by Emily Penrose-McLaughlin, Independence, MO
World Service Corps Coordinator
From the Peace Colloquy 2013 session: “Singing Through Life in Community”
When my husband, Jeff and I served as World Service Corps volunteers in Zambia from 2006 to 2007, one of the first questions we were asked upon arrival was, “Do you like to sing?” We responded, “Yes,” and within our first week, we were practicing with the youth and young adult choir of the Chiwempala Community of Christ congregation.
It was a challenge at first to learn the new words, rhythms and motions of the songs, and sometimes we felt silly. But our fellow choir mates were gracious in their patience with us and helped us learn. We all kept a good sense of humor through the learning process. Having fun with the songs and connecting with each other in ways of worship was the primary goal.
We may not have realized it initially, but participating in the choir helped us build meaningful relationships more quickly. And when we traveled to other congregations in Zambia to participate in ministry, they were happily surprised that Jeff and I already knew many of the songs their congregation used in worship. Participation in singing with each other helped us connect with our community in really joyful and wonderful ways.
When I looked through the pages of the new Community of Christ Sings hymnal, I was so happy to see how the songs of our brothers and sisters around the world have been incorporated to share in the richness of singing our church’s international story and unified mission.
Nimwebo ba Yahweh
(Leader) Nimwebo ba Yahweh, Nimwebo fye,
(Congregation) Nimwebo ba Yahweh.
Words and Music: Worship chorus, as sung by Community of Christ, Zambia
A Community of Christ Sings resource