Wednesday, July 27, 2005

So Here we are to Worship

Great week (so far) learning all about liturgy with the SAOMC and also having a chance for some real quality time with Jo and with Mark as well as with people I see less often like Alex, Claire, Fiona and Malcolm. We've looked at the way the Eucharist service developed and how the pattern of daily prayer changed from seven times a day to twice a day and the impact Common worship has and, one of the most fascinating sessions for me, looking at what things have influenced and can influence the architectural construction of churches. I'm hoping to get back to join them for a session on hymns and hymnody on Friday (oh and a night out with the girls! ) .

Greatest quotable bit so far this week came from Michael Sansom:

"Orthodox liturgy is liturgy at full throttle!"

I couldn't agree more. This week has made me an even more passionate advocate of good well thought out (that doesn't mean rigid) liturgy. It has also consolidated my passion for advocating a common lectionary. To think that all the churches, no matter what style, theology, or denomination they might represent, hear the same Gospel message each Sunday is, for me, such a demonstration of the unity of diversity within the Christian church. It was with some sorrow that I discovered that many of the churches the people represented did not use the lectionary. So I'm intrigued.... those of you out in the blogosphere.... does your church stick with the lectionary or make "local" decisions about readings?

One curious thing this week, though. One person made a comment about me being there when I don't "have" to be. He seemed amazed that I could want to be there for the sessions even though I'm not exactly "doing" the qualification.

Well for me SAOMC provides a unique opportunity to meet Christians from an incredibly eclectic group of churches and churchmanships. It's a place full of adults (which is a change for me in many ways!) and a chance to use the part of my brain that likes to study. It is also a place where I have found some incredibly supportive friends who have encouraged me in my own faith and ministry journey. Some others are more aquaintances than friends (which is sometimes a shame) but there it is like a church, of sorts, and as someone who works for a church it is fabulous to have a Christian community where I'm not on duty sometimes.


Mark said...

Bit of both... sometimes I feel God has a particular message/story, other times I preach from the lectionary because it keep me on my hermaneutical toes... sometimes I like to preach unprepared and see where God leads me ;-)

Kathryn said...

One of my Churches sticks to the lectionary - but asks whoever is preaching to preach on one of the passages in particular so there is something of a teaching theme running - so we've just had the Matthew's Gospel being preched, and we're shortly moving onto 'the life of Moses.'
My other Church is more varied- lectionary on 1st, (except for the youth service, we tend to get the yps to decide on theme, readings etc) 3rd and 5th Sundays, second Sunday is a 'teaching' Service with a 45 minute preach - sounds heavy but actually quite good, and that will be around what the Vicar and leadership team think God might be trying to get through to us as a Church just now. The 4th Sunday is an 'invite your friends/ neighbours' evangelistic, all age service, (Which does actually work!)That one tends to be round a theme - I would love to see what a mystery worshipper made of this one?!