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A small but stalwart crew comprised of Bishop Jane Alexander, musicians Dr. Joy Berg (Director of Choral Activities at Concordia University of Edmonton and Music Director at Christ Church, Edmonton), Jodi Penner and RJ Chambers (St. Paul’s, Edmonton), the Rev. Maureen Crerar (Honorary Assistant, Christ Church), Rev. James Lavoy (Pastor, Rio Terrace Moravian), Leonard Zasiedko (Cantor, St. Timothy’s Edmonton), The Rev. Canon Lorne Manweiler (Rector, St. Timothy’s and Instructor of Organ at Concordia), a few appreciative on-site audience members and hundreds of online viewers gathered at St. Timothy’s on Sunday November 1, for an ecumenical hymn festival of sacred music and spoken word—exploring themes of peace, strength, and healing—at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church in Laurier Heights.

Anglicans may be somewhat unfamiliar with the occasion of the “Hymn Festival” given that they usually are an event especially cherished by our Lutheran siblings. Hymn festivals are intended to serve as occasions of prayer, music, and community where the central activity is singing. They are often fairly simple to put together: your parish could certainly hold an online Advent-Christmas “Call out your favourite carols and hymns!” event to draw your parish and civic community together; you could assemble your parish and community musicians and a few folks to present music and read some Scripture and poetry together; or you can promote a more involved program like the one we, together, are pleased and humbled to offer to our Diocese. 

Proceeds from both this Hymn Festival and St. Timothy’s “Royal Affair” event (also available for online viewing) will be forwarded to the Christian Care Centre of West Edmonton to help those most vulnerable in our neighbourhood at this time of year.

The recorded hymn festival has been professionally remastered and is available for you to enjoy on St. Timothy’s Youtube page: See the description below the video to download a copy of the programme so you can follow along and sing to your heart’s content safely and at home. For more information on what a hymn festival is and how to host one, see this article: or contact the Rev. Canon Lorne Manweiler ( for help and ideas.

Submitted by the Rev. Canon Lorne Manweiler, Rector of St. Timothy's Anglican Church, Edmonton