Take the leap of faith and say Geronimo!

When I lost it,
Yeah you held my hand,
But I tossed it,
Didn't understand...

When I lost it,
Yeah you held my hand,
But I tossed it,
Didn't understand,
You were waiting,
As I dove into the waterfall
...

These lyrics from “Geronimo”, by Sheppard, could be read in a variety of ways. The members of “Spirit & Truth” band hear a faith perspective, and the song will feature when they present the first of a series of Praise and Worship events on 27 February.

What could a compliance officer, an electrical engineer, a digital wizard, a youth minister, an admin assistant and a business consultant have in common? The answer is a deeply-held conviction that the church has a great deal to offer each of us, but especially young people. Despite the demands of career, family and life, the members of local band “Spirit & Truth” (see John’s gospel, chapter 4) are investing a great deal of time and energy into preparing for the launch of this new ministry of the Diocesan Council for Ministry with Young People (DCMYP).

Vocalist Brooke Robinson believes, “Truth is unchanging, but the way that it is communicated needs to be relevant and creative. God captivated my heart when I was young, and I want all young people to experience that too.”

The “Spirit & Truth” events will be welcoming, engaging, inclusive and unashamedly Christian. The organisers, several of whom are members of the DCMYP, look forward to welcoming special guest Fr Rob Galea. Maltese-born Fr Rob ministers in the Diocese of Sandhurst and is a singer, musician and songwriter with an international fan base. When Maryanne Hacker of the DCMYP met him at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Melbourne, she invited him to visit the diocese and he agreed. He will lead music and worship workshops at a number of diocesan schools during his visit.

As well as the key ingredient of contemporary music, secular and Christian, there will be a barbecue, personal testimonies and an address by Bishop Bill Wright.

As James Elliott says, the aim of the Praise and Worship events is to complement other initiatives. “There’s a need for experiences of encounter beyond the traditional church. It’s not about replacing Mass and parish life, but providing a bridge between those who have not had a positive experience of church (or perhaps any experience) and those for whom belonging to a faith community is integral.”

Tom Lacey admits that he joined the band at the urging of his parents. “Let’s say I was distant from the church, and my parents thought this would be a good idea. Besides, they needed a drummer.”

While there is much to do in preparing to launch “Spirit & Truth”, the commitment of the band members – Andrew Hacker, James Elliott, Bernadette Rennie, Tom Lacey, Brooke Robinson and Baden Ellis – is palpable. Andrew, father of two young boys whom he and Maryanne are raising in faith, says unapologetically, “If I’ve got this crazy belief that the God who created the universe happens to want to be my friend, why would I not want to share that with someone else – that God might want to be your friend as well?”

“Spirit & Truth” begins on Friday 27 February at St Pius X High School, Park Ave, Adamstown. Free barbecue from 6pm, Praise & Worship 7-9pm. All welcome, families and individuals. P Andrew 0410 686 474 or Baden 0423 663 985 or E youth.ministry@mn.catholic.org.au to learn more.

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Tracey Edstein Image
Tracey Edstein

Tracey Edstein is the editor of Aurora Magazine, the official magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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