Our oldest daughter, Clara, has been a part of the choirs here at AHUMC for nine years. Six of those years in Sunday Sounds and three in the New Zion Choir. After watching the progression from Kinder to fifth grade, the goal was always to be a part of New Zion. When they were younger, you weren’t quite sure what the pull was, but the kids wanted it, and, as a parent, you wanted it for your kids. When observing the members of New Zion, they loved being together, being a part of something, and they exuded joy, happiness, love, and kindness. Isn’t that what we all want for our kids?
Well, it did not take long once Clara was in New Zion for me to figure it out! This diverse group of youth with so many varying interests and talents truly loves God, loves each other, and is bonded through their shared love for music. They love every opportunity they get to be together. There are so many times in our kids’ young lives that they deal with judgment, anxiety, and stress, but not with New Zion. The Sunday afternoon rehearsals are a respite for them, where they can take a deep breath and just be.
I was fortunate to get to witness all this firsthand. I was a chaperone on the Fall Retreat and Summer Mission Trip. This group loves, and they love hard. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old or new to the group or have been coming for years; you will be filled and forever a part of New Zion. These kids are amazing!
Oh, and did I mention they sing and sing beautifully?!?! Some of these students have outstanding vocal abilities, and some are talented musicians on various instruments. Honestly, they are connected by the common thread of music, but as you have read, this group is so much more than that!
This year, our youngest, Ann, who has been in Sunday Sounds for six years, will transition into the much-anticipated New Zion choir. I know that she is excited and ready to join the New Zion choir, and I am happy to know that as she transitions into middle school life, she will have that hour each week where she is loved and accepted for exactly who she is.
If you have a rising 6th-12th grade student, please give them an opportunity to experience New Zion. They are a choir that loves music but does not require you to be a musical expert, or ready to stand out and sing a solo, or even know how to carry a tune. Let them come to be loved and accepted. Ms. Nona will teach and handle all the music stuff!