Sunday, November 18, 2007

Incredible Voices of Praise

Yes, we can Sing....and these brothers and sisters do just that!

Shortly after I joined my church, I learned there were some members who sang with the Heartland Mens Chorus here in Kansas City. I attended their Christmas concert in 2005 and was instantly hooked. They are an outstanding collection of over 120 voices who sing with talent, with joy and with pride.

And I remember one of them mentioning a transgender choir that had performed at the 2004 GALA choruses convention in Montreal. I was intrigued and went home to find them on the web.

The group is the Transcendence Gospel Choir, whose home is at City of Refuge UCC in San Francisco. Through their website I was able to listen to glimpses of their award winning CD “Whosoever Believes” and was deeply moved by their skill and by the messages of their songs. I don’t know why I didn’t order the CD right then and there. I have since purchase a copy and I highly recommend it.

Earlier this year, through one of my email groups, I saw a flyer for a movie called “The Believers” – an award winning documentary that chronicled the beginning three years of Transcendence. Once again, I hit the web pronto. I found out that Frameline in San Francisco was handling the distribution of the video. I contacted them and arranged for three screenings here in Kansas City. The last of which was just a few days ago.

At each showing, it was amazing to witness that nearly everyone stayed in their seats through the credits. Attend a movie in a theater and as soon as the credits roll, seats begin to empty, rapidly.

I would encourage you to see this wonderful documentary. It’s been on LOGO a couple of times, you can contact Frameline to arrange your own showing.

And while I’ve seen it several times, I still cry at the same moments each time. I won’t spoil the film…but there are four or five points when the tears begin to well. I will acknowledge two of their songs – “I Almost Let Go” and “Bless Me”. The lyrics of “I Almost Let Go” resonated deeply within my soul and my experience. Yes, I truly believe now that “I’m alive today, because God kept me”. “Bless Me” is remarkable not so much for the message, but for the amazing solo performance by one of the members named Prado. What a truly awesome voice he has! Bobbie Jean is also a talented voice as soloist on a couple of other songs.

The CD has a couple of selections not included in the movie and also has a couple of excerpted homilies from Bishop Yvette Flunder, the energetic and powerfully moving minister of City of Refuge. I can only imagine someday visiting San Francisco and attend worship with these lovely children of God.

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