Tionesta church visited by Canadian Christian musicians - Titusville Herald: Country Letters

Tionesta church visited by Canadian Christian musicians

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Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2019 5:00 am

“Upon the harp will I praise thee, O God.” The harp became a musical instrument almost from the beginning. The harp is first mentioned in Genesis and is spoken of several times in the Bible, all the way through Revelation. As many times as the harp is mentioned, only one person is specifically named who played the harp — David. When King Saul needed something to calm his troubled spirit, his servants told him about David, “a cunning player on the harp.” David was a poet and a musician, and he used his talents to praise God and tell about God’s love and mercy.

We don’t hear too much about harps anymore. Occasionally, you might see someone one on television playing one, but it is not a common instrument now, at least not around here. You still have a talent — a special ability that makes you, you.

Everyone has special talents and abilities, and it is up to each individual to use his special gifts as God desires. Not everyone can sing or play an instrument, but you still have a special talent. It may be drawing, painting, cooking, gardening or a certain sport. Whatever it is, use it and praise God for it.  

A couple from Canada shared their musical talent Saturday evening in Tionesta. Eduard Klassen and his wife, Christine, gave a concert at Tionesta Missionary Alliance Church. Eduard played the Paraguayan harp, and Christine accompanied him on the piano. Between songs, Eduard told about his life and shared some interesting stories. He was born and raised in Paraguay, South America, and his family didn’t have much. His family attended church, but it was a very solemn service, and no one smiled. Then, one day some missionaries from America came and had services at the church. They wore fancy clothes (the people in Paraguay thought the clothes were fancy) and they smiled. They told the people that church membership not gets you to Heaven, the only way to Heaven is through Jesus. Some of the people, including Eduard, listened and believed. He learned to play the harp when he was 15 and he had a special talent for it. He studied music for five years and later moved to Canada. He met and married Christine, an RN who liked to play the piano. Eduard’s talent has taken him to 29 countries, where he has performed more than 4,000 concerts.

The first Spanish missionaries came to Paraguay more than 300 years ago, and they brought with them the classical harp. The natives were intrigued with the instrument, made some changes and claimed it as part of their culture.

The Paraguayan harp is constructed of thin cedar and pine, and therefore is lighter than the classical harp. It has no foot pedals and has 37 strings made of nylon. Eduard said playing the harp requires “absolutely perfect fingernails.”

The first song Eduard and Christine played was “The Lily of the Valley.”  He learned to play the harp in 1975 and the first song he learned was “The Church in the Wildwood,” and that was the hymn he played next. The first time he went to Israel, Eduard played in Jerusalem on Easter Sunday and one of the hymns was “At Calvary.” Other hymns they played were “Children of the Heavenly Father,” “O, How I Love Jesus,” “In the Sweet By and By,” “I Gave My Life for Thee,” “Precious Memories,” “Let It Be” and “One Day at a Time.” Eduard told about the wonderful things missionaries have done in other countries and the big difference missionaries have made in people’s lives. He also said that American churches need to “wake up.” The final hymn was “Because He Lives” and Eduard invited the congregation to sing while they played.   

Host pastor Rev. Jerry Ester thanked everyone for coming and gave prayer before the offering. Everyone was invited to stay for fellowship and refreshments. There were about 65 present, including 14 from Pleasantville. It was an amazing service and everyone was blessed.

The Klassen’s do not charge for their concerts and any offerings received go to missions. Eduard said, “I’m working for the Lord, wherever he leads. In my life and in my travels, I seek to uplift the Lord’s name. I love to tell others what God has done for me. My desire is to use my gift of music and testimony to exhort and encourage people in all walks of life. We appreciate your prayers and encouragement as we minister and travel in different countries. We thank you for supporting us in this way.”

Recent events

— On July 4, Martha and Paul Thompson and their family got in their cars and left for the holiday parade in Warren, taking pop, crackers, chips, pepperoni balls and other things to snack on. The kids really enjoyed the parade, especially the Zem Zems and the clowns. When the parade ended, they gathered up their chairs and things and headed home. Everyone stopped at Martha and Paul’s for lunch with hamburgers, hotdogs, salads and desserts. The best part of the day was that Paul and Debbie’s daughter, Amanda, and her baby, Rowen Faith, were home for a week. Many pictures were taken of Rowen and Lexi, Debbie and Paul’s other granddaughter. There was lots of laughter as 9-month-old Lexi “mothered”  2 1/2 month old Rowen by trying to get her not to cry and really loving her.

On July 6, Debbie and the girls had a surprise shower for Amanda. They let her think there was going to be a reunion, and Amanda started to cry when she saw everything set up so nicely. The shower was held at gramma and grampa Thompson’s, and cousin Krystal Riddle made the cake — cupcakes in the shape of a fancy dress. Both Amanda and Aimee received dresses for their daughters. They dressed the girls and more pictures were taken of the two girls together. Amanda received a 2019 teddy bear book for Rowen and many other gifts.

Before she left, Amanda took many pictures, and some fascinating ones of Lexi. A family favorite is of Lexi sitting in an old steel bath tub, with water and sliced lemons all around her while she was holding one. Outside of the tub, whole lemons were on both ends, looking like wheels. It was amazing.

— The summer edition of Festival of Love, sponsored by the Pleasantville Ministerium, was held Sunday afternoon at the pavilion behind the fire hall. Joe Kovach, pianist from Pleasantville Methodist Church, played two specials on the keyboard: “Peace Like a River” and “The Baptism of Jesse Taylor.” Carol Brooks played the keyboard, while Tara Alberth and Ronda Terrill sang. The Shamburg ladies then led the group in singing songs they requested. Pastor Janet Sill, Pastor Ben McCauley and Pastor Fred Frye appreciated all who came. After the program, everyone was invited to stay for fellowship and a dinner of hotdogs, side dishes and desserts.   

