As I stepped out in January 2010 to begin work in schools and share with churches, I had no idea about the journey that God would take me on. I’ve learnt a lot along the way, it’s not always been easy, but God has been consistent and faithful throughout all of it.
That’s the most important thing that I hold on to, that God has always been there, he has carried the purpose of UC Grace, and I have tried to be obedient to that. Sure, I’ve made stumbles along the way, but my desire remains the same, to take people on a journey of a deeper conversation with God using dance and movement .
The further into 2020 we have gone, the clearer it has become, not only how important it is to be in relationship with others who desire to use dance and movement as their language to God, but also to encourage others to encounter dance and movement to deepen their journey with God.
Putting this video together, brought lots of memories back, so many different children and adults that I have had the privilege to teach, encourage, share, and grow in their journey. Sometimes that led to further dance, other times it acted as a stepping stone for them to continue on the journey that God has for them.
My prayer as I continue to grow UC Grace from 2020 onward’s, is that I will rest and lean into what God has planned. That pausing is okay, silence is okay, from out of the silence God will speak more boldly, more extravagantly. To have the courage to try new things, and trust God with the outcome that comes from them.
So whether you have been part of the UC Grace Journey from the beginning or you have joined us more recently. Enjoy the watching the video, where I share a bit more about the journey, relive some highlights from the past 10 years and share some testimonies.
If you’ve not joined the UC Grace journey yet, we would love to have you join. There is lots happening even through this time of change we have experienced. Get in touch for more info, or look on the website.
Keep moving and trusting in Jesus that the plan he has for you, is the one that you are destined for. God will get you there, you might want to take some twists and turns but Jesus will always been there, pick you up and carry you when needed.
Following the release of The Blessing UK at the beginning of May 2020, Anna and Prinith felt led to respond to a call from God to gather the movers and dancers of the UK to move a blessing and prayer over the area that people lived in. It’s vision was to –
Mobilise a dancing army across the UK, which collaborating with dancers, dance ministries and worshippers. Whose heart it was, was to pray a blessing for the area they live in using dance and movement.
Amazingly over 200 dancers and movers responded to this call to step out and move a blessing and prayer for the people around them and the place they live in. Quite literally a dancing army mobilised across all 4 nations of the UK.
We pray as you watch this that you are blessed and know that God is with you, that there is a Hope bigger than you realise to get you through those times of struggle.. That no matter what you are going through there are people praying for you, not always in words, but instead with movement.
Movement expresses what words can not.
Alongside this video we have also released an eBook of testimonies of how God spoke to those that moved and responded to his call. Join their journey and hear the impact that dancing had on the dancers themselves.
You can get a copy of the ebook by clicking on the button below.
Written by Chris Brown, Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe and Steven Furtick c 2020 Music by Elevation Worship Publishing, Capitol CMG Paragon/ Writers Roof Publishing, Worship Together Music/ Kari Jobe Carnes Music
UK Blessing Music Audio produced by Trevor Michael in collaboration with UK churches. UK Blessing Song version music is used with permission. With thanks to Les Moir and Andy Au for helping with seeking this permission.
Project Co-ordinators – Anna Gilderson and Prinith de Alwis Jayasinghe
Who saw the UK Blessing video yesterday? It was great to see the unity in the church.
Myself (UC Grace) and Prinith (Movement in Worship Birmingham Base) have felt led to organise a UK Dance/ Movement blessing. We want people across different dance ministries, and individuals that simply have a passion for demonstrating their faith through movement, to join us in creating this blessing.
We’d love to invite you to take part in a UK project to draw Christian dancers together and create a blessing to people across the UK.
Gathering the videos together we will compile it into video for everyone to share across social media and their networks. We want it to be an opportunity to display the vast ability of dancers, their heart to worship Jesus and share their faith through dance and movement. During covid 19 lockdown, dance places, workshops and performances may have been shut down, but a dancing army have continued to move in their homes and outdoor spaces as they feel led. Dance impacts more than we know and this presents a fantastic opportunity for many to gather and move for our God. Would you like to join us?
The details –
We plan to air the video on Sunday 17th May.
All video submissions need to be received by Sunday 10th May.
Videos must be recorded in landscape
Please do not wear any branded clothes.
Feel free to use banners, flags or other props
Please dance to as much of the song as you feel led to.
