With the theme “Unto Us a Child is Born,” the century-odd old Fenimore Street United Methodist Church in East Flatbush, Brooklyn on Sunday celebrated the Christmas season with its annual candlelight cantata.
The over 2 ½-hour long event featured lusty singing by soloists and several of the church’s choirs and the congregation, a liturgical dance and scripture readings by the youth encompassing the birth of Christ.
The Chancel Choir sang “O Come Immanuel;” Exulate Gloria, with Cynthia Grant as soloist; “Behold I Bring You Good Tidings”; “Glory to God;” and “O, Holy Night,” with Patricia Senhouse as soloist.
The Junior Choir electrified the evening with “Adam in the Garden,” “The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy” and “Praises to the King.”
The usually high-octane United Voices of Praise was solemn with “Mary Do You Know” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen;” while the Gospel Chorus “Call[ed] the Baby Jesus” and extolled that “Jesus [is] the Light of the World.”
The Men’s Chorale rendered “We Three Kings,” and the congregation sang on high “Away in a Manger;” “Once in Royal David City;” “Hark the Herald;” “Mary Boy Child;” “Go Tell it on the Mountain;” “O, Little Town of Bethlehem;” “Silent Night;” and “Joy to the World.”
With congregants holding lit candles, the church’s pastor, the Rev. Dr. Maxine Nixon, reminded them that Jesus is “the light of the world,” adding that He “gives us light, and he gives us praise.”
Rev. Nixon also noted Jesus’s birth in a stable, urging worshippers to always “make room for” Him.
“So we just need to celebrate Jesus,” she said. “Hug on Jesus. The joy of the Lord is our strength.
“God is with us,” she added. “When you wake up early in the morning, and you go to the bathroom, take a moment to be with God. Remember to just make room for Jesus Christ.”
In brief remarks, visiting pastor Andrea Moore-Smith, a former lay speaker at the church, at the corner of Rogers Avenue, said: “I’m still a kid when it comes “I’m still saying that Jesus is still giving some gifts,” said the daughter of Barbadian immigrants.
Fenimore Street United Methodist Church is dubbed a mini United Nations, with members from most Caribbean islands, Central and South America, and the United States. Vincentians and Jamaicans, however, predominate.