A Hark Up Twist For a Virtual Christmas

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Hark Up virtual logoIn this crazy, pandemic year of 2020, it actually makes sense.

In order to proceed with its annual Christmas music production, "Hark Up" is going virtual.

"We've been recording and filming over the last month and everything should be ready to go soon," said Hark Up executive director Chris Hansen.

"A Virtual Hark Up Christmas" will be a combination of studio and on-location video, with narration and even snippets from performances of past years.
It's set to debut at 7:30pm Sat. Dec. 5 .

The opening segment is new. It's a parody version of "You Can't Stop the Beat," borrowed from the musical "Hairspray." "It ends up as 'You can't stop Hark Up,'" Hansen noted of its "continuous shot" video style with dancers and singers.

Bellamy appointed CEO of Catholic Charities West Michigan

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

nbDavid Bellamy has been appointed CEO of Catholic Charities West Michigan.

"Catholic Charities West Michigan's mission is to offer hope and compassion through innovative, collaborative programs. Particularly now, individuals in our community need to know they are recognized as children of God worthy of dignity and respect," said David Walkowiak, bishop of the Grand Rapids Diocese. "I am confident that David is the right person to lead the organization in its important mission."

Local Pastors Stand With Healthcare Workers and Kent County Community

Written by WMCN Editor on . Posted in Local

(GRAND RAPIDS, MI) - In response to catastrophic capacity shortages in hospitals and health systems across the state, local churches across Grand Rapids and Kent County will further limit in person gatherings beginning Wednesday, Nov. 18, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Participating churches will discontinue large gatherings such as worship services, weddings, and meetings of more than five individuals until Dec. 8.

"Pastors have been moved by the pleas of front-line healthcare workers, as well as the ongoing suffering and loss of life of Kent County residents as a result of this virus," said Rev. Khary Bridgewater on behalf of the Kent County COVID-19 Church Task Force. "Our physicians and nurses are risking their lives, working double shifts, suffering through physical, mental, and emotional hardship to care for patients. We want to give them a fighting chance."

GEMS Adjust to Pandemic

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

gems5GEMS (Girls Everywhere Meeting the Savior) is adapting its ministry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit has created a resource called "GEMS on the Go." It's an activity box that counselors can bring to their girls, and includes a badge and a craft.

Wedgwood Named Best and Brightest in Wellness

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

wedgewoodWedgwood Christian Services has been named Best and Brightest in Wellness by Best and Brightest Programs. The 2020 winning companies were examined statistically for quantitative and qualitative data. Each survey was scored on a point system based upon criteria to benchmark and improve wellness program effectiveness. They include outcomes, analysis, tracking, participation & incentives, benefits and programs, leadership, employee input, culture and environment.

Wedgwood is recognized for efforts that promote a culture of wellness, such as providing a state-of-the-art wellness center that is available to all staff members and residential clients, and offering mental health services and support programs for employees. Through planning, implementation, and evaluation of efforts in employee wellness, Wedgwood is making the organization and the community a healthier place to live and work.

Singer-songwriter Reflects on Music and his West Michigan Roots

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Renzema Chris portraitChris RenzemaIt was the right music for the right time.

The latest album from singer-songwriter Chris Renzema is titled "Let The Ground Rest." And its April release turned out to parallel the period of "rest" caused by the coronavirus.

"I wrote these songs mostly in 2019, and when (the album) finally came out I had no clue we would be in the year we've been in," said Renzema, 25, during a phone interview.

The theme of the title song is especially fitting. "The idea of waiting in the barren fields for the harvest has become more applicable than I ever thought," said the artist of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Dove Awards Spotlight Music and Message

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

For King and CountryJoel (left) and Luke Smallbone of For King & Country perform during the GMA Dove Awards telecast.The 51st annual Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards saw numerous Christian music artists perform and share some inspiring words in a virtual event based in the music industry's hub in Nashville, Tenn.

It was an unlikely scenario for an awards show, aired Oct. 30 on the Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN).

There were no live audiences, no large stages, no acceptance speeches and no single host. Rather, using a patchwork of pre-taped interviews and studio performances with multiple artists, the GMA took a cinematic approach centered on the theme "Carry the Change."

Terry's Picks November 2010

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

EVENTSThis is the column in which West Michigan Christian web writer Terry DeBoer surveys the landscape for the area's faith-inspired arts/entertainment/enrichment events over the coming month.

Well friends, due to the pandemic, concert and other medium or larger-sized events have been few over the last seven months. And most of those have been virtual/online.

Calvin Seminary Pitches ‘Revival Tent’

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

calvin4One way Calvin Theological Seminary has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic is the Revival Tent, as it has come to be known. A large yellow and white tent, installed in the south parking lot of the seminary grounds, the tent was set up to add extra square footage to the building capacity and to provide a space where the seminary community could gather outdoors for large meetings.

Calvin’s 2021 January Series to Have Virtual Audience

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

janseriesNext year's Calvin University's January Series will have a completely virtual audience. Attendees will be able to watch the 15 daily noontime presentations on their own personal devices, in their own locations, or in small gatherings at remote sites available across the continent. Details on how to register for the presentations and where to find local remote sites will be available later this fall on the January Series website.

New Album A “Lifetime” Project for Tommee Profitt

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

The Birth of a King CD coverThe Birth of a King, produced by Tommee Profitt It all started 15 years ago during Tommee Profitt's student days at Grace Bible College.

"I arranged a Christmas song – I think it was for a class assignment – and I just loved what came out of it," said the songwriter/producer. "I think we did that song in chapel at Grace every year."

Now a further refinement of that song (a version of "Joy To The World") is part of his new 17-song Christmas album with guest vocals from artists all over the musical map.

The new project ("The Birth of A King") is as wide and diverse as Profitt's own career. He did all the musical arrangements and instrumentation.

"There are cinematic moments like (movie) trailer meets hip-hop," said Profitt from his Nashville area studio. "And there are other things that are just beautiful, timeless orchestral Christmas ballads."

He titles his newer "Joy" arrangement "Joy to the World 2 (He is Come)." It features vocals by Clark Beckham, the 2015 runner-up on "American Idol."

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