourage all who come to hear the good news about how Jesus came to earth as a baby grew into the Man who would save everyone who believes in Him through His death on the cross.  This is the gospel message: a baby came to to  earth, became a Man to teach us how to live, and saved us all by taking on our sin and dying on the cross.

It is the prayer of those participating in the choir, our ministers, support staff, ushers, greeters, and childcare providers that all who come to our services will hear the gospel message and have a greater understanding of the Man Who is our Saviour.

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