Every October half term I am part of something very special that hits the streets of Worcester called The Noise. For three days, local young people come together to make a loud noise of love, hope and joy!
With up to a hundred young people, together with their leaders, The Noise launches with a lively worship gathering full of worship, prayer, teaching & training. Over the next two days, groups are then sent out to serve in social action & community building projects. This year we will work with our local Foodbank, unpacking donations, stacking shelves, weighing stock and making up emergency parcels. We will head out into the Arboretum area of Worcester to paint community spaces and local playgrounds. We will play music and share cake and conversation with the elderly in local care homes and serving the elderly, which is always a real treat! There will be art workshops for local families at Worcester Cathedral and opportunities to engage with those we meet through drama and street performances. We will also run a pop-up community café on Worcester Hight Street serving delicious home-baked treats and warm drinks, all for free!
The days are action packed but the evenings are fun filled too, with times to celebrate, have fun and build friendships. This year we will have a Silent Disco and an exciting UV Party!
The Noise is an action packed few days, which undoubtably takes a lot of planning and preparation, but it is one of the most rewarding things I am part of. To see a hundred young people coming together wanting to make a difference – giving up their time and showing a passion for serving others, really is amazing!
It is a good news story! Yet in a recent blog, the London School of Economics highlighted that there is a growing body of evidence illustrating our human tendency to prioritise negative news over positive news content. We focus in on fear and destruction, where people are hurting and broken, where war reigns and where hope is absent. And when we focus on the worst of things, it becomes hard to see the good. We become negatively shaped by end-to-end bad news stories.
In a world with seemingly little love, hope and joy, The Noise is so refreshing and encouraging. In Psalm 34 v12 David wrote:
“Who out there has a lust for life? Can’t wait each day to come upon beauty?”
In a few short weeks I will get to witness first hand, a really good news story. It will be a story that tells of the care and love that young people have for other people and the passion they have within them to positively impact on their community. When The Noise hits the streets you won’t have to look too hard to see something beautiful happening; to see places and people being restored; to see the lonely people being valued and loved; to see people coming together building friendships and making a difference. It is a little piece of heaven here on Earth.
I want to be a person who chooses to do good and chooses to see good in others; to wake up each day with a lust for life, seeking beauty and joy in the everyday! Each day there are countless opportunities to live out the good that is within us. Each day there are opportunities for that which is good to override that which is bad. Each day there are opportunities for love to override hate in our world.