We started attending Hepburn Gospel Church in March of 1979.
The Maranatha Trio consisting of Helen Rempel, wife of Pastor David Rempel, Karen Lagerstrom and Marina Schroeder, pianist led congregational singing and also did special numbers in church. Karen’s struggle with laryngitis opened the opportunity for me being asked to join their trio as another soprano. That was how I started as a musician at Hepburn Gospel.
The Trio had entertained the idea of recording a cassette so I was privileged to be a part of that. God’s hand in this endeavor was so evident. Helen struggled with back problems and was hospitalized the week before our recording date but she insisted that we not cancel. The day we recorded, she persuaded her doctor to give her a day pass. He agreed reluctantly but with a promise that she would lie down in between to rest her back. She followed the instructions, took breaks, and returned to the hospital after the all-day recording session. It was an amazing experience and we gave God the glory.
There were some changes in the group, so Marina and I continued as a duet. We also organized a few adult choirs for Christmas and Easter services. One year for the Sunday School Christmas program we put on a musical drama called “Listen to the Lambs”. It involved all age groups and some of the teenagers even learned to sing harmony. Many of the adults helped with sets and costumes. It was an amazing experience.
More changes came when people moved away. I lead singing with other pianists, Marie Fehr, Tammy Reddekopp and Ang Loewen. I was then asked if I would join another group, as they needed someone to sing alto. That really took me out of my comfort zone. I had always sung soprano but with the trio and Marina I had sung high tenor in a few songs so I agreed to give it a try. God was faithful and we sang together for many years.
As a worship team leader, I have the privilege of choosing the songs. I ask the Holy Spirit to guide as we practice and finalize the songs for each service. I often notice and people have commented on the songs relate to the message and comments made by the Worship leader. It gives me opportunity to give the glory to God by giving all the credit to the Holy Spirit who guides us all.
It has been 43 years of blessings, learning and growing in musical knowledge and skills with such a diverse group of individuals. I have never learned to play an instrument but have been blessed by the many others who do and have shared their gifts with me and given me an opportunity to share mine with them. Together we have served our awesome God.
God has blessed Hepburn Gospel Church with many gifted musicians over the years, and for that I give him praise.
Linda Ens is the Music Worship Team Leader at Hague Gospel Church, Saskatchewan
This article was originally published in The EMMC Recorder Vol 59, No. 4