Monday, 15 March 2010

Music in Worship Week, Whitby

From 7th-12th April, Roger, Mary and Helen made their way up to Whitby and were joined there on team by Andrew Lockwood and Jonathan Chappell. This has been our annual trip to Moorlands Hotel in Whitby, one of the Christian Guild chain of hotels. In the past we have had Mike and Barbara Rowarth as an important part of the team, but this time they were sadly unable to make it.
Instead of learning a musical in a week, this time we decided to focus on music in worship, as we often have a number of local preachers and worship leaders among the group. This meant that in the weeks leading up to the week, Roger and Helen were beavering away on a teaching schedule and workshops, that will hopefully prove useful into the future.

There were about 20 guests (not bad for off season) staying at the hotel, and one of the lovely things about this week is that we have a number of people come in from the local area for the different sessions, including Helen Drummond, a local URC minister.

After dinner on Sunday we held a short introductory evening involving some praise and worship, an explanation of the plan of the week, and a lovely epilogue from Jonathan.

On Monday we began the week's teaching plan which focused on different worshippers in the bible. This first morning after worship led by Roger, Helen spoke on King David, focusing on the passage from 2 Samuel 6 which includes the famous verse "And I'll become even more undignified than this." During this session Andrew sang 'See how he dies on a cross' and we finished up with a simple block of worship songs to put the theory into practice. After this session we had a practical workshop looking at how to plan 'praise blocks' and why it is good to include them in a service. After a free afternoon and then dinner, we watched a wonderful DVD together - "Everything is Spiritual" by Rob Bell - highly recommended!

On Tuesday Mary led the worship and then Roger took over the bible teaching duties. This morning he looked at Mary the mother of Jesus, taking examples from the annunciation and the magnificat to describe the way she worshipped. Roger continued after the coffee break with a workshop on leading praise, and the guests got into groups and chose their own worship blocks. Gill and Barrie were the two guinea pigs who allowed us to test out their excellent worship-leading skills. In the evening we had 'An evening with Helen' which included singing some rounds and looking a bit at the history of singing. The evening included Andrew singing 'You raise me up' and Mary concluding the evening by singing 'Your eye is on the sparrow' - written right back in 1904.

On Wednesday Helen led worship and then Roger spoke about Jehoshaphat, particularly focusing on the story found in 2 Chronicles 20. After the break Helen, Andrew and Roger shared duties leading a new songs workshop. The workshop included some from Roger's new book 'The Roger Jones Song Collection' as well as some from Spring Harvest 2009. In the evening we had 'An evening with Roger', in which Roger told some of his testimony, and shared some of his passions in life.

On Thursday, our last complete day at Whitby, Andrew led worship in the morning and Roger spoke on Peter - but not the talks he has been using for the Rock Roadshows. Instead this time he looked at the story of the transfiguration. The morning's workshop was a Holy Spirit ministry session, and guests did a wonderful job ministering to one another after a little bit of teaching and instruction. We hope and pray this was a real blessing to each person. In the evening we had our service which included the sharing of bread and wine, and Jonathan had his chance to lead some worship.

Then on Friday after breakfast we packed our bags and headed home after a wonderful week. Sadly, this is to be our last week at Whitby as the hotel has unfortunately had to close. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the staff at this difficult time.

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