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As you can probably work out from his Global Warming articles, GEORGE LUKE is always on the lookout for authentic Gospel sounds from the world's many different cultures.

That search recently took him to Singapore, where he attended a rather unique Christian music conference.


  SATURDAY NIGHT, 3rd July 2010: Actually, it's Sunday


  I landed at Changi Airport just before 10pm, and after
  negotiating passport control and retrieving my luggage,
  it was well after 11.00pm when I took a taxi to Mount
  Vernon Road.

How did I end up here? To answer that one, I'd have to go back five years.

Global Consultation on Music and Missions
My World Beat radio show was airing weekly on UCB, and one day I received an email from the organisers of an event called GCoMM (the Global Consultation on Music and Missions), saying they'd heard about the show and wanted me to be a guest speaker at their conference in Minnesota in the summer of 2006.

I went – not even sure I was qualified to be lecturing ministers or academics (or academic ministers); not sure how I would get there (it coincided with a period of major broke-dom). But I had a good, if brief, time there. I made some new friends and got tons of material and contacts.

And so here I am four years later; a delegate at the third GCoMM – held this time in Singapore.

Freeing Christianity...
What exactly is GCoMM for, I hear you ask. I've thought about this for a long time, and I think I've found the best answer. Unfortunately, only Nigerians (and maybe a few hardcore Fela Kuti fans) will understand it.

Oh, what the heck? Here it is: GCoMM's purpose is to free Christianity from 'Kolomentality' (Oga, stop laughing).

Bringing genuine diversity into church life worldwide...
It's a gathering of people from all over the world, united with one common purpose: to figure out ways to use the world's myriad indigenous cultures (primarily music) creatively in evangelism and worship.

Rightly or wrongly, a lot of church music is very Western – and people involved in ministry amongst non-Western peoples find that the majority of them simply do not relate to all that 'English' (American?) stuff.

GCoMM is about enabling people to worship in their 'heart language' – and to bring some much needed (and genuine) diversity into church life worldwide.

And so it begins...
I arrived at the Stansfield College's halls of residence (where overseas GCoMM delegates have their accommodation) just before midnight. I left my bags in my dorm room and went into the canteen/common room for an email check.

It immediately felt like a homecoming as I was loudly greeted by Rob Baker, a fellow Brit and an old friend I'd made at the last GCoMM. Rob currently lives in Mali, and is a missionary and an ethnomusicologist (GCoMM has loads of them).

Anyway, I'm expecting jet lag to be a killer over the next few days, so I might as well catch up on some sleep...

GCoMM logo

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I live in London, from where I spend much
of my time writing for magazines, websites and anything else that comes along, as well as making radio programmes.
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Expires Oct 1 2013

Helping YOU communicate who you are and what you do

Published 12 July 2010

Yinka Awojobi

Founder, UKG/ group of sites. 

I really didn't want my picture here, but I'm bowing to pressure.

George Luke

Freelance journalist, all-round nice guy.

Has a weird obsession with international gospel music.

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