Galion church to host ‘United In Harmony’


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GALION – “United In Harmony,” a notable Bucyrus-area male choir, will sing on Sunday, June 5, at the 10 a.m. morning worship service of First United Church of Christ of Galion.

“We want to make sure the broader public knows they are invited for this really outstanding, free musical event,” said Bill Meyer, the intentional interim pastor at First United Church of Christ.

Tom Jeffers, who is both a “United In Harmony” singer and a member of First United Church of Christ, described the group as “twenty some awesome singers” who have been blending their voices in public spaces for nearly two decades.

Meyer reported that when he attended a rehearsal this winter, the power of the first music he heard made him cry. Rehearsals always conclude with prayer.

Music typically presented includes categories such as faith, patriotic and popular rock.

Among pieces planned for Galion, are “As The Deer” and “Holy, Holy, Holy,” the beloved Franz Schubert Sanctus. This latter piece will lead into a closing celebration on June 5 of open Communion. June 5 is also Pentecost Sunday. Communion is open to any believer, from any denominational affiliation, who wishes to participate.

“United In Harmony” is directed by George Gibbs. The group’s accompanist is Marcia Burkhart, who formerly was organist at First United Church of Christ in Galion.

The group has performed for various Sunday morning church services and at the Music at the Mural outdoor concerts in downtown Bucyrus. In addition, it has performed at public parks, Christmas concerts and Veteran’s Day events. “United in Harmony” has led sports crowds in singing the National Anthem at Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Cavaliers and Columbus Clippers games.

The group will appear at the Cleveland Guardians afternoon home game on Sept. 14 against Los Angeles.

This year, First United Church of Christ is celebrating its 175th anniversary as an organized congregation in Galion.

It began as a German Reform congregation in 1847.

Its members separated from a small earlier union church of both Lutheran and Reform immigrants. The growing congregation gradually shifted from German-language worship to English in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 1930s, it became an Evangelical & Reformed congregation. Then in the early 1960s, after the Evangelical & Reformed merger with the Congregational Christian Churches, it became First United Church of Christ.

During the era when the railroads first came to Galion, the congregation even ran a seminary in Galion for training German-speaking pastors for new Ohio congregations.

According to the church, it still extends a welcome each Sunday to Christians and seekers of all backgrounds, as it seeks to faithfully do the work of Christ today in Galion. The church offers free Community Meals once a month.

A free-will offering — for any who wish to contribute — will be made available to support “United In Harmony.” There will be opportunities afterward to visit with members of “United In Harmony.”

Ample parking and seating is available, the church said.

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