On Sunday morning the International Staff Songsters split into two groups to lead worship at both Morriston and Swansea Citadel where they were supported by the local sections.
Morriston Citadel Band presented pre-meeting music before the songsters, conducted by Staff Songster Susan Turner opened worship with ‘Everywhere’. Band, Songsters and Congregation joined together in a rousing opening song before the Songsters sang ‘Limitless Grace’ which was followed by prayer by Staff Songster Nick Hampton.
Morriston Y.P. Singing Group blessed us as they do week after week as they sang ‘In His Time’. Entitled ‘This Time Tomorrow’ Staff Songster Kelvin Mercer was interviewed by Major Paul Main about his faith. Kelvin spoke about his upbringing, the value and impact that Music Schools had in his spiritual development, how his employment in the insurance industry led to him letting people know where he stood with regard to his faith and its importance in difficult business decisions and also how in retirement he now shares his faith at this local golf club focusing on the importance of taking Christ with us in his social activities.
After the singing of ‘Bow The Knee’ Major Paul Main spoke about the difficult times in his own faith and how during a visit to look at the work of The Salvation Army in Pakistan he had made a discovery in his faith when he saw the faith of the local youngsters and the sight of a young and vibrant Salvation Army in that country. Coming home from Pakistan he had learned to trust and have faith in a God who loves.
Scripture from 1 Thessalonians 3:1-30 was brought by Staff Songster Jeanette Edmunds.
In his message Major Paul Main asked the congregation to take a spiritual health check on where they were in their faith and how they were doing with God, challenging us to find faith filled role models, immerse ourselves in scripture and to remember God’s past faithfulness. We were reminded that when life isn’t as it should be that we should remember God as he is always interested in us and remains faithful. Nothing that we do as individuals can decrease or increase God’s faithfulness to us. These thoughts were brought together as the ISS sang ‘I Want To Say Yes’ giving opportunity to those present to consider their own faith.
After a Sunday Dinner at the hall prepared by Captain Elizabeth McCaw-Aldworth and her team of helpers the afternoon Celebration Programme was held at Swansea Citadel with the congregation made up of the four Greater Swansea Area Corps (Gorseinon, Morriston Citadel, Skewen Temple and Swansea Citadel) fellow Salvationists from further across the South & Mid Wales Division also travelled to be part of the final meeting of the weekend.
Swansea Citadel Band played as the Songsters marched into the hall. Once again a wide variety of songs were presented ‘Wonders Begin When the Lord Comes In’ commenced the meeting immediately followed by ‘Nothing But Thy Blood’ and prayer by Staff Songster Christine Thomas. ‘Somebody Believed’ was an upbeat solo by Staff Songster Hazel Launn. Another song that made the listener consider the coming of Christ was Will Todd’s ‘My Lord Has Come’
After the Congregational singing of ‘Lord For The Years’ Swansea Citadel Band contributed the march ‘Day of Victory’.
Throughout the weekend a number of items had been from Stephen Pearson and Richard Phillips, ‘A Symphony of Psalms’ being their most recent collaboration brought together Psalms of Courage, Hope, Trust and Triumph. The female voices were featured in two songs. ‘Water’s Edge’ featured Staff Songster Gemma Hinchliffe and ‘Gone My Care’ both from the pen of the late Lieutenant-Colonel (Dr.) Ray Steadman-Allen O.F. in tribute to his contribution to Salvation Army music.
A number of songs with words written by General John Gowans were featured during the afternoon, Major Main’s thoughts after ‘Love Cannot Fail’ considered the things we love but focused more importantly the fact that the love of God never fails, that it is consistent and constant and that there is a message for us to share and should not be kept secret. The ISS concluded this period of reflection with Norman Bearcroft’s arrangement of ‘Thy Need Christ’ from the Gowans & Larsson musical Man Mark II.
Before the ISS presented their last item of the weekend they were joined by Morriston Citadel and Swansea Citadel Songsters in the singing of ‘Praise His Holy Name’ conducted by Morriston Songster Leader Chris Lear.
The final item ‘God, We Will Give You Glory’ concluded the weekend as it had started and continued throughout giving every note of music and every word to the glory of God.
To see photos of the whole weekend click here.