Musings About MHR Canada: Excerpt #16

Written by on February 4, 2022

Thinking about the past and future

What happened to the seasonal hymn sings? Do you remember them?

For a number of years in the early 2000’s Mars Hill Radio Canada held some lively hymn sings and Christmas carol singing at Bay Park Baptist Church in Kingston Ontario.

Photo of Bay Park Baptist Church in Kingston, ON (Courtesy: BPBC)

They were convened at this specific location for a number of reasons:

  • This is the place where we have had an office for some time and it continues to be our mailing address; – THANK YOU Bay Park for your continued support!
  • There was ample room in the sanctuary for a good crowd;
  • The location was easy to find and the parking was plenteous; and
  • They had a convenient kitchen and auditorium which allowed a good opportunity to mingle, visit with MHN station staff and enjoy some sugary refreshments.

Hymn sings were an opportunity for some of the radio staff to visit with listeners from around the Kingston area.  They appreciated meeting many friends of the station and enjoyed that as much as we liked being able to put faces to the voices that we heard over the air.

The sanctuary was filled nearly to capacity in those early years and the fellowship sweet – not only because of the donuts afterwards!  It was a lot of organization and work but, man, was it ever worth the effort!  In fact, another wonderful point provided by these functions was that the MHRCanada board members had an opportunity to have their dear wives join them in the service rendered by this ministry.  That way we also got to know each other better as couples.

Unfortunately, over the years, the number of attendees dwindled and the Canadian board questioned the venue value to cost and organizational effort ratio.  It was a sad and difficult decision to cease the continuance of the get-togethers.  I have often wondered why the numbers of WMHI listeners dwindled and why we give up planning for the next hymn sing.  Several possibilities have been considered but there may be more:

  • Was it that a number of our aging audience was being promoted to glory to join a higher hymn sing up there?
  • Or were there less Christians that hold to the old conservative style hymns?
  • Maybe there were fewer listeners to the MHN stations and so less heard about the event?
  • Did we as a board, organizing these evenings, not meet the expectations of those attending?
  • Was a greater apathy setting in as to Christian events generally?
  • Or possibly families were getting busier and busier because more have had to have both mom and dad involved in the workforce due to economic conditions?

What do you think we should do?  Feel free to email me at MHRCanada@sympatico.ca .

Submitted by Hank Blok
Secretary-treasurer, Mars Hill Radio Canada


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