It particularly seems so relevant now as so many of us are dancing and moving more than ever have before. 1000 Reasons to dance for our King, is a project about acknowledging all those reasons that we choose to dance for our King, what pulls at our heart, the emotions we bring and experiences we have, the answers to prayer.
I know not all of you dance, but I expect at some point you have been impacted by dance in some way, that is also a good reason to dance for our King. In a time when when everyone needs to be encouraged, when people want to witness the effect that God has on people, when people are asking questions. Let’s be deliberate in understanding why we are moving, what initiates us and takes us on the journey. From there, we have the opportunity to be equipped to share and explain the gospel in a more comprehensive way.
So, my question to you, will you join me on this journey? I know that why you dance today, will be different to why you dance tomorrow. Or how dance impacts you today, will be different to how it impacts you tomorrow. Over the next few months and the month previous, the journey each of us will go on will test our faith, movement and resilience to stand firm with our faith, lean into God and dance for our King. Check out the video below to hear more before the project.
Comment below or drop me an email and let me know if you’re up for it.
Then as you dance and move over the next days, weeks, months, pop me a message and share your reason why you dance for the King. You can do this via email (click here) or phone.
Please do share this with anyone you think would love to join this movement. The #dancingarmy is growing at an immense rate, it is awesome to see God move and witness people choosing to #dancealittlelouder.
Today we celebrate our risen King. Let’s dance somewhere not seen before. Let’s build God’s kingdom and change the atmosphere.
We begin by joining in the 3rd day after Jesus died, the day that he rose again. The two Mary’s found an empty tomb. And an angel told them Jesus was risen just as he said he would. Go and tell the disciples the angels said.
Skipping forward to after the encounters we hear how Jesus then gives us the commission. Let’s read it in the message version. Matthew 28.18-20.
Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
I will be with you… He says it, claim it, Jesus will be with you.
As I prepared for today I asked God to be specific about what I could bring on a Easter Sunday like we won’t have again in our lifetime. What could I challenge you, encourage you, show you as we celebrate, remember and share this awesome day of risen King.
He turns our mourning into dancing
Our weeping into joy
Our pain in to laughter
He calms the seas
And he stands, always with us.
At the beginning of the commission it says ‘go out and train everyone you meet, far and near in this way of life.’ (The Message)
Ponder these questions –
What could ‘train everyone you meet’ mean?
What ‘way of life’ in your life could you demonstrate to others?
This is the churches time.
The Rend Collective song, ‘Build your Kingdom here’, speaks of “change the atmosphere”, of building God’s kingdom in amongst whatever is happening in the world. You know my passion of the impact that dance and movement has on those around us, as we witness Gods word and action. We have seen change through responding to the call to stepping out and responding in dance and movement.
So my final questions to you is –
Are you ready to change ATMOSPHERE?
Take a flag, streamer, ribbon, piece of material, anything you are comfortable with. Step up and change the atmosphere in a place that is near to you. Watch the video and see a snapshot of my heart from the song ‘Build your kingdom here’. Let’s dance louder with our movements to the song. Stir the atmosphere as you move to the chorus particularly.
This is part of our Prayer Dance Bite programmer. We meet 3 times a week to move, dance and pray using scripture and other themes. You can check out more info here.
Many of you have heard me speak about raising up a #dancingarmy and encouraging people to #dancealittlelouder. The reality of this happening has snowballed, and it is awesome to see how God is using such a simple concept to gather people, to gather movers and dancers whose whole heart is simply to worship, praise, prayer, live life and more through Jesus. If you’ve not joined us yet for a Prayer Dance Bite can I encourage you to do so. Let’s step out and live our journey of faith through movement, however big or small that might be.
During this crazy time that we are living in at the moment. It can send many of us into a spin with an unclear way out. In another one of my late night/ early morning awake times with my son, my head was in a spin about the latest news of the more intentional lockdown we were about to enter. So many people would be feeling so many different things. What was God saying in amongst it all?? PEACE. PEACE, BE STILL.
I knew that I had to dance to that. That myself, and many others needed to know that God says, Peace Be Still… Let your Faith arise. Jesus is the one that calms the storms with 3 strong words, He is the one that will bring us comfort, strength, peace and protection over the coming months. We need to choose to let our faith arise and lean into all that He has available for us.
