Feeling the Rhythms

In the normal Colombia Covenant worship service, the first 45 minutes (on average) are spent in praise and worship singing, usually standing, clapping, and moving with the rhythms. This includes guitars, keyboards, tambourines, bongos and drums. On the Caribbean coast the guacharaca and accordion can be used as well. If no instrumentalist is available, the church will incorporate sound tracks over the sound system that will lead the people in worship.
     Home Assignment travel and connecting includes a whole variety of rhythms, tunes, notes, songs and worship. In some churches we find ourselves moving, singing and worshipping to the inner city-urban rhythms that captivate us because they include similarities to the Colombian worship that we are used to. Other churches include choral music and hymn singing, which brings us back to the roots of our first remembered worship services – cherished memories that we have of our foundational moments in the Church. The majority of the churches include the more common Praise and Worship style music from a wide variety of authors and musicians – a style that is constantly evolving as new songs and music are written and included in the repertoire that the worship leaders choose for the worship time. Usually some variety of keyboard is used (piano, organ, electronic keyboard), some stringed instruments (acoustic, electric or bass guitars, mainly) a percussion group (usually drums) and then various vocals. In one gathering we were accompanied by an oboe and a cello! That was unique and beautiful.
     All styles of dress are used, within modest parameters, and seem to be accepted. Sometimes there are special lights and background scenes, and, at times, smoke and fog are incorporated on the stage. There are any number of ways that the music/worship is included in a gathering, although it seems like more and more the music/worship singing is incorporated in one segment of the time together, and not spread out throughout the service.
All of this variety is quite enjoyable for us since it shows us the vast ways that God’s creation reflects his praise and glory. At times it is intriguing to blend our participation (mission moment, preaching, etc.) into the worship service and into the rhythm and themes so that our part is a natural flow and movement of the community life together. We so much enjoy these cherished moments of worship together.

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