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Praise, Worship and New Readers

By Gapany

I have been looking at the power and importance of music in carrying the message. Also how music brings people together in unity, how music touches people's feelings. I have noticed how people don't always read from the page, but sing from the heart.

“When the words of songs are written down, this helps develop literacy in people who have struggled with reading. New readers, even boys, are wanting to learn to read in Yolŋu Matha when they are learning a song...” Gapany 

It is easy for the readers to follow the words and their meaning. I have been observing this over the last year, especially with the choir, and when we lead worship. 

I have been sharing this with Margaret (Miller), and how important it is to have  scripture in songs. We have talked about the hymn book, and how to share those written words. We are exploring what is the best way to share these words on paper. By writing them down, but also by powerpoint, through internet, by overheads, on mobile, or even on a website. This has been developing into a job description for me: Praise & Worship Music and its needs, and how to share lyrics and music with others. 

In December we had some visiting friends of  Margaret from her church in Sydney, and they were encouraged when they heard my story. They encouraged me by giving a gift to help me in this work. 

In February I changed direction, looking at ways of sharing Scriptures, and with Margaret we started to make pamphlets with local pictures and scriptures to encourage the family who have been grieving. I shared these around at our fellowship evenings. It encouraged me and everyone else there, because it was in Yolŋu Matha. 

The music interests returned, and at this time a letter from Barbara (Grimes) about a couple of Ethnomusicologists arrived. This letter introduced an idea about working together on music. Last week, I went to the EAAMC (East Arnhem Area Ministry Council) to talk with East Arnhem delegates about a Music workshop plan. The delegates are excited, especially at Yirrkala and neighbouring homelands. Marrpaḻawuy (Gaṉgaṉ) and Malŋgi (Yilparra) and Nyäluŋ (Yirrkala) are now making arrangements for contact people to do with the workshop plans for a Scripture in Songs/Music/Songwriting workshop in May. The date recommended was for May 24-28, falling on Pentecost Sunday/weekend at Yirrkala. Yirrkala will be the starting point for travelling around East Arnhem region for future workshops. 

Please pray for the Scripture in Use, Music, songwriting workshop in May.  Please pray for my family - we are grieving the death of Ŋändama's grandson.  Please pray that people's hearts will be drawn close to God through music, that their singing
will be from their hearts, that they will be holding on to God's Word in their hearts and sing to Him.