New Covenant searches for meaning behind hymns

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 4, 2000

Members of New Covenant Presbyterian Church want to help people see — and hear — the connection between hymns and Scripture. The church will be hosting a community seminar series each Wednesday dedicated to &uot;Making a Joyful Noise.&uot; The first program begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the church at 206 Main St. downtown.

The six-week program will feature the talents of Dr. David Blackburn, artistic director of the Natchez Opera Festival, and H. Burnley Cook.

Church member Kathie Blankenstein, who helped organize the musical program, said it has several purposes.

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&uot;It’s to edify our own members and to help people understand, who are interested in music and have sung these hymns, what they mean,&uot; she said. &uot;We want people to see the connection with Scripture and to reach out to the community. We would hope that somebody might come back someday.&uot;

At each Wednesday’s musical program, Blackburn and Cook will share some of the history, theology and stories behind favorite hymns of the church. The format will be informal, and the audience will be encouraged to join as Blackburn directs and Cook accompanies.

Blackburn is the son of a Methodist minister. He spent many summers attending the camp meetings associated with his father’s work. He has also served as minister of music at several large churches throughout the country.

Cook studied piano under Dick Mullins and the late Fred Steitenroth. He was involved in Natchez Little Theatre for 11 years, having directed, appeared in or played for more than 40 different musicals or plays.

New Covenant’s Wednesday musical programs will continue through Dec. 20 but will not meet Nov. 22.