Pentecost today, so I referenced the Spirit and the Gospel to the nations at various points.
It was a good morning, but for whatever reason I never really felt the sense lift-off that we sometimes achieve.
Richard preached on sexual ethics from Deuteronomy. He emphasised grace. I only noticed as we were singing afterwards that a lot of the songs I'd chosen pointed towards a 'escaping this evil world' kind of response, which is not what I was aiming for at all.
That said, I was very glad to give 'Love divine' an airing. Wonderful lyrics, and I love Rowlands' tune.
'Trust in God' grounded us well at the end of the meeting. The second verse - "When the cares of life seem overwhelming" - always seems so practical.
A somewhat chaotic rehearsal this morning but a very lively meeting.
Baptisms always bring out the best in us as a church. It's partly the joy of celebrating with the baptisands and partly the reminder of salvation for all of us.
The band sounded amazing. That was the best version of 'O for a thousand tongues' we've ever run, which flowed well into a rousing 'All my days'.
Having used 'Let the weak' (our usual baptism song) quite a few times recently, I went for 'Thank you for the blood' after the baptism instead. It captured the atmosphere perfectly.
Ruth preached a hard sermon on using our power for justice. I had all kinds of songs prepped for response and in the end went fairly direct.
I know that 'God of justice' isn't everyone's favourite, but there really aren't many songs that could have better closed the meeting.
Started 1 May 2013
Reading for discussion with Tom. Subtitled 'Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation'. Very, very interesting so far.
I was a little distracted as I prepared this week. Lots else is going in life. But it was a good morning.
My new song 'We will trust in God' went well. That's twice I've run it. I normally reckon it takes three times before you know whether a song has clicked. I'm hopeful about it.
We said a sad farewell to worship leading comrades Phil and Robyn this morning. They're off to the Cotswalds. It's going to leave a big gap in our team. They've been excellent contributors over the years.
A good morning! Par for the course at the moment, thankfully.
I chose a slightly old school opening block. But there was freshness because we haven't used 'Let everything' much recently and 'Let the weak' usually only appears for baptisms.
I taught a new song I've been writing - 'We will trust in God our Saviour'. I was aiming for a big chorus and it certainly seemed to lift today. I've probably still got some lyrical refinements to make but it's close. I'll post a demo soon.
The new song led very well into 'Guide me O thou great Redeemer and 'Great is your faithfulness' drew the themes together after the sermon.
Easter Sunday is a gift for worship leaders. Every song takes on fresh life and richness with the resurrection so powerfully in mind.
There are a few great songs that we only sing on Easter Sunday. I started the morning with three of them. I was conscious of being a little unfamiliar with some of the lyrics, but they were as full of life as ever.
Ruth emphasised that the resurrection means anything is possible. Although 'Our God' doesn't have a very explicit Easter reference, it was the perfect start to our response.
A common complaint is that there aren't many contemporary worship songs about the resurrection. But the final three songs today are all very familiar at Kings and all have really strong resurrection lines. I think those lines just go by with less emphasis at other times of the year.
It was a joyful morning. People brought all kinds of prayers and Bible readings. The songs and singing were alive.
Christ is risen!
I've compiled a Spotify playlist of as many of the songs we sing at Kings as I can find. Spotify have just removed their 5-play limit on free accounts, so all the more reason to check it out.
Alive this morning! An incredibly uplifting atmosphere.
Three baptisms is always a good contribution. But everything clicked right from the off. I planned the opening set around celebrating salvation and there was tangible engagement in the room. The band sounded great and there were several excellent contributions from the floor.
It's a long while since I've led 'The Lord's my shepherd'. It felt fresh, and followed perfectly from the passages and prayers that people had called out immediately prior.
Richard Briggs managed a course through Mark 13 that took in Mothering Sunday, the fall of the temple in 70AD, the end of the world, and some sneaky U2 lyrics, leaving us on a strong note of hope.
I picked up in response with the second 'And' of the morning. 'And he shall reign' nicely echoed the themes of the passage.
We've used 'Remain' a fair bit over the last few months but that was my first time leading it. A great song, and a great note to end on.
More of all that, I say!
The meeting went well overall tonight, but I never really felt that I got a handle on it.
Plenty of people said encouraging things afterwards, so I know that the note of dissatisfaction is mainly my own issue. It makes me wonder whether getting to that point where the set clicks is more to do with how I feel personally rather than how the set has actually gone.
The song choices were fine. 'Adoration' into the chorus of 'Jesus, holy and anointed' was nice. We dwelt with 'Forever reign' for a while in response to the sermon.
I really wasn't playing and singing my best and there were a couple of niggles with things like the foldback speaker and the air conditioning fan right behind me.
It's been a relentless week, so part of it is probably just that I'm tired.
Anyway, I'm making more of it than I need to. The meeting was good, and my part went fine. Sometimes that's enough.
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