Back from Albania
We've just returned from teaching at the first week-long Albanian School of Worship. This was brilliantly organised by Beni and Irma Xhako, and was a real joy to be part of! We had the privelidge of working with over 20 students, ages ranging between 16-45. We taught a range of material, including stuff from our book How Would Jesus Lead Worship, Bible-based subjects we would usually do at a church training day, plus practical things such as guitar and voice sessions, band rehearsal skills and songwriting.
We've written some reflections which you can read here, based on our experiences and thoughts.
Here we would like to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who helped make this possible:
- everyone who supported financially through sponsorship, attending our gig or just by sending a cheque;
- Music and Worship Foundation, our employers, for supporting this above the amount given to make it happen;
- London School of Theology for releasing Sam for the week and supporting him;
- everyone who prayed - we saw some amazing protection and God's hand over the whole week;
- Beni and Irma, Aurel and Ana, and all of the Albanian staff and students who made the week such a joy.
Here is a pic of the students and staff:
There is such great potential which we believe God will release through these students - they have so much to offer musically, spiritually and in terms of leadership and evangelism. There are also dreams and plans for future conferences and events, so please pray for Beni and Irma as they seek God for the next steps.
Below are some pictures of the sessions and students. On the last morning we asked students to lead worship in groups and this was one of the highlights of the week - here is a short video showing their passion and joy in worship:
Student packs ready for collection; Beni welcomes everyone on the first morning:
Sara teaching with Irma translating:
Guitar workshop (following pictures by Aurel Duro):
Vocal workshop, Sara teaching, Aurel translating:
Recent news updates:
London School of Theology, where Sam works has programme leader of the Theology & Worship course, has been busy! He's just finished writing a module on Issues in Contemporary Christian Worship for the new MA in Integrative Theology, with options in Music & the Arts, and Christian Worship Studies. The LST Choir has just released a single called Voice (video below, single available from iTunes and other digital outlets). In the Autumn they will be releasing an accompanying set of interviews and study notes, so do look out for this! LST is also hosting two amazing conferences relating to music and songs...
We're looking forward to putting on a gig at The Greenhouse, Luton on 21st June, to raise money for our trip to Albania. We'll be going over in September to teach at a pioneering worship conference - for more info look here. The evening will feature Sara and Sam playing their acoustic performance stuff (Soundcloud demos here), plus some covers, and support and collaborations from our friends George Barnicote, Tom Green and Richard Morgan. The vibe will be chilled-out acoustic and it will be a great evening. Get tickets here. On Sunday 8th Sam completed the St Albans half marathon to raise...
We had a blast at #YWS14 this past weekend. There was such a great range of speakers, and we were encouraged to offer broad, creative worship with the engageband plus six London School of Theology Music and Worship students. All the talks went immediately on the YWS website, so if you missed it go and have a look! In case you were wondering, here are the songs and resources we used: We began with a simple version of 'Open the eyes of my heart' (shifting just from E to Bm, harmony geeks), and interspersed with this 'Open Up' prayer...
We're thrilled that Youthwork Magazine's reviewer (Gemma Wilkinson, a full-time youthworker in Newbury) gave our Engage with God DVD a five star review! She starts by saying that she was a bit disappointed to get this in the post as her previous experiences of this kind of resource has left her, and her young people "bored, embarrassed, or distracted. However," she continues, "I was in for a wonderful surprise." "Far from being boring, the videos are well paced and engaging. The content varies widely between movies, including a mixture of song, scriptre, reflection, Lectio Divina and spoken responses. Each video captured...
The Engage Worship Day on 15th Feb was a blast! 300 people decended on Luton for a day of exploring the theme 'engaging EVERYONE in worship'. Some highlights for me included: the whole congregation doing sign language along to Come You Thankful People; the Junk Tank percussion group, choir and orchestra making a joyful noise; a group of children who spontaniously began praying for healing for one lad; the BIG Ministries team making us laugh and think with their sketches; the whole range of ages,...