Emergent Worship WorkshopOddly enough, our visit to the Bay Area was not to see old friends, although we did plenty of that, or to eat, although we certainly did plenty of that. We actually went to do some learnin'.
These photos were from the Wednesday morning Emerging Worship Workshop led by a faculty member and a student at CDSP (Church Divinity School of the Pacific). The lefthand photos show a station where we could make crosses out of twigs and thread, and hang prayers and thanksgivings on a line. On the right was another prayer station, where we could light prayers for the world. (Yes, those candles are laid out in the shape of the continents).
Here are some thoughts about the whole thing:
One, this is all very new, relatively speaking, in terms of the sweep of history of the church. Some of this is going to work, and some of it will be discarded. I'm sure there were plenty of experiments in the Reformation that simply didn't go forward, for many reasons. The hymns in our hymnal, for example, cover centuries of church music. It's the best of what we know from many time periods. More contemporary music and liturgical practices will get winnowed in a similar fasihon.
Two, it's interesting to me as our culture becomes more passive "consumers" vs. "producers," that people want to participate more and more in liturgy. As our culture becomes more faceless--harder to figure out how to participate as a citizen when you no longer know where the mechanisms of democracy and power lie in your community--that people want to not passively experience liturgy.