A virtual Christmas choir was put together with people from multiple congregations to create a video spreading joy.
Brendyn Dyck, the Worship Pastor at the Word of Life Church in Niverville, put out an invitation for singers from any church in the town to be a part of a virtual choir video.
"Five different churches in Niverville are represented in the video. I sent out an invitation to all the churches in our town and said whoever wants to be apart of it, we welcome your voice. The churches stepped up," says Dyck.
While churches are not allowed to gather other than to film a Sunday sermon, the invitation was for people to record themselves at home and then email Dyck the video.
"It's a very vulnerable thing to film yourself and then send it to someone you may not know," he says.
The song Dyck chose was 'Joy to the World' by Phil Wickham which includes a little 'Joyful, Joyful' right at the end.
"I heard the arrangement for the first time last year and thought this is amazing, we have to do this next year. I heard it again and I love that version because there are so many different choir parts and the ending just ends with straight praise which brings it all to a close."
Roughly 40 people sent in a video, including a few children doing background vocals. One young girl is also seen flagging in her living room during the song.
"I actually had the idea over Easter and did something similar. We were thinking of some creative ideas to inspire community and bring some hope in the midst of isolation."
When Dyck created the video of the song 'Raise a Hallelujah' at Easter, it was just the Word of Life Church congregants. This video includes any church in the town that wanted to join in.
"When we heard of the extended lockdown over Christmas we thought this would be a great idea to get people together, virtually if not physically. Just spread some hope and joy this Christmas season."
Broadening the invitation to the community brings a sense of unity, according to Dyck.
"We're many congregations but we're one church. I find great hope in that. We have one Lord. We may have different traditions and practises but it's one King. The fact that we can come together is a huge testament to God at work," he says.
Dyck has lead a few community worship events in the past where a time to praise God was open to all. These events often included multiple different leaders from different churches coming together.
"This video is one way that we can bring people together. It reminds people that life and God is bigger than our boxes."