As I shared with others my passion for moving to this song, they wanted to also dance, before I knew it, there was indeed a dancing army, proclaiming God’s word, safety, protection and peace. That’s what this video is. A culmination of 8 dancers stepping out to move in prayer for all. God moves mountains, he changes water into wine, he raises people from the dead, he heals the sick. He stands by us no matter what, walks with us during our darkest hours, and carries when it gets too much.
Remember this ripple I keep talking about? How a ripple can change the atmosphere. For just by one starting, others will follow. Let’s make this ripple shake and move the heavens. Let’s be bold in our conversations, our prayers, our movements. Let’s shake the heavens and show people how great our God is.
Join me, #dancealittlelouder. Be a #dancingarmy.
We’d love to connect with you further, so why not sign up to our newsletter where you can hear more about what we are doing and how you can get involved. Head here.
Wow. What a period of unknown we are entering into. I’m sure each of us have many different feelings at the moment. One thing for sure, is that we need to stand firm on our foundation – God’s word and Jesus. It has struck me that we need to be active with our dance ministry in this period of change moving forward, God has been speaking to me about raising a worship dance army.
I want to share with you four ways that you can choose develop your dance ministry during this time of change. Ways that you as an individual can grow and develop your dance ministry, or ways you can do it for your group.
1. We are called for such a time as this.
During some of the many hours I am up with my son, I had quite an intense time of searching with God. There are many things on my mind at the moment, but the biggest one is that God is calling us dancers and movers to step up. Step up and move, dance, declare God’s glory, peace, power and love across all that is going on.
The words from the song Firm Foundation have washed over me during the past week, speaking affirmation, encouragement and joy into a situation that looks quite bleak! We share our faith through dance and movement, demonstrating our faith, deeds and action.
Part of my response to this conversation with God involved embracing the lovely March weather. Heading to the beach, because that was where God said I should dance, and putting movement to this song.
So the first way to develop your dance ministry is by being willing to respond to Gods call.
Moving forward as a dancing army
Last year I shared about the golden whirlwind picture I was given, where essentially there were little tornadoes above each person’s head. As dancers and movers moved the little tornadoes gathered together into a big one.
All those little ripples merged together to create a change in the atmosphere that was unprecedented (you can read more about it here). I had already begun to see this picture start to come to fruition at the beginning of the year. But going forward our ability to move and dance as one will be even more important.
God is leading me to encourage a Dancing Army. By this I mean, making the choice to use our dance and movement to cause an even greater shift in the atmosphere. We have this magnificent opportunity to demonstrate worship and faith in different way going forward. Your dance ministry can help this grow by being bold and stepping out, building a dancing army. Choosing to simply be Jesus with your movement and encouraging others.
Dance a little Louder
The song Raise a Hallelujah has a line in it ‘sing a little louder’ where every bit of me wants to do more than the words give. God is calling us to move more, to dance strong, dance it loud and dance it from the heart. Now is our time as dancers to step out into all God has made us to be. To pray, to move, to go deeper with God.
Part of this requires gathering with other dancers and as we become more of a dancing army – our dance, our song – is getting louder.
Dance ministry is hard work, it requires dedication and always choosing to put Gods pathway first. It also requires stepping out to encourage others and be in the gap when others can’t. Dancing louder with more vibrancy, declaring Gods heart and putting his word front and centre.
Create an online dance ministry community
Community brings cohesion, the opportunity to join together and move as one consistently. You cannot beat face to face dance ministry. However, you must adapt to the circumstances around you, which is why at UC Grace we are launching Prayer Dance Bites. Short 20 minute gatherings online 2-3 times a week, to read and respond to scripture. All ages welcome.
How could you create community online to encourage others with your dance ministry. Choose to get people moving and dancing their prayer. Creating fellowship, catch up and time together.
Want to join us online?
There are several different ways that you can join UC Grace online.
Prayer Dance Bitesprovide the opportunity to connect scripture and pray through weekly sessions via zoom. Further information is available here.
Scripture Promptsbring you scripture right into your inbox once a week. They offer 3 ways to engage with scripture in a way that you might not normally. For more information head here.
God encourages us in those moments we need it most, even if
we haven’t recognised that we need it. Whilst I was away at Rivercamp, there
were several things that struck me.
The first being we all dance and move with the same heart.
The second that a whirlwind is created as each of us moves in someway.
Let me share some more.
Part of my journey with UC Grace has been overcoming
people’s perceptions of what I do and my heart behind it, as well believing and
trusting that I was good enough to do it, and there was a need for it. It
hasn’t been easy, at the Going Deeper weekend in July I shared some of this.
