Back on site!

I am once again sitting in the corner of Comms late at night, but with a very different computer from last year.  The benefits of upgrading to a Mac!

Last night I met Mel Barnes at the airport.  It had been 15 months since she had been here at all, and 2 years since I had last seen her at Summer Madness 2005.  The plane was an hour late, but it was still great to see her – and she was more than slightly warmly welcomed on site yesterday.

I deliberately went home last night, not having packed, and still having things to deal with before moving.  The legendary Paul Rowden collected me from Bangor this morning and took me and all my gear (including my bike) to Summer Madness.

Having done a little work (painting), and sorted out Powerpoint for More and Staff Worship, and now it’s time I went to bed.  Oh for some supper!

SM Confidential… or not

This time last year I was sitting in Comms what to write in my blog about what had been happening on site that day (the Monday) – this year I’m sitting at home sleep and work tomorrow (besides wondering what address I’m sending some photos I took while I was in England to!) before I meet Mel at the airport tomorrow and hit the site.

I’ll be trying to tell the story of SM 07 through pictures this year – once my website starts behaving. Plenty of words too to watch here, I’m really looking forward to it.

Bruised but not broken!

This evening I decided to cycle over to my grandma’s and sort out the TV in her bedroom. Except I didn’t get very far…

Cycling into Bangor Town Centre, I rear-ended a Peugeot 306 which had stopped waiting to turn left into a narrow entry, and knocked in his rear windscreen, falling off my bike and landing on my left shoulder, picking up quite a few cuts and bruises.

My front wheel is badly bent, which will cost me £25, plus I need to get the frame checked out. Then I have to pay the car driver’s excess of £60 to keep the police happy, perhaps also part of the no-claims he’ll lose.

My mum picked me up and took me to the Ulster Hospital, where they decided I haven’t broken anything and sent me home with instructions to take painkillers as necessary. I was in and out inside 20 minutes, which is impressive – helped by only getting as far as Triage! I actually spent longer cleaning myself up (and being cleaned up at Domino’s Pizza where the accident happened), between cleaning the worst cut (very shallow) and just generally washing.

Hopefully I’ll be able to play piano in the morning, otherwise it could be very interesting!

The last Sunday

Hmm. Sounds more final when I put it that way, when it’s only the final Sunday in one place for one person. Even then, it was actually the final Sunday there for one other person too.

Right. Back to posting instead of waffling only marginally incoherently.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m now the regular pianist in Strand Presbyterian Church in Connsbrook Avenue, having been given the job in mid-May. However – I hadn’t had the chance to go back and say goodbye to the Church of the Resurrection, due to busy Sundays (Friends of the Centre service on the 20th and Global Day of Prayer on the
27th) so I only got back two days ago.

It was more than a little unusual as services go. The music was skewed towards the end of the service, as I wanted a particular set of songs towards the end, and at the last count we had 15 songs and pieces of sung liturgy – which is a lot – of which I played 10 on piano and the rest on bass. They were:

Holy holy holy, Lord God almighty
Gloria in Excelsis (like the other bits of liturgy, music written for the band by Tony Carver)
How great is our God
Lord, I come to you
Men of Faith
You never let go
Sanctus (by Tony)
Let our praise to you be as incense
Lord’s Prayer (both by Tony)
The Lord’s my shepherd
Act Justly (written by myself)
Blessed be your name
Be thou my vision (omitted because we were running VERY late…!)

Musically, it was a rather large party. Tony took the first half of the service, handing over to Paddy to take Communion, and played the Sanctus, Let our praise, the Amen and the Lord’s Prayer himself. I played bass for Blessed be your name, which we did with
guitars and djembe only.

All but one of the song choices were my own, the other one being Let our praise. The common theme that runs through nearly every song from Lord I come to you onwards is God’s faithfulness, protection, comfort and strength, strands that run through my
life and that God has used to hold it together through very dark times. I had difficulty singing in places as a result – there are bits of loads of those songs which make me cry.

We prayed for me during the service, which was an important part of me leaving and being sent – so I no longer belong to the Res, but on the other hand, I know I have a place there where I can go and hide and relax with friends and worship God. It’s been a great place for me, and as I step forward, it’s actually quite exciting, despite the
challenges I face at Strand.

And a really cool thing to finish off… I was given a present just before the service. I opened up a book token and thought “£25… how nice”.  Then I realised there were two more behind it – I turned and looked bewildered at Paddy.  I know I was liked and appreciated at the Res, but for it to translate into such a very generous gift (plus a £5 Wesley Owen voucher) is absolutely amazing.  God is amazing.