News Story

 Winnipeg Mormons Celebrate 10 Years of Singing for Peace

Two congregational choirs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Winnipeg, Manitoba, joined with choirs of other local churches at the annual Sing for Peace concert on November 8, 2015.

Established in 2005 by Pat Matthews (choir director for the Catholic parish Mary, Mother of the Church), the Sing for Peace concert is held near Remembrance Day each year. Local churches, schools, bands and the university in the south end of Winnipeg are invited to gather to sing and pray for peace, as a way to foster love, acceptance and understanding of each other’s faith.

Members of the Waverley and Dalhousie wards (congregations) of the Church have regularly participated in the concert since its inception. Through their involvement, they have developed many friendships among the different faith communities, including those that have participated this year: Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship; Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd; Mary, Mother of the Church Catholic Parish; and Trinity United Church. Pat Matthews indicated that he finds great joy in seeing these various community members unite for peace and justice.

When we are united in our communities, we are more likely to be united with God. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church, states, “When we look beyond people’s color, ethnic group, social circle, church, synagogue, mosque, creed, and statement of belief, and when we try our best to see them for who and what they are — children of the same God — something good and worthwhile happens within us, and we are thereby drawn into a closer union with that God who is the Father of us all,” (“Standing Together for the Cause of Christ,” Ensign, Aug. 2012, 44–49).

David Tafelmeyer, the organist and choir director at the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd in South Winnipeg, shared his feelings about participating in the concert: “My choir always appreciates attending this event, as it provides an opportunity to hear other musical groups in the area and to share our music with the wider community. Additionally, we can participate in fellowship with other denominations, and as a diverse community, collectively sing and pray for peace in the world.”

Reflecting on his decade of organizing peace concerts, Matthews says, “I am so pleased to organize the ‘Sing for Peace’ community event each year for the past 10 years. We’ve gotten to know our neighbours better and made many great friends. We get together to sing and pray for peace and justice. This year we took an initial step into doing something for peace and justice with the free-will offering in support of Syrian refugees. Everybody has been very supportive and so generous.”

Working within our interfaith communities to help those in crisis is one of the greatest ways we can become united and express love. “Respectful and sincere interfaith service not only builds our communities but also enables us to collectively and individually grow in our love of God and His children,” according to Elder Quentin L. Cook, another apostle of the Church. (“Partnering with Our Friends from Other Faiths,” Aug. 9, 2010, patheos.com.)

Four years ago, on behalf of the Mary, Mother of the Church choir, Pat Matthews accepted the invitation of Winnipeg members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to participate with Latter-day Saint choirs and singers at the Church’s annual Prelude to Christmas concerts. This year’s event will be held in Winnipeg on December 13.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.