by Ruth Klossner
The location has changed, but the tradition of the Lafayette Community Carol Sing continues.
The event—also known as the Hymn Sing—started in 1972 when members of the Lafayette Methodist Church gathered for an evening of carol singing and fellowship. It continued—even after the Methodist Church closed in 1994. It just moved to First Lutheran and St. Gregory the Great, and later Bernadotte, and was held at least once at New Life Fellowship (in the Methodist building).
With St. Gregory’s now also closed, the special evening rotates between this year’s host, Bernadotte Lutheran, and First Lutheran in Lafayette.
As always, the Sunday, December 10 event included a variety of numbers, along with the singing of familiar carols.
The First Lutheran Choir presented two songs, with choir members Jim Van Maasdam also doing a solo and Charles Hartley telling the Christmas story. Tom Maidl filled the church with sound when he played the “Hallelujah Chorus” on the organ.
By special request, Jim Bartels, as Axel, presented a fun rendition of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”—just as he had at a hymn sing several years ago.
In between those presentations, audience members picked songs for congregational singing, with the accompaniment of organist Laurie Larson.
The 2023 carol sing continues the 51-year tradition started by the Methodist Church. The first event was held to fill the void of not having a Sunday School. Soon members of other Lafayette area churches joined in—and the tradition grew.
It’s very special that—in these changing times—an event like this can continue for more than a half century!
For more photos of the event, check out the December 13 issue of the Winthrop News.