Lockdown has given us the impetus to do some serious recording. With a heavy live gigging schedule with both Silverthorn and Metanoia, Ruth and I talk about “finding the time to record” but in reality, you need an extended period of time to do it.
This week we took our favourite hymn* and did a full on Metanoia production of it.
With a distinct lack of drummers in our house, we created them from scratch ourselves one afternoon in software. Then guitars, bass and vocals and the addition of a crowd shouting faintly in the background.
I think we successfully channeled the spirit of Britain in 1977.
We’ve been talking on messenger about our next lockdown project. We think we can work out how to get CJ on drums and Bex singing backing vocals all through the power of the internet. Watch this space!
There has been a lot of ink spent on Dominic Cummings in the last few days. One curious aspect of the debate is for his right leaning apologists to silence the voice of Christians by citing “forgiveness”. “You are a Christian. That’s not very forgiving”.
At the heart of the Christian Faith is repentance, or in Greek, metanoia. Turning your life around. Giving up the old ways and pledging to take a new, better path in the future. This is where forgiveness is transformative.
So what has this all got to do with Cummingsgate? Here we have someone who broke the social contract that we share with one another. We keep it because we are protecting not ourselves but others. And Cummings has highlighted that there are an elite among us for whom the rules do not apply. Their social contract is different. It is a contract that applies to others but not themselves. In this case, it is a social contract shaped by Cummings that was applied to the rest of us. And this is the rub. Rules created by the elite but not for the elite. And when exposed and challenged, this disingenuous cabal of the ruling classes close ranks to protect one of their own.
In tonight’s Yorkshire Evening Post there is a moving letter from a bereaved woman who has lost her brother. Her story is one of betrayal. A betrayal by the ruling classes who who have the brass balls to flat out lie through press briefings rather than hold their hands up and admit to making an error.
“All I wanted and needed from the government was an acknowledgement and apology that this trip was made with poor judgement.”
So yes, this is a point at which we need to examine the Christian values of forgiveness and repentance. We need to regard how they provide us with a lens through which we can examine the actions of those who govern us. For repentance, that life changing metanoia holds us all to account and shapes the future we walk into.
Lockdown has taken away so much of our day to day life. Not least of which is music. We are usually live in front of an audience playing in rock bands Silverthorn and Metanoia at least once a week and losing that has been hard.
That said, there is a huge creative opportunity that has opened up to us through this. We have been really getting to grips with the home studio. For years we have been saying that we wish we had time to do things like this video of Blessed Be Your Name. Bailey asked if he could sing a song at Holy Nativity’s online service and this is our second effort.
With all of the recordings we have done in the past with Metanoia, the predominant factor has been deadline. 3am working out how to get things mixed for the next day. Lockdown has given us time to really explore things creatively and work out how we work best together.
I’d better go and crack on with this week’s project….
We have all given up so much in the last couple of months. However, there is one thing I’ve managed to gain from all of this. The opportunity to begin recording some music. As all of our live gigs have disappeared we have been turning to Pro Tools.
When we were asked “Can I sing on Easter Day, I was supposed to be doing it in church” it got us thinking. How do you do it via the internet?
This is one of our young people singing into his phone with me and Ruth backing. Each of the parts done in one take so it feels a bit more…. live.
This is something Ruth and I recorded a couple of years ago to use in online worship. We used it as part of our Stations of the Cross service on YouTube this afternoon. The Jesus Film footage is very kindly being allowed for use in online worship. I made contact with them and filled in the necessary forms. This crisis is really showing the best in people. The number of resources people are giving away free is amazing.
On my mammoth to do list is a half written blog post about how this current crisis is disproportionately affecting the poor. Fortunately, this thirty second clip sums it up far more succinctly than I was managing.
This isn’t my usual kind of post. For many of us, we’re the webmaster of our church website. I use WordPress for all of my sites and link to a google calendar which posts all of our events to the front page in a widget.
When I realised our website was still displaying all of our regular events from lunchclub to Rock Mass I started to delete them from the calendar. Unfortunately it just kicks the problem down into the future. And what do you do if you delete all of the events and then we start them all back up again.
Go to google calendars and create a new calendar. Call it something cheerful like Covid19 calendar. Put any events you are hosting online in there. Put a description including a link to where it can be found.
Copy and paste the link to the new calendar into the widget on your site. Instead of showing the regular calendar, it will now just show your new events.
When all of this is over you can swap it back around and all of your regular programming will still be visible and you won’t have to recreate it all.
The last, and possibly most important step is to go to your diary app on your phone and uncheck the calendar of regular events. Now you can’t see all of the events you would normally have been holding in church. All of those constant reminders are safely out of your workspace but not deleted when you need them in the future.
Welcome to a bit more space in your mental health.
This is an easy idea for a prayer station based around some French sweets.
Ruth and I have spent a lot of time in France. Every time we are there we come back with a few bags of these sweets. I decided to make a prayer station out of them this year for the Estates Evangelism Task Group gathering a couple of weeks ago. I intended to leave it on the table in the bar for anyone to engage with.
I found it unopened in my bag when I got home. There was so much to do I completely forgot about it. Perhaps I’ll take it to church this Sunday. This weekend marks 1 year since General Synod made it’s commitment to our estate parishes. What better way to mark it than with the song Mary sang whilst Jesus was within her womb?
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; •
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
day all generations will call me blessed; •
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.
He has mercy
on those who fear him, •
from generation to generation.
He has shown
strength with his arm •
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,
the mighty from their thrones •
and lifting up the lowly.
filled the hungry with good things •
and sent the rich away empty.
He has come
to the aid of his servant Israel,•
to remember his promise of mercy,
made to our ancestors, •
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.