This Sunday will conclude our three week “adventure in worship” with Professor Jennifer Davidson from ABSW. Last week Jennifer led us through some creative exercises in worship, focused on an upcoming Advent text, Luke 1:68-79, “Zecariah’s Song.” We listened to the text and then responded to it in words, clay, drawing, music and silent meditation. Then, we shared with one another what we had discerned. Jennifer encouraged us to read this text over each day this week as a means of deepening our understanding and gleaning new insights. We will continue to work with this text this Sunday with an eye toward how we might use it in our Advent worship.
As I said last week, “the next two Sundays we will not be worshiping in the traditional mode with which we are familiar. Consider these Sundays as sort of mini-retreats, in which you are invited and encouraged to be present from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM. Jennifer will be leading us in some new and exciting ways to approach worship that will be beneficial to you as a worshiper and to us as a worshiping community. Childcare will be provided for younger children, but youth will join with the adults. There will definitely be elements of traditional worship in the experience. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to share with a skilled leader – and with one another – in deepening our understanding and practice of worship, which is such a vital element to our mission as a church.”
Apparently some people were confused about the structure for the day so I repeat above what I said before about how the morning will proceed. I have also heard that the path we took was not comfortable for some of you. I appreciate that and realize that anything we do with worship will not please everyone. Still, I thought some lovely things came out of last week’s exploration and I encourage you to give it another chance this week. Remember what Jennifer said about how our resistance itself may be prayer and try to understand your own response to the experience.
Since this is also a stewardship month, I want to share with you some wise words that Jim Hopkins from Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church in Oakland shared with his congregation about the significance of giving. “…we leave you with two challenges. First, make your commitments with the understanding that they are not a fringe benefit to your church but an essential contribution to our life together. Second, a generation to whom giving to the church was almost second nature is passing away. Those of us who have benefited greatly from their steadfast generosity need to consider how we can rise to their level of commitment.” These are good words for us as we consider our own pledges for 2013.
See you Sunday morning at 10:00 AM in the sanctuary for worship, sharing and learning. Bring a family member, friend, colleague or neighbor (or three!) to join us. Strangers are welcome, too!
May God bless us and keep us on the way,