Church to celebrate America via music, visuals

Published 7:12 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Chocowinity United Methodist Church is offering the community two opportunities to celebrate U.S. independence July 9-10.

The church will host its 19th annual patriotic music program, “The Dream-the Country-the Flag,” a program that has garnered much interest among members of the community, according to June Arnold, minister of music and worship at Chocowinity UMC.

Songs chosen by Arnold will illustrate U.S. history, as well as honor active military and veterans, she said. From the opening song, “God Bless America” to the finale “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” the program will include many visual components, such as a bald eagle soaring through the blue skies — a symbol representing grandeur, strength and freedom of the nation, Arnold said. The U.S. flag is another recurring theme.

“The titles ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag’ and ‘Our Flag Was Still There,’ inspire our hearts with feelings of pride and appreciation for our nation and for those who sacrificed to build this land,” Arnold said. “The importance of teaching about our nation is voiced in this somber statement: ‘Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.’ Families, schools and churches have an imperative responsibility as their choices shape and determine the future of America.”

Two narrators will provide commentary about the founding of the nation, as well as historical events that have occurred since, according to Arnold.

A new song, “We Are Coming Home,” will illustrate wounded soldiers coming home, something that correlates to spiritual battles people face in life, Arnold said.

Arnold has been coordinating and performing programs for years, and has said she sees her work as a form of ministry. She writes the script and selects the songs for the program, and a projection coordinator at the church matches images with her creations, Arnold said.

The programs will be presented at Chocowinity United Methodist Church on July 9 at 7 p.m. and July 10 at 3 p.m. The programs are free and open to the public.

Chocowinity United Methodist Church is located at 678 N.C. 33 West in Chocowinity.