Engage Day 2015 report

On Slowing Down to Be Still

Written By:
Sam Hargreaves
It was such a joy to lead the Engage Worship Day on Saturday 21st Feb, 2015.  We had felt God lead us to a theme of Slow Down: being still to know that God is God.  And in the process we did all we could to simplify, de-stress and trust God for the day.  The fact that we could delegate roles to a great team of leaders and volunteers also made a huge difference - so thanks to all who played a part!
It has been really encouraging to recieve emails and facebook messages from guests, including these:
  • "Thanks to all involved in producing and delivering today's conference.  Our group... thoroughly enjoyed the day and we're inspired to take lots of new ideas back to base. A really good day. Bless you, Philip"
  • "Great day, a privilege to be there. Thank you both and all the lovely people who helped make it happen. It resonated as honest, congruent, encouraging, confirming and deeply godly. Lots of love, Judith"
  • "Just had to say a big thankyou for organising the fantastic day at Stopsley. As much as the great workshops, I have got so much from the worship...   Really moving. Great music, meaningful words... Phil"
One guest also wrote this blogpost - if you weren't there this is a pretty great summary!
Resources we used
We opened with this video, and then sang:
  • "Be still and know that I am God" from the Iona Community, over the track Abeyance by Daniel Brooks;
  • "Open the eyes of my heart", just the verse, over the chords E2, Bm7;
  • that song was interspersed with an adapted version of our Open Up prayer;
  • then we sang "Praise to the Lord" - using the slightly updated lyrics (see the book Hymns for Today's Church) and the Christy Nockles 'Alleluia' refrain.
Sara led a guided meditation on the story of Elijah in the cave, which you can download here.  She then taught off the back of this on the subject of being still, and looking for God not in the loud, successful or impressive but in the 'still, small voice'.
We responded by singing:
  • "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind", using the Jubilate lyrics.  We changed the third line of the last verse to "Be all our weary hearts require", because we felt the original had a rather gnostic suggestion to it...
  • Sam led a confession using clenched fists, rather like this one;
  • "The Lord is gracious and compassionate" by Graham Ord was sung to receive God's forgiveness;
  • we closed this section with Matt Redman's "The Heart of Worship", entirely a capella.
Sam gave some practical teaching on stripping down church worship, introducing simple spritual disciplines into worship, and developing healthy habits. We closed by singing "Breathe on me breath of God" (again, Jubilate updated lyrics).
In the closing session we opened with Sam's "Praise the Lord Alleluia" song.
Roger led a scratch choir singing "Calm Me Lord" by Margaret Rizza.
As a response to the talk we sang Stuart Townend's "The Lord's My Shepherd" and Matt Redman's "Even though I walk".  We closed the day watching the video of "May the Lord Bless You", which is available as a video here, or on the Engage With God DVD.  You can also get the track and music from RESOUNDworship.org

Sam co-leads engageworship.org with his wife Sara. He completed the LST degree in Theology, Music and Worship, and an MA in Contemporary Worship from Kings College London. He was Programme Leader for the LST Theology and Worship course and now teaches as a guest lecturer there. He also co-leads the RESOUNDworship.org worship song website, and has led musical and creative worship at events like Spring Harvest, Youtwork Summit and Greenbelt. Sam and Sara's book 'How would Jesus lead worship' was published by BRF in 2009.

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