We’ve Moved

We’ve moved…

Over the course of the last few years The SutherlandsTM have grown a variety of online presences for various different things.  Both of the bands have websites.  We’ve got Facebook pages, twitter accounts and so on.  In an attempt to try and pull things together I’ve moved us to a self hosted site at http://changingworship.com.  We’d love it if you would update your links.  With any luck WordPress.org will keep redirecting people to it in the future but if you want to follow our little corner of cyberspace on some form of blog reader you may want to use the new address.  I’d hate for you to miss out on anything controversial we may over the coming years say like “bottom”.

Yeah, I know the new site doesn’t have a proper theme yet but Rome wasn’t built in a day….

The Bishop’s Announcement

The Reverend Robert Sutherland, currently Assistant Curate, Morley Team Parish to be Vicar of Illingworth and Mixenden.

Details of Robb’s installation and induction will be announced at a later date.

In many ways this past week and today have been a bit of a blur.  The announcement was made by the church warden this morning and I am a little overwhelmed by the support that everyone has shown Ruth and me.  We have loved being part of the community here in Morley throughout my curacy and we are ever thankful for the immense love and support that we have been shown.

I’m looking forward to the challenges of my new role as we become part of the community in north Halifax.

Vicar of The Orks!

I’m currently at the point in my curacy where you contemplate the future and a possible new post somewhere else.  Bryony sent me this instagram photo via twitter simply entitles “Is this a job for you?”

Yes.

Entertaining Angels

 

Three years ago I was released from theological college into an unsuspecting world.  The bishop placed his hands upon me in the cathedral and my life changed forever.

I’d like to tell you that I was instantly transformed into a confident and competent minister at that very moment.  The truth of the matter is that I was a very daunted and bewildered young man wondering what the future may hold.  What was God thinking sending someone like me?  What if I made a complete mess of things?  What if I wasn’t on the same page as everyone else?

One of the first things I did in my mew role as a minister was attend a day long meeting in which we were invited to discuss one of the key roles of the church.  During that meeting I spoke at some length with an older cleric who listened patiently to my thoughts, views and beliefs about the issues of the day.

Those of you who know me will know that I can be quite animated in my dialogue.  It is something that causes me constant internal struggle.  It certainly isn’t what the wider world expect of the clergy in The Church of England ™.  I recall putting forth my opinions about what I believed to be “the heart of the gospel”.   The older cleric said some words that I in my insecurity took to heart;

It is heartwarming to hear you say this.  don’t ever lose the passion that you have for the gospel.  As the church faces the future we need more people speaking out about where the heart of our faith lies.

I thought no more about it but those words have stuck with me.  They offered reassurance as I came to terms with the plastic collar I now found myself wearing.  They have enabled me to develop a sense of authenticity about who I am as a person and the priest that I am called to be.

Forgive me for skipping forward three years.  This morning I was asked to look something up on the internet.  As google pulled up the results I found myself staring into that familiar face of three years ago.  The cleric who spoke words of reassurance at the point where I needed to hear them was staring back out of the monitor at me.  There was of course a notable difference in the image I was looking at.  This cleric was wearing a purple shirt and a pectoral cross, the marks of the office of Bishop.

Be careful when entertaining strangers as you may be entertaining angels unawares.

– Hebrews 13:2

The Illusive Changingworship

They seek him here, they seek him there….

Many apologies for my apparent lack of presence on the blog for the past month.  I’ve got a note from my mum and this is what it says:

Dear internet,

Please excuse Robb’s absence in the last few weeks.  He had a very busy time with Christmas and then he went on holiday.  Since he has been back he has been back in the swing of things with the parishes he works with.  He has also been having all sorts of interesting conversations about some exciting projects in the future.

We’ve been really busy getting on with things.  During our holiday we decided that we would try to prioritise our time a bit better in the future and try to spend less time on trivial stuff.  One of the things we love is film and television but we’re trying to cut out the nonsense.  It’s one thing dedicating an hour to an episode of Game of Thrones but another watching Home and Away.

