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Rev Somporn (Lek) Branjerdporn. Photo: Supplied

Music, discipleship and the multicultural church

Recently, my first hymns concert at Bayside Uniting Church in October was well-received.

There were 71 attendees that Sunday afternoon and I was deeply encouraged by the positive feedback from many who came along. The attendees were appreciative of my passion for music as I offered this educational/musical event to the wider church; they expressed their appreciation and thanks for this free event as I gave my skills and gifts to renew worshippers’ passions for their unquenchable and never-ending faith.

One attendee told me, “It’s time that we celebrate our praise through our spiritual songs/hymns as we express our heartfelt love and adoration to our living and loving saviour and Lord as worshipers.”

This musical event was informative and inspirational as it featured some educational talk/teaching by combining a demonstration/performance of a variety of hymns/songs. One of the highlights of the programme was learning new global worship songs. My brother, Rev Dr Apichart Branjerdporn (a retired Minister of the Uniting Church), my spouse and I sang this lovely Thai song, “พระเจ้าเป็นความรัก or “The Great love of God”.

I heard many attendees expressing their enjoyment and exhilaration while listening to this uplifting Thai worship song. It enriched their worship experiences with one person commenting, “It was interesting to hear the chorus sung in Thai. One point that I observed was the Thai writing. To transfer from reading and speaking Thai to doing the same in English must be a huge challenge. There did not seem to be any similarities like there are when changing European languages.”

As the Uniting Church is a multicultural church, it is important that we live out this declaration. There are many ways we can move into being more cross-cultural for example, by incorporating a variety of music including global Christian worship songs in our corporate worship. Therefore, this event promoted and encouraged learning and singing global worship songs that enhances and promotes the Uniting Church living out a multicultural, missional church.

Congregational singing is an important facet of corporate worship. Music has an impact on Christian discipleship. When worshippers celebrate their Christian faith

in singing and making music to God, it deepens their relationship with God and others. In our celebration of praise through our spiritual songs/hymns, it is essential that we express our heartfelt love and adoration to our God. The heart of worship essentially centres on God, as worship is the loving and joyful response to God.

Rev Dr Lek Branjerdporn

Rev Dr Lek Branjerdporn is the Minister at Tingalpa Uniting Church.

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