The Marcus Green Big Band in full swing, roaring through Chris Tomlin's "Forever". It's a 'live' sound mix off the desk, so it's sadly light on the brass, and I over-sing hideously at the end, but for all that - you get the feel of what we did. Joy, joy joy! And Chris Gilligan's boogie-woogie piano break at 3'10" is worth the admission price all by itself.
Church as Church should be. O that we had a Big Band every Sunday! Though I might employ a staff arranger...
Speaking of church as church should be...
We had the Archbishop here yesterday morning for our Confirmation service; seven candidates - Alan and Joseph (father and son); Sam and Steph (husband and wife); Lisa and Linda (two mums); and Mark (student and regular contributor here). Someone commented that it was the "lowest" Confirmation service they had ever attended. With George on drums, and Matt Dwyer guesting on bass joing Dan, Kirsty and myself, we did have a great worship band, and even slipped in a little jazz during the service, plus the only robes in evidence were Barry's splendid golden ones... I felt we should be who we are.
And Barry was wonderful, as ever. He sent a lovely email today, in which he said, "I could quite get used to it!" He may have meant the renovations on the building, rather than the style of worship. He also gently pointed out that the Communion Service we use has now been replaced and we need to catch up!!! Absolutely. We'll do it immediately.
Speaking to Richard Wood, I repeated my admiration for Barry. He is a good man. Truly a Liberal in the church, but as an Evangelical, I find in him a godliness and a heart that longs for Christ, and I can only encourage my fellow Evangelicals to build relationship with him. He says "remarkable" things from time to time (things we would remark upon), after all he is a Liberal; but he is a good man and one who is no bete noir to us. Being Anglican should not make us fearful of each other but generous. If we look for evil anywhere we find it; how much better to take heed of St Paul's words - "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."
Barry & I will continue to be very different; and I will continue to pray for him, to be glad I don't have his job, and totally to respect a heart in which I see genuine godliness at work.
As a church we have been blessed for two weeks running with very special Sundays. I love this place. I love Sundays. I love coming here to worship Jesus. I am a lucky man.