Monday, March 26, 2007

Conversation Sermon - and apprenticeship model

Last Sunday (yesterday) my son Michael and I did a conversation sermon. It was the Diocesan Top Parish event, and the bishop thought it would be good for a young person to do the sermon. But for some reason he was not so keen to do it! So I offered to help him, and he thought that would be doable.

So, we met and did a wee lectio divina thing on the gospel reading. We read it out loud once and named the words or phrase that stood out. Read it out loud again, and this time Michael listed his questions. We then went away and did some work on those questions.

Then we re-met a day or so later and went through our answers. Then read the passage again and talked about what God might be saying to us as a church and as individuals in this reading. We then worked together to construct a conversation. We went away and did work on our respective bits. Then we rehearsed it a few times.

It went well. It was a bit rough on occasions, but overall I was impressed by the model. I had never done this before, or even thought about it. But as I worked with Michael I thought, this is a good model. And after church several people also commented on what an interesting model it was, not only for working with young people but also older people. I think Steve Taylor talks about apprenticeship. Certainly Tex Sample did at the conference in Auckland. I think this fits that really well. A way of apprenticing young people to reflect on the godpel passage and be able to speak about that in a public setting. So, there it is.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Lenten Reflections

Last week I was at an Anglican Ministry Educators meeting in Wellington. Our guest speaker was Steve Taylor speaking about Emerging church stuff. There is a blog interview about this about to appear.

As part of that Steve talked about some Lenten material he has put together around good practices. I really liked this. It reminded of the Irish Penitentials, which were about developing the virtues rather than penance for the sin.

I have tried to approach Lent in that spirit this year Instead of just giving up computer games, I have thought about what virtue I wanted to build by doing that – spending time with my children. Instead of just giving up swearing at bad drivers, I decided to build the virtue of praying for peace for those who annoy me (bad drivers) – I keep forgetting this one. It has made all those silly giving things up for Lent so much more meaningful

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ship of Fools

Thanks Megan for this site. The mystery worshipper is worth a breif look at least.
Off to auckland tomorrow for a Toru meeting, to do some more work on my worship for young people in an Anglican setting module.


Friday, March 09, 2007

On a lighter (amd yet maybe not) note

What is Good Worship in the Anglican Tradition?

Here are my initial thoughts revamped through the comments of others. But I would really love to hear more comments. Really!

Worship is about offering your whole body as a living sacrifice, so worship is engaging of allows/invites people to participate with their whole bodies
§ Worship is about action, so it is not just “what we do on Sunday mornings”. Worship is defined by a life that pleases, honours and glorifies God, it is a mystical encounter with the risen Jesus through our work with those around us as well as what happens on a Sunday morning (Michael Treston)
§ Worship is Trinitarian in scope – we’re encouraged to participate with the Son in the power of the Spirit in the worship that is already taking place within the inner life of the Trinity. This theological underpinning helps us not to ‘try too hard’ in the sense that it’s not all about us and how well the worship band are playing and the sound is being mixed. Of course that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ‘try hard’ to bring our best to God in worship. (Mark Chamberlain)
§ So, what are we worshipping in our services? Where is the focus – the band? The choir? Symbols of the risen Christ?
§ Is not performance or entertainment!

§ it has a flow (it is more than singing praise songs) and structure that includes
o gathering with others and God
o confession –acknowledging our failure to live as we and God desires
o hearing God’s word in scripture and sermon
o responding to Gods word in prayer (and sermon?) or other activities
o gathering around the table for communion, to meet God in bread and wine
o being sent out to live in God’s world
§ it invites everyone to take part however they are able
§ creative use of the prayer book content – a toolbox of resources to develop good liturgy with
§ is prepared well
§ lead with sincerity, competence and liveliness.

Use of scripture
§ Big chunks are read out so that we can hear it, and read in a way that makes sense and grips us as hearers
§ Uses the Lectionary (normally for regular services)
§ Places the story we are hearing within the larger story of scripture – creation, fall, redemption, new creation.

Sacramental - includes communion
§ More than words and thoughts but:
o Visible word of God
o Non verbal
o Non intellectual
o Affective
§ Use of symbols and actions that enhance and/or interprets liturgy’s words
o E.g. 1. use of dance – not as a concert item, but to point to gospel proclamation
o E.g. 2. use of music – e.g. rap music as a psalm chant – engaging, expressive, energising

Outward Focusing:
§ Not so much concerned about me and God, or even us here and God, but includes what God is doing in the word.
§ It should reflect the five fold mission over time:
* To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom
* To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
* To respond to human needs by loving service
* To seek to transform the unjust structures of society
* To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and to sustain and renew the life of the earth

§ Anglicans are a people who worship in common. This is:
o not just about using the Prayer book, as the Anglican church has an ancient history that pre dates the prayer book. (In eastern orthodox they talk of worshipping in common with those who are gone and yet to come as well as the living - hence the liturgy does not change – Michael Treston). Even in our different liturgies, as they are based on those ancient liturgies, we worship in common
o is built on the shape’ of liturgy , its flow through a common pattern
· this means we worship not only with those gathered with us, but those who worship around the world
· those who have worshipped down the centuries
§ Use of plural language
o Not about me,
o but about us
o and God
o and God’s world

Colourful and Dramatic
§ multisensory
§ multi-layered.
§ Weaves and juxtaposes various cultural and religious symbols throughout
§ Use of soul music

§ Starting point of life of faith cf, individual acts
§ For Anglicans, identity is shaped or found in common worship cf adherence to confessional faith or particular theology
§ Long term formation through using the liturgy, like a sandpaper affect
§ Invites people to grow developmentally, and spiritually
§ Is counter cultural