First of all, just a brief note to apologise to all fans of theREIGN, and the Rock Eucharist for the lack of updates here in quite some time. Simply put, life sometimes gets in the way and for various reasons, including but not limited to the final year or so of my degree, I just haven’t given the site the attention it deserves (although the calendar was always basically up to date). I will try and do better from here on in.
We are about to embark on a relatively short Autumn RE season encompassing three events that cover the length of the country (Swanland, Hampshire and Billingham) using a “greatest hits” version of the event to celebrate reaching the significant milestone that is our 50th … this particular event will be held in Swanland on Sunday 7th September 2014 at 6:30pm and all are invited to come along and worship with us. There will be some new songs (for the RE) and some of the classic music and liturgy from earlier versions of the event, and it promises to be an awesome night of praise, worship and fellowship.
Apologies to all for the lack of news and updates on here recently … my university studies and the general business of my music ministry in general as well as theREIGN in particular have taken up a lot more time than expected. So here, as we look forward to the final RE5 event in July and to the writing and introduction of RE6 in the Autumn I thought it would be good to take a few minutes to look back over where RE5 sits in the whole scheme of things.
In the wake of another successful run of Rock Eucharist events, we are now looking towards our Autumn 2012 season and version 6 (as yet untitled). We have set aside four dates rather than the usual five for a couple of reasons, but mainly to accommodate the 10th anniversary concert for the band which will take place on Saturday 3rd November … right in the middle of RE season.
Looking at the schedule of forthcoming Rock Eucharist events, something interesting comes to mind. Well … interesting to me, anyway.
We have in the diary at least one event for each version over the next few months, with “Rising Sun” getting a workout in Driffield at the end of November and “Heaven In The Ordinary” at Hutton in February 2010. The Hutton event is necessitated by the fact that it will be the third event in that church and it completes their ‘full set’ as it were, whereas Driffield’s choice is driven by the fact that Driffield is reasonably close to Hutton and there may well be a crossover of congregation with the Hutton’s October event, so it made sense to do different versions at both.
This is interesting because it bears out the thinking of the band following the success of “Heaven In The Ordinary”. Back then, we felt that this had the potential to be a very popular event among churches, and we talked about the benefits of having several different versions to ensure that those churches who used the RE and found it had a positive impact could do so again without us simply repeating the same thing all over again.
This has been borne out in practice by the fact that, come February 2010, there will be at least 3 churches who have held all three versions.
Previously we have talked about three versions being an ideal number, but there is every chance those churches may want to use it again, and if Greenbelt asked us to do a further event or events at the festival in the future, clearly we would need to put together something for them, so it could be that v3 will not be the last.
Which brings me to my last thought. All of the above is all well and good, and we have greatly enjoyed the road that has taken us to the point we are now, in which the Rock Eucharist is, essentially, the focal point of the band’s work, but the key thing is what the churches themselves make of it/them.
In various points on the site you will see some comments from ministers and ordinary church-goers giving their reactions to joining one of these events. These are not there to blow our own trumpet (although it can’t hurt to show that people really enjoy them), but to demonstrate the impact the event can have on the church and (big point coming up) what God can do as a result.
RE events are not about theREIGN standing up and trying to look good, or even about making people go “Ooh!” at the clever way in which the secular rock riffs are blended seamlessly with the worship, or even making people think differently about “Song 2” by Blur (and if you don’t understand that reference, get along to a “Rising Sun” event and all will become clear)!
What they are about is taking the fundamental sacrament of everyday Christian life, Holy Communion, and allying it to a different way of worshipping. All the liturgy is there, a proper minister (if Rachel will forgive the description) is right there, front and centre, and bread and wine is shared in love and fellowship to celebrate and glorify the Saviour who made it possible for us all to come together in praise and worship of our Lord and Father.
We pray that God will be glorified and mightily celebrated through these events over the next six weeks (and that our fingers and voices hold up)!