Paul Hoverman
Paul Hoverman

This Sunday night at 7, the Senior Choir of First United Methodist Church in Van Wert will be presenting a Hymn Festival entitled: “Passionate Worship with Glorious Traditional Hymns.” This is for the entire community to participate and enjoy. It is not your typical “popcorn” style hymn fest where you come and just shout out your favorite hymn to sing. This has been a well thought out and planned festival of celebrating traditional hymns which many worshippers have grown up with and have special meaning.

Choir, audience, organ, brass, hand bells, and timpani are all a part of this festival. Many of the hymns will be sung in concertato form where the accompaniment is a little more sophisticated, but the audience singing is still simple. I hope it provides an exhilarating and uplifting experience for all who attend.

Some of the hymns will be highlighted and introduced with scripture, background and spoken meditations. It is meant to tie the entire evening together in a meaningful and passionate worship experience, but in a traditional setting using hymns that have been sung for years and lyrics of staying power.

One of the key words in the title of this hymn festival is “glorious.” From the opening of “Holy, Holy, Holy” with brass, organ and voices to the closing hymn: “Jesus Shall Reign,” glorious praise will be lifted to our Creator. It will be a fitting tribute to the benefactor of this service, long-time Van Wert resident and businesswoman, Margaret Maney. Many of you knew Margaret and her husband, John who for years operated Maney’s Bootery shoe store in downtown Van Wert. Her son, Kevin provided the funding in honor of his mother and wished to honor her in some way with music. Music meant a lot to Marg as she was active as a pianist, singer, and hand bell ringer at First U.M. Church in Van Wert for years. Marg- we hope you are pleased!

I hope you can attend and experience “Passionate Worship with Glorious Traditional Hymns” this Sunday night, May 18 at 7 in the sanctuary of First U.M. Church in Van Wert. I encourage you to invite family and friends and make it an evening to remember.

On the performing arts side, we have now wrapped up on our most successful Niswonger seasons ever! From the opening in October with Michael W. Smith to the closing Broadway show this past Sunday, you have helped us experience ten sold out shows and concerts. We look forward to announcing a whole new season in the very near future. The Community Concert Series of six concerts has been released and is currently on sale through the box office. Information, including an exciting promotional video can be found on-line at Full descriptions of these concerts are also listed. And what a deal! Check us out.

A special thank you goes out to Mr. Mengerink’s class at Vantage Career Center. You may have noticed the new concrete drive off Jefferson Street to the covered concert pavilion in Fountain Park. This will make loading in of our summer concerts much easier this summer. Thanks Larry and students! The first Fountain Park concert is coming soon with the Van Wert Area Concert Band on May 23 and then Papa Doo Run Run, that fun California Beach Band, kicks off our season on June 6 during the Peony and ArtRageous Festival weekend. It won’t be long!