Messiah College students are an instrumental part of summer programming
New Light's summer 2008 team: (from left to right) Becca Schubiger '11,
Matt Lamb '09, Melissa Shumaker '10, Paul Cohen '09, Becca Miller '10,
Abby Hoeck '09, and Tim Agnolutto '11,
From central Pennsylvania to Wisconsin, the seven students of New Light, Messiah College’s summer music ministry team, make themselves available to serve as worship leaders at camps, nursing homes, and sports games —to name just a few of their venues. So strong is their emphasis on servant leadership that this summer, they offered their time and energy at
the Urban Discipleship Center
in the Bronx , N.Y., to be used in whatever capacity needed, without a plan for a concert in sight.
“It’s definitely furthered my understanding of music as service,” says Abby Hoeck ’09, a church music major and New Light’s music director for the summer. She realizes that “worship is so much more than just the music that we’re singing.” Mentoring children and teenagers through summer camps is a form of worship, as is interaction with their audiences both before and after the concerts.
This is Hoeck’s second year with New Light, and she acknowledges that the experience of extensive travel, the pressure of constant performance, and the need to be spiritually unified as a team is challenging, but also rewarding. “Everybody’s in a different place in their walk,” says Hoeck, “and as we sharpen each other, we become a better ministry to the people that we’re working with.”
One experience in Hoeck’s first year with New Light epitomizes the kind of service the group hopes to offer to their audiences. “We had just finished a 45-minute concert at Paxton Ministries in Harrisburg, and everybody was leaving,” Hoeck says. “The woman who was our contact person brought a man down, and he was all upset because he missed our concert. And he loved Christmas, so we gathered around the piano with this guy, and he picked out all of his favorite Christmas carols, and we all sang 7-part harmony. . . It wasn’t our music. It wasn’t anything that was planned. It was being available to meet a need.”