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Jubilee is celebration of religion

June 11, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Through dance, song, essay and prayer, about 120 people celebrated Christ, Pentecost and the new millennium at a Sunday afternoon worship service.

Jubilee 2000 was held at Martinsburg High School the same day as the June Jubilee 2000 community festival, but the two events were not connected.

"We gather as followers of Jesus, our Savior and Lord, at the dawn of a new millennium," read Rev. Jack Sutor of Trinity Episcopal Church in Martinsburg. "We come in our diversity, remembering how the Holy Spirit's presence, poured out on believers across the ages, creates and sustains Christ's Body, the Church."

Nearly everyone in the auditorium rose and clapped rhythmically in time with the children's choir of Ebenezer Mount Calvary Holy Church of Summit Point, W.Va., in Jefferson County.

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Wearing white dresses and suits, the young choir roused the audience into singing along - "high above the earth" - over and over.

Director Veronica Smith of Winchester, Va., said the group, which includes her 7-year-old son Berham, ranges in age from 5 to 11 years old. The youngest member was Darius Johnson, 5, who banged a tambourine.

One of the early performances was a "Dance for Reconciliation" based on Corinthians. Holly Ivy of the Ebenezer Mount Calvary Holy Church was on stage with Rev. Ujima Tyson of the New Beginning Ministry of Help, a home-based ministry in Bunker Hill, W.Va.

They wore white gloves and light wispy tops over golden shirts. Tyson's outfit was orange; Ivy's was aqua and purple.

Together, they interpreted a passage about overcoming darkness, sadness and other negativity through faith. They knelt before a purple banner that read "Prince of Peace."

"Dance is one of the oldest means of prayer," Sutor said.

Letters of support from Methodist and Lutheran leaders were read on stage, along with passages from the Old Testament and New Testament.

Also, elementary, middle school and high school writers read their winning essays about Christ.

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