Title: Thousands to attend 'God For Us'
All of the 7,500 seats of Warner Auditorium adjacent to the Anderson University campus are expected to be filled Friday night during the "God for Us" musical celebration, a kickoff for the North American Convention of the Church of God. The 7:30 p.m. event is not limited to just conventioneers but is open to everyone in the community to enjoy. "Be our guest for this momentous occasion," said Phil Fair, executive producer, as he extends a community-wide invitation. The evening will feature worship leader Don Moen, along with singers Jay Rouse, Amy Rouse, Marc Clarke, Kim Tabor and a 300-voice choir and symphony orchestra conducted by Randy Vader.
"It will be a marvelous evening of pageantry, celebration, inspiration for the entire community, and we hope they will feel invited to attend," said Fair, adding the musical celebration will also feature special lighting effects. "It will be quite a neat event."
Fair said the audience is in for a real treat, with talented performers singing praise to God.
"Don Moen is one of the premiere writers, arrangers and worship leaders in Christian music today, and we are indeed honored to have him in Anderson as a part of this event," said Fair, adding Moen is the creative director for the "God for Us" event.
"I'm looking forward to being there," said Moen, during a telephone interview on Tuesday from his Mobile, Ala., home.
Moen plans to arrive in Anderson today and will also be one of the seminar speakers on Saturday. This will be his first Church of God convention experience.
"What these musicals do is bring people together," said Moen, who works as the creative director of Integrity Inc., a Christian music company in Mobile.
He enjoys being part of large worship experiences where people of different religions are joined together in praise. And while many of Friday night's audience will be affiliated with the Church of God, Moen believes there are bound to be people from other churches represented, since it's an event for the entire community. "It's always amazing to me to see people from such diverse backgrounds coming together in unity around one purpose to worship God," he said. "When you think about the thousands of people singing these songs, that's an awesome thing."
The evening will feature new musical arrangements of "We've Come To Bless Your Name," "Crown Him With Many Crowns," "Our Great Savior," and "Hallelujah To The Lamb."
Moen's first solo will be "Think about His Love."
He is listed as the worship leader of the event, however Moen sees his role as more of a facilitator and narrator. "For me I'll just get up there and enjoy the evening; my role will be to just get up there and have fun ... When I say I'm a facilitator, I want to facilitate bringing God's presence among us and just staying out of the way; and in those moments, that's when God can move people's lives, their hearts and bring healing to them, and bring encouragement and bring comfort. A lot of people are hurting and they never will show it, but inside they really are. If we can just facilitate this moment where God's presence is with us, that is when God is able to do what he does so well, to heal people, comfort people and strengthen people."
Moen believes Friday's musical celebration will be one many have never seen before.
"I believe there will be lots of people there that will have never been in a worship service like this one. My goal would be to get some people who have never experienced anything like this to just dangle their toes in the waters of worship. It may be as simple as joining in singing a song ... Some will maybe take a big step and dangle their toes in the waters of worship, others will maybe wade up to their ankles and others up to their knees, up to their waists, and my goal is to make sure when the evening is over all of us have come to a new place in responding to God in worship."
The "God for Us" event is free; however, there will be a freewill offering for those who wish to give.
---Theresa Campbell is a reporter for the Anderson Herald-Bulletin .