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UMTV: Choir's Christmas Gift


The people of The United Methodist Church are showing the world the light of Christ through a broadcast on ABC-TV. "RETHINK CHRISTMAS: Unwrap the Gift" is a worship service from Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas. United Methodist Communications collaborated with the church to produce the event that will be seen December 24th.

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(Wichita, Kansas)
(Choir sings) "Come on let's go tell it on the mountain."

Ronda Kingwood: "Whenever I sing about Jesus, he just comes through."

Members of Saint Mark United Methodist Church are rehearsing for the performance of a lifetime. On Christmas Eve, their church service will be broadcast across the U.S. on ABC-TV.

(Choir sings) "Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills..."

Karen Wright, Saint Mark United Methodist Church:
"There are people that will be flipping those channels as I used to flip channels. I'm actually reaching someone, maybe someone like myself who used to sit at home and flip channels on Christmas Eve. And this is something that will give me an opportunity to touch someone just as someone touched me when I was at that place."

Music is a big part of worship for this Wichita, Kansas congregation. Members say singing with others who share that passion gives this church family a special bond.

Choir: "He has seen, great is the power."

Karen Wright: "What touches your heart through music ministry can reach someone else's heart. And that is a part of music ministry. It isn't just attending a rehearsal and singing on a Sunday morning. It's being available when someone calls you on a Saturday night just to have someone to talk with. That's a part of music ministry."

Choir: "He has seen, great is the power."

Ginger Withers visited Saint Mark and says hearing made her a believer.

Ginger Withers, Saint Mark United Methodist Church:
"My son was looking for churches. And he called one day and he said, 'Mom, I think you'd like Saint Mark's music.' So I came as a visitor and didn't leave. I left my church of 35 years that I dearly loved. But there was such a welcoming atmosphere at Saint Mark's that I just felt like I needed to be here."

Saint Mark members hope that people watching on Christmas Eve will feel the love in this room and open their hearts to the Christmas story.

Speaker: "The third candle is the shepherd's candle. It is a symbol of joy and in honor of the shepherds who were the first ones told of the Savior's birth."

Ugo Disasi, Saint Mark United Methodist Church:
"The fact that the service will be broadcast across the nation really means a lot because other people probably have never heard of Jesus Christ. Or they have a misunderstanding of what Christmas is."

Karen Wright: "My holiday wish for the world is that individuals will no longer be so materialistic, but that we'll realize that there is a purpose, a reason for this season. And whatever that reason is for you, ensure that you're actually there to help someone else and not just giving something that's materialistic or receiving something that is materialistic, but receiving comfort, receiving joy and receiving peace."

Choir: "O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant. O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem."

Ronda Kingwood, Saint Mark United Methodist Church: "We have an opportunity to do what God has called us to do. And that is to go out and make disciples, to go out and spread the word of God outside these four walls. This is what God is calling us to do. It's not about us. It's not about inside these walls. It's about going out. Someone will get to hear and they'll see Jesus in us, and that's just gonna touch lives."

Choir: "Go tell it on the mountain. Go tell it!"


The Christmas Eve service will be an hour in which people can sing along to familiar Christmas hymns with a Gospel twist; see liturgical dancers; witness the lighting of the Advent candle, and hear a word about what Christ means to the world.

For more information, contact Saint Mark United Methodist Church at 316-681-2214. Check ABC listings for the times for the broadcast in your area.

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