That in the beginning of UC Grace I judged my ‘success’ on the number of people
that came to my events and if I didn’t have many, I wasn’t good enough and doing
Yet I knew the foremost reason that I was doing UC Grace was
because it was about the hearts of those that came. The hearts that God needed
to work with, take on a journey and grow. That’s what my heart needed to do, in
order to recognise the gift God had grown inside me. A passion to share,
motivate and grow others in movement and dance with Gods word as central.
During my time at Rivercamp I noticed a group of people that
always congregated near a space at the side at the front, and claimed the space
so to speak, and as the meeting got underway I realised they were movers and
dancers of varying degrees of ability. As I began to watch them, a wrestle began
in my spirit. A wrestle to watch, receive and bless what I was seeing, but at
the same time resentment, longing, and feeling put out and it was unfair! Lots
of emotions that had crept up and I didn’t know where to go with. Except I did,
but only because of the journey I had been through with UC Grace.
Let me unpack this.
When I am in an environment where my emotions seem to be
getting the better of me, or, better put, the Devil is trying to windle his way
in. I check myself. I take a pause, a visible breath. The negativity that I was
experiencing was pulling up my insecurities, ones that I had defeated. But there,
in that present moment, in a new situation they were trying to come to the
surface again. I just kept saying to myself, ‘they have a heart to move too,’ ‘they
are worshipping God their way.’
In those moments in the worship, where I was desperate just
to be lost in it and dance myself, I had to deal with this before I moved forward.
I had to deal with the elephant! So, I began a conversation with God, asking
what I have got to learn here, what did I need to deal with, recognise, bless,
repent. Tough going!
As I relaxed into his presence, he encouraged me that it
wasn’t about me being ‘left out’ or ‘not included’, it was about opening up
opportunities for others to experience God.
The essence of UC Grace….
As UC Grace has grown, part of my battle has been addressing
how UC Grace is seen, or what it is. It’s only been the past few years that I’ve
acknowledged that it is a business. I say this here because it is through that acknowledgment
that God presented me with opportunities for UC Grace to grow and develop.
Over the few days after that initial encounter in the tent
at Rivercamp, I thought about it more, the impact of my reaction to what I had
felt, and asked God to reveal more about it.
I had the most amazing picture.
This is the reason for this post, but I wanted you to understand
a few things before I shared it. Every dancer and movers journey is different. You
will experience some negativity at some point on your journey about dancing and
moving, the key is how you deal with it when you are presented with it.
My heart is to release and equip others with their faith
through dance and movement. Jesus will always be the number one person I go to
for decisions, reasons and conversations, and that includes business ones. UC
Grace is a business, it’s a business God has blessed with growth over a very
big journey, the picture God gave me, not only encouraged me in my journey with
UC Grace, but the journey of Christian dance organisations, businesses, and
individuals. Whether they are moving now, will be movers, or will simply just
experience the soaking of the Holy Spirit through someone moving around them.
So the picture…
During one of the last worship times at Rivercamp, the tent
had come to a very hushed quiet, what I began to see were small whirlwinds over
the tops of groups of people. As these whirlwinds began to move around the place,
gold started to be threaded through them.
All the whirlwinds then converged into one. Into a tornado. A
tornado of GLORY, filled with gold. As it moved it changed the atmosphere,
transforming those it moved over. The more it moved the more different colours
came into it. The more it moved it was clear that it was the interaction of
what was inside the tornado that was causing the shift in the atmosphere.
As the image faded away, it was an ah ha moment. A moment
where I recognised why God had to reiterate to me before about how precious
each person’s movement was, and how each individuals movements when converged
with others creates something far more powerful than we can ever fathom. It creates
a movement in the heavens that transforms those around it.
This is something that I knew, but sometimes you can loose
sight of it, when you’re tired and been giving out lots.
There is however more.
My friend told me about a picture an artist had in a tent, that I needed to go and look at. This is it… what do you see?
Two things were brought to my attention. The whirlwind
effect of colours spiralling with the reaction to the environment around it. But
also, how it fits in with the UC Grace logo. The lady that painted this is Helen
Yousaf a prophetic artist and an amazing worship leader.
I was just astounded (again) at how God brings everything together. Are you a dancer? Are you ready to change the atmosphere that you move in? Are you ready to take your whirlwind where God tells you? Get in touch as I would love to hear from you.
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