Salvation Army Songsters are a unique breed...talented, Spiritual, faithful and above all committed... And then there's 'Part time Pete'.
I have had the undeserved honour of being a member of my local Songster brigade (Choir) for a little over a year. This seemed a natural time to reflect and take stock of the journey so far.
I have probably earned the nickname and reputation that has been given to me (by a certain songster who will remain nameless) as 'part time Pete'. not through choice I should probably add...work commitments limit how often I can make practice, and if I'm honest some lack of organisation on my part...and there was that one 'gig' I missed because I fell asleep... But the less said about that the better!
As I look back over the last year or so, I think about the lessons I have learnt about the group and about myself, I am struck by the realisation of how much each individual brings to the group, and how without each one the group would be that much poorer and weaker. I think also about how much I have gained and learnt and the inspiration and encouragement that comes from being with such an amazing group of people.
If I'm honest, I do sometimes question my place and value as part of this group...I suppose I should remember to take my own advice from my last blog post...'The one and only you!':
The obvious highlight for me came right at the beginning of this first year as a songster...our visit as a brigade to Bolton Salvation Army Corps. Great weekend, great people and great fellowship... But a great deal of work!
Things brings me to something that Salvationists will recognise and probably look on with at least some degree of fondness...Billeting!
I don't really know how this started, but it has become a tradition that members of visiting musical sections are hosted overnight by members of the Corps (Church) they are visiting.
I must say I was very blessed with lovely, caring and generous hosts...although I have heard 'interesting' stories about what can happen... If you have any stories to share, feel free to use the comments section.
What have I learnt in my first year?
Well, I've learnt that Spirituality and practice go hand in hand, I've learnt just how hard Songsters have to work, I've learnt that the strength and potential of the group is in the individuals that make up the group, that love, support and encourage each other and bring their own individuality, eccentricities and gifts to it.
So...a year on, still undeserving, still a little out of place and still a 'Part time Pete'. But still Inspired, encouraged and lifted up by this amazing group that I am honoured to be part of.
"He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." - 1 Thessalonians 5:10-11
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