Indonesian musician remembered for hymns, worship

July 13, 2010

GENEVA

Indonesian musician Christina Mandang, who died after a traffic accident while attending an international church gathering in Grand Rapids, Mich., has been praised for helping Christians in her country develop their own style of hymns and worship.

Mandang died on June 27 after a car struck her the previous evening during the founding meeting of the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

“Echoes of what a talented musician she is and … how much she has contributed to helping Indonesian churches bring their own [style] into the development of hymns and worship have been ringing all round,” WCRC general secretary the Rev. Setri Nyomi told ENInews from Jakarta, where he attended a July 10 memorial service for Mandang, and her burial the following day.

Mandang had been in Grand Rapids as a member of the team that led daily services for the “uniting general council” that created the WCRC as a merger of the Reformed Ecumenical Council and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

“The image that will stay in my mind for a long time is the joy with which she played the organ during the closing worship of the uniting general council on June 26, just a few hours before the accident,” Nyomi said in a tribute at the burial service on July 11.

Mandang was returning to the conference campus from a local restaurant when she stepped into the street to avoid a water sprinkler and was hit by a passing car. She was taken to hospital, where she died in the early hours of June 27.

Recalling many emails since the news of Mandang’s death, Nyomi said, “She is literally loved by hundreds of persons worldwide who she has touched, and through those hundreds has touched many thousands more.”

During the services in Jakarta, there were tributes to 38-year-old Mandang for mentoring new musical talent for the churches in Indonesia and for helping them to develop their own styles of hymns and worship.

“Indonesian churches will miss a very talented and dedicated creative person,” said the Rev. Wendy Tankersley-Kakerissa, dean in the Jakarta Theological Seminary, where Mandang was a lecturer in church music and worship.

Mandang, a member of the Protestant Church in West Indonesia, had studied music in her own country and in the Netherlands.

With some 230 member churches, the WCRC groups 80 million Protestants in 108 countries.

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