June 15th, 2024

The Common Cup to grace McKillop Wednesday


By Troy Bannerman - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on November 26, 2022.

McKillop United Church will be hosting The Common Cup on Wednesday, a Christian music group that have been touring Canada since 1982.

“We got started in Winnipeg in ’82 because the original four of us were all ministers in downtown churches,” said member Rev. Bob Wallace. “Near to each other, and all discovered that we played music, and enjoyed doing some of the newer styles. So we got together, and you know how it goes.”

He noted this was something of an anniversary tour celebrating their 40th year as a group. Over the years they’ve lost a couple of the founding clergymen and replaced them with laypeople. Although the group started in downtown Winnipeg the members are now very spread out.

“Our keyboard player comes in from Pictou County, Nova Scotia. And our drummer comes from Edmonton, and our base player from Calgary, and I’m here in Lethbridge, and the other guitar player, and soloist and song writer is in Kamloops.”

In speaking about their music, which falls into the easy listening category, Rev. Wallace stated “the music represents a kind of inclusive language feel where God is not always in masculine imagery, and things like that. Which is not always accepted in some denominations.”

The group has seen a rise in listeners over the course of the pandemic as congregations all over the world switched to streaming music for their online services to meet the demands of COVID restrictions. As a result of a surge in royalties, the McKillop will be receiving 70 per cent of the ticket sales to benefit their community outreach and support projects.

“We’ve left it up to each of the congregations to decide where they would focus their fundraising towards. I know that when we were in Kamloops last September the focus of the event went to raising funds for ‘Out of the Cold’ a program there to handle and work with homeless. So, we’ve kind of let the congregations make a choice because it’s better than us saying, ‘This is our project and you raise funds for it.'” said Wallace.

Rev. Wallace would also like attendees to know that he is hoping that this will be more of a sing-a-long concert with songs taken from newer hymn books from various Christian denominations.

When it comes to worshipping at McKillop he stated, “It’s a great congregation to worship in and they have a lot of interest in reaching out to the community, particularly the LGBTQ2S folk. So, their outreach work is pretty strong.”

The concert is set for 7 p.m. in McKillop United Church, followed by a reception in the church hall.

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