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Musical Chairs: Nova Scotia Church Starts the Year with Fun-Filled Fellowship


“You are a hammer or spatula,” Len Dieppeveen explained. In this full-contact game of Musical Chairs, competitors need to decide if their strategy will be to knock others out of the way or slip under them. 

This fun-filled game is a time-honored tradition at All Nations Christian Reformed Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia. While the exact details of its origins have been lost, it began more than 25 years ago to begin the new year enjoying fellowship as a church family.

This year’s victors were Mark Heerema (adult division), the recipient of the coveted trophy, and Stephanie Naerebout in the under-10 division. Their names were published on the church’s website, and they earned bragging rights for 2016.

“Stephanie’s older sister, Danielle, won last year, so all of us are wondering what those Naerebouts are doing to prepare for Musical Chairs. They have some secret,” said All Nation’s pastor David Vroege, who also claimed the championship for two consecutive years. 

Vroege said it’s an event where even the calmest of people become competitive. Stories about previous winners Lolita the Lion and Sidewalk Sam surface throughout the year, and former champions begin to taunt others weeks before the event.

“After one of the Diepeveens won one year, the next year at our equally crazy annual talent show that we have after our Advent potluck, the Diepeveen family got up front and sang ‘Diepeveen’ to the tune of ‘Silver Bells,’ singing their own glory and laying down the challenge for Musical Chairs,” said Vroege.

This intergenerational tradition is highly anticipated each year, according to Vroege. It’s a fun part of fellowship together as a church. 

“It really brings people together, especially the kids and teens. It’s our own thing,” he said. “It feels like ‘us.’ A lot of us need a super goofy thing after living through another tough year following Jesus in this hard world.”



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