I have just finished running the second Manu Rui, a running worship for young people in an Anglican setting. It has been hard work, getting people there, and convincing those who come that Anglicanism has anything to offer young people. The Prayer Book and liturgical tradition are hard to sell. And in a way, they are right. It is not entertaining. It often does no offer instant feelings and responses. It is about spiritual growth and development over the long term, over life. It is solid and deep. Not quick, shallow and entertaining.
But is was good being with even a few who were at least interested in exploring this.
Here are some headings of what I think Anglicanism offers young people. Maybe I will say more some time.
Flow – the flow on liturgy offers a much deeper worship experience that what we often offer young people.
Ritual – there is a growing body of writing on the importance of ritual in changing how we see ourselves, each other and God. For example that rituals of Powhiri and weddings. Good liturgy needs to include good ritual.
“If the church is to have a place in peoples lives, then it needs to address itself much more seriously to the question of ritual and its relationship with contemporary culture”
Life changing – as I have said, over time it acts like sandpaper and changes who we see the world and God, and how we live in the world as God’s people.
The Church Year – offers us a way of exploring some big things over the course of the year. It was developed as an educational tool, so why not use it as one
Use of scripture – oddly enough, here I am the supposed liberal advocating the reading of big chunks of scripture in our services so that young people can read and hear much more and make decisions for themselves as to whether what they are being taught is right. But lots of evangelicals tell me it is too boring and hard to do that so they don’t. I just don’t understand that.
There are others, but that will do for now. I will try to post more often now