On Saturday our Band travelled to neighbouring corps Gravesend to participate in a celebration of 125 years of Salvation Army ministry in that town.
In October 1883 the band from Chatham helped the newly appointed officer at Gravesend to ‘open fire’ in the town for the very first time. Chatham itself had already been in existence for ten years having been started by Catherine Booth, wife of the Founder, William Booth, in the days of the Christian Mission (the mission took the name of The Salvation Army in 1878). This was a dramatic time in the development of our movement for, in that ten year spell, no less than 452 new corps or centres were opened, representing almost 1 per week for the whole of the period.
During the celebration festival Chatham Band, under the direction of Deputy Bandmaster Nigel Lockwood, contributed the suite ‘Songs of Victory’ and the meditation ‘The Light of the World’ as well as the Euphonium solo ‘Travelling Along’ played by Songster Leader Adrian Horwood. The band also participated in massed items with Gravesend Band, these items being conducted by guest conductor and compere Lt.Col. Ray Steadman-Allen.
Lt.Col. Ray Steadman-Allen
Chatham Band and soloist Adrian Horwood under the leadership of Deputy Bandmaster Nigel Lockwood.
On Sunday our morning meeting was led by Major Beverley McCombe and included songs 109, 741, 441 and 59 from the Salvation Army Song Book together with 1239 and 1076 from Songs of Fellowship. This was the second week of our series on ‘Challenging Lifestyle’ and focussed on ‘How to deal with anger’, using Matthew 5:21-26 as its scriptural base.
In her message Major Beverley said anger is a very common emotion and is responsible for some terrible happenings. Some of us are more prone to showing our anger than others but even Jesus was angry at times. Do we have cause to be? Sin makes God angry because He is the judge. There is a place for righteous anger and injustice is often the cause. But so often our anger is selfish and indulges our ego and Jesus says this is wrong and will be subject to judgement. Neither must we be contemptuous in our attitude. We must not have evil thoughts or be deceiptful. Jesus is not saying we should suppress all our feelings but we must exercise control over our thoughts and actions. We should be quick to listen and slow to speak, slow to give in to anger; especially good advice in today’s ‘instant’ society. We need a correct view of ourselves, have humility and show respect. We need to forgive and not to bear grudges, not be revengeful. If we are filled with God there will be evidence of that. God can transform our lives to make them like Him.
‘Holy Ground’ was the subject of the first of a new series entitled ‘We have come to worship’ in the evening, this week led by Major Drew McCombe. We shall be looking at various aspects of worship such as ‘who is it for?’ and ‘what should it be?’. On this occasion scripture used was Exodus 3:5-6 and Isaiah 6:1-8. Songs chosen to support the theme included 16 and 474 from the Salvation Army Song Book and 40, 1113 and 1013 from Songs of Fellowship.
The Band contributed ‘Holy, holy, holy’ and the Songsters ‘Holy Ground’ both of which added much to the theme of the meeting.
In his address Major Drew said the natural reaction of people who have an encounter with God is to worship Him. In our reading Moses fell down in worship. He acknowledged God and praised Him. It was the natural thing to do.There are many times in scripture that we read how, on recognition of Jesus, worship took place. True worship is a spiritual experience based on real encounters, not on personal preferences. Worship is not for our benfit but for God. Surrender to Him is the heart of worship
Our weekend also included the Alpha Day Away on Saturday. We hope to bring you a more detailed report later in the week. For the present we know it was a great day so watch this space. Any readers interested in attending a future Alpha course should contact us. The same applies to our Christianity for Life, Christianity for Life Plus and Contagious Christianity courses, run by our Discipleship and Evangelism Purpose Groups. We’d love to hear from you.
Finally we were pleased to hear of the efforts of Graham and Leanne who have recently walked from Chatham to Canterbury, a distance of some 30 miles, to raise funds for the Davis Estate Youth Club which Graham helps to run. Over £150 was raised.
STOP PRESS. We have just received news of the ‘promotion to Glory’ of Ethel Smitherman from Medway Maritime Hospital yesterday. We have no details at present but will report again when these are known.