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Music motivation

Music motivation
October 20, 2019 Hilary Evans

Music in several forms has been a strong element in the last week or so. Last weekend members of Southampton District gathered in my home church to celebrate the commissioning of a new District President, Irene Bourne. Irene was keen to have a climate change, eco friendly theme for the day and asked me to speak on the topic, and chose accompanying hymns to reinforce the message that we all need to help reduce our impact on the planet and care for God’s creation. The new partnership linking Methodist women of the District with Fiji was launched to raise funds to provide two boats for two small Fijian villages, so that when the waters rise they can reach safety. A Fijian choir had been invited to sing to support the launch. They arrived in traditional bright print costume, with family members wearing clothes of the same pattern. Their singing, accompanied simply by a tambour or triangle was beautifully harmonised, their voices blending into one rich sound. Amongst them were a number of children, even the youngest joining in and clapping in time to the rhythm. A real gift to the day.
Then a short video arrived featuring my eldest grandson, who is nine. He has been learning clarinet for about two years, and was playing along to a tune by George Ezra, a popular musician. Another treat.
Yesterday I attended the Evangelism and Growth consultation meeting at Methodist Central Hall. As we entered the hall the Birmingham jazz group were playing. I couldn’t stop my feet tapping, and the morning worship was exciting, and joyful as 250 or so Methodists from across the country raised their voices. The music helped to set the tone for the day, and interspersed the ‘business’ of the workshop discussions, allowing time to reflect, and to respond in a different way. Many ideas and comments were generated, and I feel for whoever will be correlating all the responses put onto post-its – they have a significant task ahead. We are promised a new strategy for British Methodism at Conference 2020. There is no doubt in my mind that there is change in the wind of Methodism. The coming months and years could be an exciting time. There appears to be a readiness for renewal in many part of our church, seeking the energy that the Spirit can provide to spread the message of Jesus. Let us pray that we will find ways to serve God that are relevant to our present society, and which will bring all generations together in support of one another as well as our communities.