Thousands tuned in to Tyndale’s 10th annual Christmas in the Chapel virtual benefit concert on Saturday for an evening of inspiration, hope, and song in a year that has been far from ordinary.
The event, graciously sponsored since its inception by La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries, began with a welcome address from Dr. Marjory Kerr, Tyndale's President and Vice Chancellor. “While we cannot be physically together, we still gather to enjoy the sounds of the season tonight because we know that Christmas is not bound by place or circumstances,” she said.
Dr. Kerr expressed gratitude for the support the concert has raised in previous years, helping to provide almost $1 million in student financial aid and resources to enrich student life at Tyndale each year. Gifts provided through Christmas in the Chapel directly support Tyndale students through scholarships and bursaries. Thanks to viewers, we’ve reached more than half of our $30,000 goal. Thank you! It’s not too late to support Tyndale students today!
The Tyndale Community Choir, a group of musicians from the Tyndale University community and the Greater Toronto Area community sang Ukuthula, a Zulu song of peace. Led by Dr. Melissa Davis, Tyndale’s Director of Music and Worship Arts, the choir, Tyndale Singers, and Tyndale Band drew audiences into worship throughout the concert with their superb vocals and symphony of praise.
Special guest Robert Pilon sang a beautiful rendition of "The Little Drummer Boy" accompanied by the Casual Order Drum Line, while walking toward the front of Tyndale Chapel, his eyes fixated on the cross.
Laila Biali provided comfort and toe-tapping cheer through her stellar performances of "Joy Medley" and "A Child is Born" and engaged with an enthusiastic chatroom. Tyndale was also honoured to be the first to exclusively debut Biali’s “Silent Night” music video.
Student testimonies expressed God’s goodness and gratitude for His overarching plan. Ruth Altaye (BA 2022) shared how God used her experiences encountering racism, marginalization, and the isolation of attending 14 different schools including Tyndale to shape her story.
“I realized I had a missional heart for people who were new,” she said. Altaye became a friendly face around campus, focusing especially on first-year students who didn’t know anyone and also serving as president of the Black Educators of Tyndale and as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council. She also found purpose in her work at "Generation Chosen", a nonprofit started by two former Tyndale students that aims to enhance the emotional intelligence of young adults from underserved communities.
“Thank you for supporting students like myself who want to make a change in the world they see today and make it better for the world to come,” she said.
Alireza Amani (MDiv 2021) shared how he came to know Christ. He was born and raised in Iran and decided to start a new life in Germany at 24 years old. Living on his own without the comfort of friends and family, his Christian neighbours reached out to him and changed his life.
"I prayed, 'God, I want to get to know you,' and He heard my prayer and started to do an amazing thing in my life." Amani desires to help newcomers—especially those from the Middle East—and Muslims know and experience God.
Christmas in the Chapel 2020 was an unforgettable evening of music, testimony, and the enduring message that God is faithful in all circumstances.