The regular ministry of the ISB tends to follow a familiar pattern of travel, Saturday evening festival, Sunday morning worship followed by an afternoon festival to finish the weekend.
In many ways the tour up to now has felt like a series of Saturday evening festivals and so it was good to arrive at Sunday and be able to meet together with the corps folk of Sydney Congress Hall to share in worship.
Following the success of the festival last evening there was a sense of anticipation from those associated with SCH as to the message the ISB and the Executive Officer would bring. There were a number of ex Salvationists in the congregation, returning after attending the festival, and the hope was that this was an opportunity for them, as for all of us, to be encouraged on our journey of faith.
Pre meeting music from the ISB included Everlasting Hope and To Thy Cross I come Lord creating a real sense of God's presence amongst us.
In his sermon the ISB's Executive Officer Major Mark Herbert challenged those present to focus on the question "What does it mean to be a Disciple?". There was a movement to the Mercy Seat, a visible sign of what I believe was happening in the hearts of many of those present as we considered our own response to that question.
Following another wonderful meal on the 4th floor of the Congress Hall building the ISB and the members of the corps moved outside and down to the Circular Quay to present an hour long concert. Music featured included Deep River, Solid Rock, Endeavour and Tocatta (Farr).
The setting was very different to the city centre shopping centre where I would normally find myself for an open air on a Sunday, but the large crowd that gathered to listen was similarly cosmopolitan and certainly engaged and excited by what they heard. What a great opportunity for us to witness and support SCH in their mission within the city!
The last piece played by the ISB in Sydney was the March Rosehill and BM Cobb handed the baton to BM Andrew Douglas from SCH. Has this march ever been played as fast!?
It was then time to pack the instruments on to the truck ready for them to be taken to the airport in the morning for our flight to Adelaide.
For the ISB it was a chance for us to spend time with our billets, being shown the best this fantastic city has to offer.
And so our time in Sydney was coming to an end and we could reflect on a weekend of praise, fellowship and ministry, sharing the gospel with those we came into contact with.
Written by Staff Bandswomen Nicola Redhead