Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Emergent Worship Workshop

Oddly 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.


At 9:30 AM, Blogger Annie said...

I envy you for that experience.

At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Jen E said...

Are you still here in the Bay Area? Come visit St. Timothy's, Mountain View. We're in the South Bay. We've been working on this evolution for a few years, and we're really excited about it. Our rector just moved on, but our lay leadership is firing on all cylinders and we are thriving and moving to a whole new level of evangelism and growth.

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Songbird said...

Emily, this is really helpful. I've been trying to get a handle on what Emergent actually is, both in terms of ecclesiology and worship practices. The pictures, especially, are informative.
But does moving through stations really feel worshipful? I'm serious; I want to know what it was like.
(Okay, that sounded a little demanding.)

At 10:19 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Hi Jen, thanks for dropping by! I'm back in OK so no visiting for me this Sunday, but we will bookmark that thought for another trip.

Songbird, I think I will answer at length tomorrow more fully in a post.


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