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Celebrating together

Rev David MacGregor goes over the Lectionary. Photo by Osker Lau
WHEN PREPARING a worship service people in ministry all over the world seek the advice of one Brisbane-based Uniting Church minister.

In 2000 Indooroopilly Uniting Church minister and long-time member of the National Working Group on Worship Rev David MacGregor began a website called Together to Celebrate.

The site offers musical selections that link up with weekly readings from the Revised Common Lectionary.

With a broad range of musical offerings the appeal of Together to Celebrate has reached all over the globe and the website is now one of the most used sites of its kind.

Together to Celebrate is a kind of one-stop-shop that lists weekly readings and suggests a variety of song titles that could accompany each reading.

Lyrics and sheet music for Mr MacGregor’s own songs are also regularly available free of charge on the site and songs are often downloadable straight from the site or visitors can be directed to online stores to purchase the songs.

According to Google Analytics, the site averages 1000 hits a week.  40 per cent of these come from the United States, 40 per cent from Australia, seven per cent from the United Kingdom, seven per cent from Canada, and three per cent are from New Zealand.

A well-respected Christian song writer in his own right, Mr MacGregor said he enjoyed the fact that music can bring people together.

“In church people sing. It is one of those rare things that regardless of denomination,people do together.”

He challenges churches to develop diversity in the music they use.

“Since 2000, the site has provided lectionary music selections across the diversity of contemporary song.  

“It has proved a God-send (ministers’ words – not mine) for those preachers and music ministers not wanting to be limited to either Together in Song or Hillsong.

“There is no doubt it has met a strong need.”

As a musician himself, Mr MacGregor is driven to see churches diversify their worship music to ensure everyone feels included.

“I’m passionate about worshipping communities broadening their musical diet – there is contemporary lectionary-linked music out there offering more than simply praise.

Together to Celebrate offers titles for discipleship, justice, lament, confession and intercession – too often forgotten when choosing contemporary worship music.

“The Christian church, particularly those in spiritual and musical leadership, needs to catch afresh the formative power of music in developing worshipping, witnessing and serving disciples of Jesus.”
Visit the Together to Celebrate web site here.

Photo : Rev David MacGregor goes over the Lectionary. Photo by Osker Lau