When most ministers are handed a microphone, those sitting in the pews expect to hear a sermon.
They’ll get a more musical message when the clergy that make up Common Cup Company take the stage in Nova Scotia churches this month.
The band made up of clergy members will be performing in concert Saturday, Oct. 21, at St. Andrew United Church in Truro and then will be leading worship at the Green Hill-Alma Church in Pictou County on Sunday.
The Common Cup Company is a musical group founded by songwriters Gordon Light and Ian Macdonald, who are composers of popular hymns Draw the Circle Wide, She Flies On!, River Run Deep, Joy Comes with the Dawn and many other titles.
Their musical ministry began in 1979 when Light, (An Anglican priest and later Bishop), met Ian Macdonald and Jim Ulrich (both United Church ministers) while serving neighbouring churches in Winnipeg. Bob Wallace joined the group in 1982, his voice strengthening and enriching the group’s sound.
In the following decades this original quartet wrote, performed and recorded together despite living in different corners of the country. Scott McDonald and Richard Betts joined the lineup in 1998, adding bass and drums and giving Common Cup a more contemporary sound. The addition of United Church musician Lloyd MacLean of Pictou County brought Common Cup new inspiration, following Ulhrich’s death in 2009. Ian Macdonald was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia in 2012 and passed away in March 2016.
The Common Cup Company continue to write, record and tour and will be playing concerts in Nova Scotia this fall before they head to Australia in February 2018.
The musicians say their songs cover topics primarily spiritual in nature and include faith, peace, justice and hope.
“I hope some of the songs help people look at their faith from a different point of view,” Light said.
The band members said they often put the words up on a screen while they perform so people can join in on some songs.
“I hope it helps connect everyday events with a sense of how your faith can strengthen you,” McDonald said.
The concert at St Andrew’s United Church in Truro will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the door.
Common Cup will also be leading worship at the Green Hill-Alma United Church, 92 Alma Loop, on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 1 p.m. and will be in concert at Port Wallis United Church, 263 Waverly Rd., Dartmouth on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m.