Church is one of the few places left where people, regardless of age or ability, sing together. We sing, not to be the best singer, not to bask in the beauty of our own cleverness as singers, not even to listen to others who sing very nicely. We sing to worship God as one people joined in song. It is, in some ways, the simplest form of communal participatory worship that we know.
Songs are also part of Sunday’s worship that stays with us during the week. Along with a phrase or two from a prayer or sermon, a strain of melody will play itself over and over as we go about our daily work, reconnecting us to our faith community, reminding us of God’s presence, calling us to prayer.
And yet, we don’t seem to be happy to sing just one or two simple chants. Even after 2000 years since Christ, and many more years since Creation, the worshipping community still has this compulsion to write and sing new songs to our God. As we experience God in new ways, we keep finding new ways of expressing our relationship with God and our hope for God’s church and the world. This book is a collection of songs written by a group of churchgoers in inner-city Melbourne, that speak of our doubts and hopes, sorrows and dreams.
We know that our experiences of God and society are shared by others, and so these songs come from our community to yours. I pray that you will find as much meaning in them as we do, and that these songs will inspire you, comfort you, sustain you, and help you and your community to worship our Creator. I pray that you will join us as we join with Miriam and with David. Pick up your tambourine! Pick up castanets, lyres and cymbals, guitars, trumpets and saxophones! Sing and dance before our God with all your might!