Pleasantville TOPS

Pleasantville TOPS met Thursday evening at Pleasantville Community Church, with 11 weigh-ins and a total weight loss of 7 1/2 pounds, and two turtles (weight stayed the same). There were four KOPS and seven TOPS, with Darlene as the top loser and Barb and Loretta as KOPS.

The challenges this week are: Watch your portions, drink water and go for a no gain meeting. The positive thought is: “Did you drink water every day?”

Cathy’s menu was chosen, Belinda won the 25-cent fund and 50/50 rolled over.

It was election night for TOPS. The new officers are: Leader — Belinda; co-leader — Sherree; secretary — Foxy; treasurer — Kathy; weight-recorder — Cathy; assistant weight recorder — Loretta.

For more information about TOPS, call Cathy, at (814) 589-7162.         

Church schedules

— Enterprise Methodist Church, Pastor Penny Helmbold ­— Sunday, 9 a.m., worship; 10:15, Sunday school. Monday to Friday, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Bible school (Grand Valley) .

— Faith Community Church, Rev. Jerry Drake — Today, 6 p.m., Bible study. Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship. Monday to Friday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Bible school.    

— Pleasantville Community Church, Rev. Shawn Jacobson — Today, 6 p.m., Ladies Group. Saturday, 7 p.m., “Experiencing God.” Sunday, 9:30 a.m., Sunday school; 10:45, worship with guest speaker Sam Stearns and nursery available. Sunday to Friday, AEC Family Camp. Tuesday, 6 p.m., Men’s Group.     

— Pleasantville Presbyterian, Rev. Jamie Fowler — Sunday, 9:30 a.m., worship; 5:30 p.m., God’s super heroes.   

— Pleasantville Methodist, Pastor Janet Sill — Today, noon to 1:30 p.m., Second Harvest (Fire Hall). Thursday, 10 a.m., Bible study on “Glory Days.” Sunday, 9:50 a.m., worship; 11, Friendship Circle on “Transforming Love.”

— Pleasantville Free Methodist, Rev. Chuck Riel — Today, 6:30 p.m., worship team; 7:30, prayer meeting. Sunday, 8 a.m., prayer; 9:45, Sunday school; 11, worship.   

— Pleasantville Independent Baptist, Pastor Richard LaRocque — Tonight, 7, Bible study/prayer meeting. Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school for all ages; 11, worship with nursery available.    

— Full Gospel, Rev. Ben McCauley — Today, 6 p.m., prayer and Bible study. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Lord’s Extended Hand. Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship.      

— Shamburg Christian Church of God, Pastor Fred Frye — Sunday, 9:45 a.m., worship.     

— Grand Valley Methodist, Pastor Penny Helmbold — Tonight, 7, Bible study. Sunday, 10 a.m., worship; 11, Sunday school: 3 p.m., decorate for Bible school. Monday to Friday, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Bible school.    

Upcoming events

— The Second Harvest Mobile Food Pantry will be at the Pleasantville Fire Hall today. Those who registered for the food boxes can pick them up between noon and 1:30 p.m., but proof of residency is required. Appreciation is extended to Pleasantville Methodist Church for sponsoring this ministry.

— Revival services are being held this week at Church of Christ in Titusville. The services will begin at 6 p.m., and Thursday evening, there will be a film, “The Insanity of God.” Pastor Jim Moore invites the public to attend.   

— Pleasantville Senior Citizens will meet from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday at Pleasantville Community Church. All seniors are welcome to come for lunch, games and fellowship. Lunch is served for a donation, but reservations must be received by Monday. For more information or to sign up for lunch, call Ginger Mangel or Leona Burrows.    

— Many people look forward to Wesbury’s annual Chicken Barbecue & Craft Fair, which will be held this Sunday at the Wesbury retirement community on Park Avenue. The event will begin with a worship service at 9:45 a.m.. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., along with dinner, there will a car show, family fun zone, live entertainment and more. For more information, call Wesbury, at (814) 332-9712.    

— On Sunday, Pleasantville Presbyterian Church will have their second session of “God’s Super Heroes.” The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and all area children are invited to attend for Bible stories, games, crafts, snacks and more.

­— Ken Osbourne will give a concert this Sunday at Pleasantville Free Methodist Church. The concert will begin at 6 p.m., and Pastor Chuck Riel invites the public to attend.    

— Faith Community Church will have vacation Bible school next week. Sessions will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday with a Bible story, singing, crafts and snacks. All ages are welcome, but those age 4 and under must have an adult stay with them. For more information, contact Bert Drake.   

— Grand Valley United Methodist Church will also have vacation Bible school next week. Sanford and Enterprise joined with Grand Valley for “Journey with J. W.” Sessions will be held Monday through Friday, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and all area children are welcome to attend. Those attending will meet John Wesley and his family and friends, and they will make candles, saddle bags and more as they didi in the 1700s. For more information, contact Pastor Penny Helmbold or Amanda Ongley.  

— Sanford United Methodist Church will have a spaghetti dinner from 4 to 7 p.m., on July 29. The meal includes spaghetti with a choice of sauce, Italian bread, desserts and drink.

Birthday list

Special birthday greetings go to Dottie Grant, who will be 90+ on Saturday. Dottie grew up in Tidioute but graduated from Pleasantville High School and has lived most of her life in the Pleasantville area. She and her late husband, Al, raised four children. She worked at Sylvania for many years before retiring. Dottie has been a member of Pleasantville Methodist Church for many years, and was active in Women’s Club and the Alumni Association. We wish her a happy birthday.

May everyone have a wonderful day.

Nancy Mulvin can be reached at (814) 516-3787.

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