Choir Day has been embraced by the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church on St. Maarten as an interfaith tool to share God’s love with the community. On December 9, 2017, the Music Department of the Cole Bay SDA Church hosted annual Choir Day. Under the direction of choir leader, Loraine Williams, the program offered participants, members and guests a rich blend of choir music and featured ten choirs from around the island of St. Maarten.
Annually, invitations are extended for other denominations to participate in the worship experience. This year, the Cole Bay Methodist Church Choir accepted the invitation and rendered two songs to the and glory of God. The theme, Be Exalted O God, was skillfully woven into the tapestry of the Sabbath day beginning with Sabbath School and culminating with an AY charity performance.
Sister Loraine Williams continues to lead the choir at a time when there has been a shift from choir music to groups and praise and worship in churches: “We must not discount the richness the choir brings to the church’s worship experience. If your church is anything like mine, the choir is a long-held tradition, and traditions enrich the life of the Church. Just because something is thought of as “traditional” doesn’t mean it’s not relevant for the body of Christ today. Let’s strive to keep these traditions alive while moving forward together into a richer and fuller life with Christ.”
For twelve consecutive years, she has maintained the tradition with the help of music enthusiasts in the local congregation such as Brother Hubert Duffis, who was recognized for his contribution to the music ministry of the church. Brother Duffis believes “Music is a beautiful medium of worship, and we should always be thankful for the people who put the time and energy into preparing and leading our times of corporate worship.”
Pastor Earl Esdaile leads the Cole Bay SDA Church and is an avid guitarist. He responded after his enthusiastic participation in the program: “The choir is an extension of the pulpit. There are so many fantastic songs that have been written for the Church and many that have yet to be written. There are songs that teach, encourage, compel, and call to action, and the choir is a mouthpiece for such things. By presenting these kinds of songs, the choir takes on a pastoral role, and it brings a rich dynamic to the theme or message of that particular service. I am looking forward to planning next years’ experience and leading the church into a deeper and fuller knowledge of God.”