22nd December 2014

The London Adventist Chorale captivated members and visitors alike with their distinctive renditions of well-known carols and Christmas songs at the Central London church's Christmas Dialogue Café, on Friday evening, 19 December.

Adventist ChoraleThe finale of the evening was their performance of a re-write of the famous song, 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas', sung by Judy Garland in the film Meet Me in St Louis. Conductor and pianist, Ken Burton, led the singers in a more reverent version of the song, titled, 'Have Yourself a Blessed Little Christmas'.

"My 'daughter', Sephina, who goes to this church, got me coming to these café nights quite recently", commented local resident, Marianne Wasser. "I've lived on the same street as this building for fifty years, I even knew it as a synagogue, and I've never stepped inside until a few months ago. I truly enjoy the music and company when I come and tonight was extra special."

Pastor TapGeert Tap, pastor of the Central London church, led the service and shared three short thoughts on the festive season. He spoke of celebration, salvation and reconciliation at Christmas. He emphasised the importance of enjoying time together with our loved ones, and celebrating Jesus coming to this world, but salvation and reconciliation are what our focus should be on.

"I think the most important thing for everyone, including myself, is to understand that Jesus was not just a little baby," said Pastor Tap. "He became something more, He became an adult and became our Saviour. I hope that tonight people have understood that Jesus came to this world not to only be remembered as a baby, but as our hope."

Jodienne Ball, who was visiting from the Plumstead Adventist church, expressed how she would like to see other churches holding similar events to the Dialogue Café, which is held each month.

Candlelight singing"One of our friends invited us tonight and it was really enjoyable, it really put a smile on my face", she said. "The music, the type of relaxed programme, it was joyful! I would really like to see other churches organising programmes like this, focusing on involving their communities in every way possible."

Pastor Tap and his family opened the evening with the song, 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel', and encouraged the audience, who were sat around tables enjoying Christmas treats, to join in with further carols.

Alongside other items from the Adventist Chorale, a flautist, soloists, a mime group and a quartet performed a variety of seasonal pieces for the audience. 

"We aim for these evenings to be a chance for visitors to come, or for members to bring friends, to a place where they can learn about Jesus in a relaxed environment", shared Pastor Tap. "Tonight, we've seen new faces again, people passing by have visited and even people from the community that use the church during the week have come. They have felt something special and that makes it all count. They understood what it was all about."

To view a selection of photos from the Christmas Dialogue Café, please visit the Adventist Church's picture gallery

[Katie Allen]

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