There has been a lot going on with Silverthorn under the surface.  With two members of the band having second children there has been less gigging going on but we’ve still been pushing on.  Whilst we were on holiday Ruth and I spent a couple of weeks writing new material for the band and learning some new material.  We’ve been looking at our web presence and should have a new site in the next week or two.  We’ve also been visiting a lot of new venues and sorting out a programme of gigs from Easter.  It’s all up on the facebook page for now.  Hopefully before then we will be able to get some recording done and release some songs.

We’ve also been having some good talks about future events with Metanoia and the Rock Mass.  There are a couple of possible big projects for later on in the year and we will let you know more when the details have been firmed up.  The main thing we’re hoping to do is write a new Eucharistic setting in the next couple of months.

Needless to say, it has all been very busy with Church and also the stuff we do in our spare time.  Hopefully we will have more to report soon.

Rock Mass @ Biblefresh Wakefield – Thanks

From the “Paradise City” cam

Changing worship blogs are like busses.  You wait for over a week and then they all turn up at once.  I want to say a few words of thanks for the Rock Mass at Dewsbury Minster last Saturday night.

The event was great to be part of.  In the six years or so that we have been involved in this sort of worship event it has grown and grown.  To think that an idea I had for an MA essay would grow into this huge event is astonishing.  Previously we have been used to smaller local churches.  All told there were 355 communicants on Saturday night and countless numbers of others.  There was standing room only in the minster – for most of the people who were there!  Lots of people travelled great distance to be there (Liverpool, Nottingham, Newcastle and the Isle of Man!).  Several youth groups came along and many who have never been to church before came out of curiosity!

One of the great things about this experience has been collaborating with people.  The staff at Dewsbury Minster were exceptionally helpful, supportive, relaxed and groovy.  This was a great help because we were describing a concept that no one there had previously experienced.  Thanks to the many people who came from around the country to help set up – Newcastle seems to be a good location for summoning roadies!

The tech support for the service was brilliant.  A big thank you to Pete and Ken who both did an amazing job in exceptional circumstances.  As well as that I don’t particularly envy Julz at trashiitreasure who is currently editing down hours of footage from four cameras into a DVD.  Thanks for that!

The serving team with Revd Rach at the helm were brilliant.  Thank you for getting on with it without the need for too much direction.  Sorry you didn’t get to see the visuals.  Thanks to the Cathedral staff who stepped in at the last-minute when some of our plans fell through and provided some stunning vestments and a massive icon.  Thanks to Charity who preached a wonderfully cheeky and highly inspiring sermon about embracing the gifts of our young people.

As I say, one of the key things with this type of worship is collaboration.  Whilst I made many of the visual aspects of the service from scratch, some of this would not have been possible without Fr Simon Rundell.  He has been producing resources and making them open source for many years.  When one and a half hours of visual material is needed, this is an invaluable resource.  Thank you very much Fr.  Even though you were not present in the minster, some of your images were and for that we thank you!

My last vote of thanks goes to the band and especially my wife.  You guys worked really hard to put together the set and were professional throughout.  You guys also did a brilliant job of keeping me sane!!  ROCK ON!!

All of those who I have forgotten to mention, I apologise.  Thank you for all your hard work.

Rock Communion Methodist Stylee

I have just realised that in the business of the last two weeks I have forgotten to mention this!!  Burton Road Methodist Churchis holding a Rock Communion service in Lincoln.  Metanoia are going to be there two weeks on Sunday at 6pm.  Graeme, Ali, Ruth and I were all at college together with their minister, The Sten (The Reverend Sten?).  Perhaps I should call him Mark now.  He has invited us down to meet his community and assist with the proceedings.

Sorry I have been so remiss and forgotten to mention it.  I also promise that once the Rock Mass and the Rock Communion are done I will have time to sort Metanoia a decent web presence instead of just a Facebook page.