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Former Alice Focht Memorial UMC praise team continues singing after church closed

Former Alice Focht Memorial UMC praise team forms the group ‘Threefold Blessing’

By Rebecca Blanchard, The Boyertown Area Times

Friday, January 19, 2018

Sometimes when one door closes, another one opens.

When Alice Focht Memorial UMC closed in April 2017, the church’s praise team decided to continue onward.

Pam Reed, Carole Cyktor, Rich Bowden and Jen Beistline Bowden make up the praise team“Threefold Blessing.”

“Our church closed in April 2017. Since then, several churches in the area have reached out to us and asked us if we want to sing at their church,” said Cyktor.

The group has been traveling to different churches in addition to local gatherings such as the Exeter Holiday House Tour. Cyktor said the group didn’t get back to singing right away.

“For the first couple of months, we didn’t sing and we really missed it. One of girls said that she missed it, and the rest of us felt the same way. So we just thought we would try to stay together and see if anyone was interested in having us at our church.”

They started with a few people knowing about them, since then they have performed at several local churches.

“We were pretty busy over the holidays,” said Cyktor. “We’re continuing this year. We practice about once every other week.”

The group sings acapella and also sings to accompaniment. St. Paul’s UCC in Birdsboro has provided the group with space to practice.

“We really enjoy singing praise songs, and other people and churches seem to enjoy listening to us,” Cyktor said.

The song “Jesus Messiah” is their favorite song to sing. “It’s our specialty,” said Cyktor. “We actually have many songs. We sang for several years as a praise team at Alice Focht before it closed, so we practiced a lot of songs.”

The name “Threefold Blessing” has a special meeting. She explained how the four group members were each church leaders at Alice Focht UMC. When the church closed, they began the process of going through all of the papers and files.

“The one thing that we kept finding over and over was the ‘threefold blessing,’ it’s like a prayer. It’s taken from Numbers in the Bible. It kept appearing.”

The verse reads “The Lord bless you and keep you — the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

They thought there was something to it, and so they decided to use that as the inspiration for the name of the group.