Happy clappy and seven eleven

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by George Wild –

Why would an old soldier like me attend the Territorial Worship Arts Retreat at Canby Grove, Oregon? Like many others, I believe the corps, just like a business, will die if it does not re-invent itself—if it does not dare to be different.

Over the years, I have seen many praise and worship groups. My generation refers to this music as Happy Clappy and Seven Eleven songs. “Happy Clappy” is a song of little biblical meaning but giving a good feeling. “Seven Eleven” is a repetitive song with seven words sung eleven times.

With this in mind, then, I attended the retreat. What a pleasant shock I received. The retreat illuminated many forms of corporate worship, allowing me to see outside the box. At first glance some of these did not to seem to fit as forms of worship. The workshops included: Film and Video, Painting, Dance, Song and Lyric Writing, Keyboard, Bass, Percussion and Vocal. The Audio Visual workshop was well attended by the older generation as many corps use these tools in their worship service.

Colonels Robert and Gwenyth Redhead were the special guests. Incorporating some of the above forms of worship, they showed us how corporate worship can be spiritually uplifting when it is well planned in relationship to the theme of the service.

I came away feeling that if the techniques learned at the retreat are put into use we will have more reverent forms of worship. The whole weekend was spiritually uplifting and it was gratifying to see many young people rededicate themselves to the Lord. I hope all the delegates returned to their corps with new ideas of different forms of worship.

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