February Powerpoint

Flyer for Powerpoint, a monthly youth event organised by SU Scotland, at St Thomas’s Church, Glasgow Road, Edinburgh.

Another month, another Powerpoint. I’m just back from our pre-Powerpoint setup, soundcheck and rehearsal … and my ears are ringing. But then what else should I expect when I’m standing next to the percussion powerhouse that is Mr Andrew Weir.

I’ve really enjoyed the Powerpoint band this year. This is, I think, my fifth year being involved — with a three years hiatus somewhere between 1999 and 2003. Andy led during my first two years, I was on bass; now Andy is drumming and I’m playing lead guitar. We’re playing a kind of musical chairs. Literally.

While I’ve enjoyed it in years past, this band is different. It’s the first time that we’ve had a solid, stable, and committed line-up since the 1998-99 band (which was Brian Allan on lead drums, me on lead bass, Rik Brown on lead guitar, Andrew Weir on lead vocals and lead acoustic guitar). This year we’re a five piece: Andrew Weir on drums and backing vocals, Mike Arthur on bass, Tim Cocking on keyboards, me on lead guitar, Neil Costley (with an ‘e’) on lead vocals and acoustic guitar. Actually, we also have a sixth member without whom we wouldn’t sound quite as … well, LOUD: Richard Mitchell on mixing desk, microphone placement and bass amp repairs.

We’ve really gelled as a group. There is a commitment to the band, there is a real commitment to worshipping Jesus and putting that before anything else. I can’t speak for the other four but there is something about playing my guitar that makes my whole being want to worship God. When I’m playing I don’t tend to sing the words, as I’m too busy concentrating on what I’m playing, too busy listening to what the others are playing, and weaving in my sounds with theirs.

We often tend to think of worship as being something that is said, something that is vocalised, something that is intellectualised. When I’m helping to lead worship with my guitar worship is something that I feel. In my playing I offer my whole self to God: mind, body and emotion. The word “worship” comes from a root meaning “to give worth” — it is worth-ship. And I praise God that he has given me the ability to play music, and blessed me with a guitarsenal of wonderful equipment (most of which need restringed before the event tomorrow evening!).

So, Powerpoint tomorrow evening from 19:30 – 22:00 at St Thomas’s Church, Glasgow Road, Edinburgh.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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