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Christmas Joy!
December 9, 2012
Philadelphia Pioneer

Report by Ronda Atwater


Amidst the bustle of shopping, kettling, and preparing for corps Christmas programs, Greater Philadelphia junior and senior soldiers gathered at the Pioneer Corps on Sunday afternoon, December 9, 2012. With carol-singing, Scripture-reading, and the sharing of musical and dance items from young people who attend Salvation Army music programs, Christ was magnified as the Reason for the Season.

The Regional Gospel Choir opened the program with songs of fellowship and praise, including a merge of the African tune Sing Noel and the spiritual Go Tell It on the Mountain.

The Citadel Corps youth band was well-prepared with God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Coventry Carol; and the timbrelists performed a fast and energetic drill to a rock version of Angels We Have Heard on High.

The Darby Corps young people were involved throughout the program with Jingle Bells on their horns; This is the Day That the Lord Has Made with their timbrels; and two enthusiastic choir songs, the last of which they proclaimed with joy, “Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!”

A Kroc / West Philadelphia Corps guitar ensemble peacefully strummed Amazing Grace, and a dance team of six teenaged girls from Kroc Corps expressed gratitude to God through the song Because of Who You Are.

The Pioneer Corps youth band offered a suite, featuring Good Christian Men, Rejoice, O Come, Little Children, and O Sanctissima / Joy to the World. After a congregational reading of the Christmas Story,  the Pioneer dance troupe presented “How Great is Our God,” sung in six different languages – a reminder of Jesus being born to save ALL people! The band then sent everyone on their way with a cheerful Hand Me My Merry Trumpet!

We are proud of our children who are growing in the joy and knowledge of Christmas. They are learning that Jesus’ birth is a divine truth, beyond the superficial elves, reindeer, and snowmen; and their musical offerings at this Christmas Joy program portrayed this understanding. We are also grateful for the leaders from each corps who are driven by the love of God as they continuously work with the children.

What a fellowship! What a joy divine!... to come together as believers in The Salvation Army, to uplift our children by giving them a platform on which to honor God with their gifts, to be free to proclaim Jesus as Christ and Lord of all!



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