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A method in the madness?

Methodism and the Cornish Miner: a worthwhile read of you have 30mins.

I was given this pamphlet recently by a friend of a friend. It was produced in 1960. It’s the type of thing that could easily Have been lost! I found it a worthwhile short read -but then again I can identify with being brought up in the 70s in the pews of Cornish Methodism.

This account details how at a certain point in history, the church and its activities had a great effect… (?)

Even if you have no spiritual life/faith, Christian ideas have always given practical advice about how to handle failure, dejection and loss… etc.

It may be no accident that the huge increase in the incidence of common mental health issues seems to coincide with the decline of religion in the West and the loss of a whole tradition experienced in dealing with, if not answering, life’s unanswerable questions. There might be extreme misdirection but there might be also valuable insights offered by Christian teaching if you can fend off the theological language and hoopla in which it’s dressed.
Download a scanned copy here – GDRIVE link: Methodism and the Cornish Miner

Download a scanned copy here – DROPBOX link: Methodism and the Cornish Miner

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More Seasonal Sounds…

Further to the post last month: Good Old Sing 

Some great audio recordings with videos have been posted to YouTube of a few of the other songs in the concert. Well done all!

And a big thank you to Keith Tonks and Steve Johnson for compiling them!

Global Harmony is a mixed a cappella world music choir based in Melton Mowbray, UK.

If you fancy it go and join them!

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…with you in the sun!

Just had to share this: Tim  Minchin’s stuff is quite brilliant and this one’s another corker

You can’t beat a good old SING!

Global Harmony is a mixed a cappella world music choir based in Melton Mowbray. I’ve been part of GH since 2008. Last week we had a great Christmas Concert at St Mary’s Church in Melton!

Above is a recording of  ‘the blokes and Vera’ singing the traditional Croatian song ‘U poju se mala’.
(Photo from last year)

Rough Translation:
In the field, a little, Orange tree is swaying. It’s not because of the wind, a little, Nor for the bright sun.
But a maiden, a little, In a great sorrow, For her mother, a little, Is giving her to a widower.

Below is a video of the choir singing ‘Kakilambe’, an African ritual dance tuneThis name is also used to refer to different percussion patterns in African music.
It really is a great experience to be part of Global Harmony over the last few years. It truly is a privilege and a joy to experience and be able to sing with such a vibrant bunch!  It is perhaps only as a collective that the human spirit really excels.

If you live near Melton and fancy a challenge on Monday evenings, come along!  www.globalharmony.org.uk

Distant seasoning… drawing nearer…

That time of year again… when things hint at becoming sparkly, spiced and warming… (that’s if you can find your waythrough the froth, the jingle-jingle and the plastic saturnalia).

But if you fancy something different in December and you’re near Melton on 10th, comeand listen to the unaccompanied sounds of Global Harmony in the seasonedsetting of St Mary’s Church Melton.

If you’ve not heard Global Harmony before check out; a bit of audio.  You get a taste from the above, but there’s nowt quite like the real thing – if something a little different is your cuppa tea that is (with a hint of rooibos perhaps)!  I’m digressing and waffling again… or am I waffgressing… ?

Anyway… Global Harmony .

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Talking a bath!??

I recently asked, what is “this”…
We have an urge to do “this”, to look further, to ask and to share, to grow to be thankful…
“This” is ultimately fulfilling, enriching and purging…
It’s not interested in assumptions and restrictions…
It can be vibrant and effervescent as well as reflective and contemplative…
It can focus goodness and growth and transform decay and death…
It’s more than that…
It’s fecundity, nurture, and cleansing
It’s for the multitude and the you…
What am I…?
 
And a friend answered… “a bath?” This made me smile ‘cos to a certain extent it was a right answer. Humm….

The above was actually my initial response to the question in a contemporary context what is “worship”?
Do what?.. to celebrate… simulate… reflect a bigger picture, of the right-eous, the essence of life and growth… of a god?
With a post-evangelical, post-‘churchless-faith’ mindset, I’m afraid I find myself having to start with a blank page.
I have found past experiences of Christian subcultural behaviour to ultimately be disappointing, distracting and unhelpful.
I’ve entertained various approaches and seen vibrant and effervescent celebrations as well as reflective and contemplative encounters and will agree that goodness can be focused, shared and grown in many Christian meetings, however sometimes meetings can become self-fulfilling.

 

Clubs are all well and good but to me the idea of celebrating the essence of a God-centered truth should be more than a club activity.
I hoped real living life might lead to a truer worship than some labeled coded activities – but alas individualism is ultimately ‘in vain’…
 
‘In vain’ we individually search for sense, reason, peace and ‘more’ – but often on our terms. I do wish to look further than myself but as you might expect it seems impossible for one to see beyond what one can see – especially when ones experience of others is disappointing, distracting and unhelpful.
But the interaction between things is what makes them fecund, or as someone else once put it ‘where two or more a gathered, there will I be there also’ – I agree we need to meet and share to feed the multitude… but I’m not sure we need to sing “shine Jesus shine”… ?
 
I’m going for a bath.

Don’t listen to the words, listen to the…

Hummm… nowt sp’cific to say… however…

We’ve started back with Global Harmony this week, which will be my 4th year with them – time flies.
What I enjoy about GH is the ‘expressive’ experience – ‘meaning’ comes later. This idea sort of harmonises with my recent encounters with ‘awareness‘ etc. Drop the baggage and dance dude!

I enjoy much of the eclectic offerings from BBC Radio 3’s ‘Late Junction’, I enjoy the ‘hopelandic’ non-language of Sigur Róss, and find some of Bugge Wesseltoft’s musical language enchanting(?)…
I guess it’s the sound/s, rhythms and unorthodox mixes and ideas/feelings that they evoke… yes, it’s hard to drop cultural accretions but music or “new sounds” can be a start to ‘something new’.

The ‘world sounds’ that GH choir ‘play with’ are a breath of fresh-air in the polluted saturated world of signification that we encounter daily… the harmonies, resonances and layering that the MD introduces really do have something even though no meaning us readily clear to us. I find this is possibly more often encountered in rehearsals than in scheduled performance – pressure related i guess. Often the sounds are hypnotic and the parts really dance with each other.

I’ve always been interested in the idea of ‘free play’ as the creative tool and perhaps the choir, although structured, touches on this. We definitely experience ‘free’dom and also ‘play’(dom).

Bring it on?