Puttin' on the Ritz

Phill Mellstrom invites us to consider how we can use music in mission as we welcome the Psalm Project to Scotland for a series of events.

So, if you read last week’s Different Voices blog, you will know about the Psalm Project worship events that are happening throughout Scotland, starting in Edinburgh on the 8th of August. This series of events is part of Mission and Discipleship's desire to resource churches and communities with opportunities to worship, learn and be involved in mission together.

The gigs are hosted by local congregations who are keen to engage with their communities and run various events to engage with them and build relationships.

It is at its heart a very simple premise. Find a band and put on a gig.

Perhaps you have experience of Organ Recitals or Messy Church. We have lots of resources available to explore ways of meeting in our communities and many skilled people who have organised recitals and choral and orchestral concerts. Greyfriar’s Kirk have their yearlong festival of the Arts and Worship ‘SPARK’ and many churches have an events program, but what else can we explore when looking to engage folks in our communities? There are lots of avenues to explore.

Open mic nights. Where local musicians and songwriters can come along and perform their music.

Perhaps hosting a ‘jam session’? If you have some confident musicians in your congregation who are willing to simply play with other musicians who are out there in your parish.

An evening of candle-lit coffee and chat with a jazz quartet providing a mellow musical backdrop?

For those who love their literature, how about a night of poetry or a book launch of a local author?

It really can be that simple. Find the things that connect a few folks and you can explore it to open up opportunities to have fellowship, to relate to one another and to begin or consolidate relationships. I have been involved in lots of different community based events in various churches: Gigs, art exhibitions and installations, craft fairs, Dads and Lads barbeques to name but a few. No need for overtly churchy stuff, no preach and no hidden agenda. Simply an opportunity to gather together, have coffee, listen to music, chat and grow relationships and community.

In the coming week we have the Psalm Project events running in several very different churches. These events will all have a unique flavour. Some will be more of a concert or recital feel. Some events will be more of a relaxed and informal night of music and conversation. Throughout the course of the next few weeks we will hear from some of the folks running and attending these events, gaining an insight into what they did and how successful they were.

There is also an Equip event in Oban on Saturday, 12th September which looks at creative and practical ways of engaging in mission. If you are interested in coming along to this event or your Presbytery hosting an Equip, you can email the Church Without Walls team or by visiting the events page.

And don’t forget, the Psalm Project events at the following venues:

Psalm Project and Satellite

Saturday, 8th August 7.30pm at Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh (with special guests ‘Satellite’)

Sunday, 9th August 7.30pm at Langside Parish Church, Glasgow (with special guests ‘Satellite’)

Monday, 10th August 7.30pm at St John’s Kirk, Perth

Wednesday, 12th August 7.30pm at St Andrews Parish Church, Arbroath

Phill Mellstrom is the Worship Development Worker for the Church of Scotland’s Mission and Discipleship Council. If you have any queries about resources or training options then you can contact him on 0131 225 5722 or by email.