Music in Morning Worship

We are very blessed with the musicians and singers at St Matthew’s who lead our sung worship. Some of you will have noticed changes in the provision of that musical lead. These changes are evolving. The aim of them has been to increase diversification in music style within each service and involvement of more musicians in leading sung worship. The changes were inspired by a number of observations. Firstly, it was apparent that there was an unintended style division occurring between what we knew as band services and the others. There is a desire amongst all those in leadership to maintain our musical diversity; singing the best of the old and the new.

Secondly, it was increasingly apparent that much of the responsibility for musical worship was held by a few people who were working very hard whilst there were others with gifts who were not exercising them. The changes have begun to encourage the involvement of others and the development of their gifts.

Thirdly, there was a need to improve the unseen administration that enables the music to happen by spreading the load more widely.

Fourthly, the nature of the morning congregation is developing and worship needs to reflect that change and enable the whole congregation to worship together.

In the Autumn we held a meeting for all currently involved in music. Out of that meeting Richard Wheeler has taken some of the responsibility for administration alongside Stephen Browne. Richard has also taken on responsibility for music on two Sundays a month with Stephen Browne continuing on the other two. You will also have noticed new people involved in playing and singing including some of our young people which is wonderful to see. I want to say a big thank you to Richard for taking on this new role and especially to Stephen for his energy, skill and enthusiasm. We look forward to the future in their capable hands.

These changes will be reviewed at a meeting in March. If you have comments about our musical worship please pass them through the office or better still, speak directly to Mat, Stephen or Richard.

As I said this is an evolving change and we are all learning as we journey on. Do pray for, and give thanks for, our singers and musicians.

Mat Ineson

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Partnership Ash Wednesday Service

A preparation for Lent
President: Revd Mat Ineson
Preacher: Revd Dr. Rod Symmons

Redland Parish Church, Cotham Parish Church and St Paul’s Clifton will join with us for this service.

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February Letter from Mat

One of the great excitements at the moment is seeing people grow in their God given ministry in the life of the church. People newly involved in leadership of small groups, in leading worship, in children’s and youth work, in prayer and many many other things. There are currently ten people on the new Growing Leaders course being run with Redland and I hope that that will help all of us in our ministry. We are growing in numbers and in depth. Praise God!

I am, however, aware that much of our growth to date has been internal church growth. One of our challenges is to see new people come to faith in Christ Jesus.

In 1 Peter 2Open Link in New Window, Peter writes to the church,

“you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you might proclaim the mighty acts of Him who called you out darkness into His marvellous light.”

You (plural) are a royal priesthood. Interestingly in the New Testament the only time the word for priest is used it is either about Jesus or about the whole people of God. In Peter’s Jewish understanding priesthood was about two things. Priests had access to God by God’s grace, and priests performed acts of worship to proclaim God’s glory and seek forgiveness for all people. And it is that role that he describes for the whole church. What does that mean for each of us in our everyday life? Where are those opportunities to proclaim, speak about and demonstrate faith so that others may see and be drawn to Jesus Christ? Are we seeking the help of the Holy Spirit in that work? And what does that all look like?

Throughout the coming weeks and especially through Lent we have tried to design sermons and Wednesday evening groups that will help us in this, input that will help us all to take risks for God, trusting in the Holy Spirit to work through us. (More details to follow.) Many of you will know my prayer is that St Matthew’s would become a priesthood of all believers, a Holy Spirit filled body of Christ where everyone plays their part in proclaiming the glory of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe that that is where God is calling us. Exciting, isn’t it!

Mat

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Holy Communion Café Service

Christianity from Scratch taster parts 7 and 8
Sacrements and Final Questions
Come at 18:45 for Coffee and Cake
President: Revd Mat Ineson
Preacher: Vicky Wright

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