Sept. 21, 2016
Sept. 21, 2016
For Immediate Release
WATERLOO – Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Music, and various university and community groups present Sing Fires of Justice with New Settlers, an interfaith celebration of song and word to promote peace and justice.
The event, a benefit for refugee relief, is to take place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, at First United Church, 16 William St. W., in Waterloo.
Lee Willingham, director of the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community, says that for the past decade the annual festival has brought community together through music in order to find ways to enact justice and to focus on social challenges.
"The recent Syrian refugee crisis has touched the lives of many people in our community,” Willingham says. “In shining the spotlight on ‘new settlers’ we are provided with a variety of perspectives on what it means to begin life in an unfamiliar culture."
Debbie Lou Ludolph, director of the Kanata Centre for Worship and Global Song, at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, says that song has provided the meeting place for diversity in the community.
“Faith, freely expressed, has allowed for an event that appreciates differences,” Ludolph says. “This year we are remembering the waves of refugees and immigrants who have come to Waterloo Region, listening to what that experience has been, and celebrating the freedom to shape a shared space where everyone can flourish.”
The festival includes performances by Mino Ode Kwewak N'gamowak (Good Hearted Women Singers), Laurier choirs, UW Conrad Grebel Choir, community mass choir, singer-songwriter Dawud Wharnsby, and more.
The annual festival, in its 11th year, is open to the public. A free-will offering will be gratefully accepted. Funds will be shared between First United Church's privately sponsored refugee family and the Ray of Hope Refugee housing project in Waterloo.
Sing Fires of Justice with New Settlers is co-sponsored by the Kanata Centre for Worship and Global Song at the seminary; the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community; First United Church in Waterloo; and the Royal Canadian College of Organists.
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