St. John the Baptist welcomes neighbors to multi-church Christmas Concert - 12/20/15
On Sunday, December 20, 2015, St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Edwardsville, PA opened its’ doors to the community for a multi-church Christmas concert.
Fr. George Volkovinsky, who organized the event, began by thanking everyone for their cooperation, and re-stating his goal of making this a yearly tradition for the town of Edwardsville. Two area churches responded to the invitation to sing, with Rev. Lucian Urbaniak of the Lord Polish National Catholic Church and Rev. James Quinn of Immanuel Baptist Church attending with their parishioners. The goal is for all local churches to participate, and to rotate the location each year.
The concert featured choirs and singers from 3 local parishes: St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church, the Polish National Catholic Church, and the Immanuel Baptist Church, two neighbors of St. John’s.
The concert began with traditional Nativity standards by the St. John’s choir in English and Slavonic. The choir was joined by many guests, and performed beautifully. The second set was performed by the Polish National Catholic Church, who sang traditional Polish Christmas songs accompanied by the organ. Finally, the Immanuel Baptist Church had a sing-along, and were joined by members of each choir to perform traditional Christmas songs, where all joined in. Near the end, the entire audience joined in to sing “Let there be peace on earth.” Following this, the choir and parishioners of St. John the Baptist sang “God Grant You Many Years” to everyone in attendance.
Everyone involved was skeptical as to what the reaction to the concert would be. Indeed, each visiting clergy commented that they weren’t expecting what they were seeing. With 118 people in attendance and all singing along, there was no doubt that it was undeniably an overwhelming success. After the singing was done, St. John’s Parish treated their neighbors to Orthodox Fellowship and refreshments in Repella Hall. The parish looks forward to continuing this tradition, and working with our Christian brothers on other worthwhile endeavors in Edwardsville.