The Sea Trek Journal of Enoch Train
Editors’ Note: As Sea Trek 2001 casts into the ocean, carrying eight tall ships full of people re-enacting the voyages from Europe of Latter-day Saint pioneers of a century ago, Enoch Train, the instrumental group, is along to entertain the travelers and record their impressions. Meridian Magazine will share their journal entries each day, so that our readers can join in the Sea Trek journey from the comfort or our armchairs. Today’s entry comes to us from over the Atlantic Ocean, August 4, 2001.
Members of Enoch Train include Clive Romney, music director and mandolin; Daron Bradford, woodwind; Janice Anderson, fiddle; Rich Dixon, guitar; Jay Lawrence , percussion; Rob Honey, bass; Dave Compton, keyboard and guitar; and Tom Hewitson, arranger and composer.
– Over the Atlantic Ocean, 8-4-2001 –
On March 23rd 1856, 534 men, women and children who had embraced a new faith boarded the Enoch Train at Albert Dock in Liverpool, England and began an adventure that would test that faith, alter the course of their lives, and manifest to those with eyes to see that God is at work in their lives.
Their sacrifices were legion and legendary, their stories the substance of reverent retellings in countless family gatherings, Sabbath lessons, and parental admonitions. Many were members of the Martin and Willey handcart companies. Though these pilgrims of a century and a half ago espoused a faith that purported to be a new dispensation of the gospel, they carried inside them the cumulative cultural and religious heritage of centuries. And from that heritage they, through their diligence and sacrifice, fashioned a new culture and a new religious tradition–the roots, nourished by their new faith and fertilized by a combining of diverse cultures in a wilderness theocracy, grew and continue to grow truly unique branches.
Three years ago the Enoch Train sailed again. Though this journey is less epic in numbers, the crew of eight musicians (and their very supportive families) testify that it is no less a trial of faith and a manifestation of God’s workings in our lives. We have each felt our hearts, hands and minds being patiently prepared for the journey by a loving Heavenly Father.
And as we have explored the roots and branches (origins and interpretations) of the tunes that have become woven into the fabric of this unique Latter-day Saint culture, particularly those that were sung at the embarkation of the immigrant ships, we have felt a part of something far bigger than the band “Enoch Train”.
For not only is the whole greater than the sum of the parts, but the events, great and small, of the journey, only make sense if we acknowledge God’s guiding hand in all of it. Sea Trek 2001 is one more amazing example of God’s workings in our lives.
The obstacles to Enoch Train’s participation appeared, at first, insurmountable. How do you get eight of the busiest freelance musicians in Utah to block out not only a month to perform for no pay at Sea Trek, but also the time to record an album, rehearse the new shows, have business meetings, shop for new performance apparel, shoot publicity photos, etc.? How do we justify leaving our families for that long and denying them a summer vacation this year? And how do we deal with tendonitis, carpal tunnel, compressed disks and mortality in general? Most important of all, how do you get a consensus among eight musicians of differing needs, viewpoints, and life circumstances, about doing such a thing?
The answer, of course, is in “relying wholly on the merits of Him who is mighty to save” while doing all we can do. And we acknowledge His grace in getting us to this point (and our total dependence on Him to see us through.) Miraculously friends supported us, a loan was denied and then approved, and bodies healed.
So here we are, flying through the night on our way to Copenhagen Denmark for the beginning of Sea Trek 2001. Every place, even Copenhagen, is at once a destination and a point of departure. And Enoch Train has chosen to Set Sail….
For more information on Sea Trek 2001, see www.seatrek2001.com.
2001 Meridian Magazine. All Rights Reserved.