Renewing Worship project March 14, 2014
Thanks for participating in the project for exploring new ways of worshiping God together.
I promised a while ago to prepare some materials to help us discern how well our attempts at new ways of worship are working out. This is my draft. Please feel free to comment on this by writing to me firstname.lastname@example.org, or by using the comment form on this page.
Asking open-ended questions
The idea is this: we’ll ask ourselves open-ended questions about our worship experiences, rather than giving ourselves a set of rules – a checklist – against which to score them. The idea is to reflect on each worship experience in the light of the open-ended questions.
Obviously, it’s helpful if one of the questions we use is this:
Q. In what inward and outward ways are our practices of worship, prayer, and service consistent with St. Paul’s Church Statement of Call?
As a reminder, our statement of call is this:
St. Paul’s is a Christian community where people are met and accepted without judgment for who they are and are adopted into a loving and caring family. Our faith provides a framework within which we explore, honor and celebrate the presence of God in daily experiences, especially in the crises, conflicts and transitions of life, and are thereby equipped to live fully in an increasingly complex and changing world.
We believe we are called to center our life in Jesus Christ through a regular discipline of Eucharistic worship, scripture study and prayer.
We believe our faith leads us to fulfill our mission, which is to share ourselves and our resources with each other, our community and the world.
We believe we are called to discover and affirm our spiritual gifts and be responsible and committed ministers of these gifts in the name of Jesus Christ.
What open-ended questions should we use?
These are my suggestions for open-ended questions we might use as we reflect upon and evaluate each experience.
Q: In what inward and outward ways are our practices of worship, prayer, and service consistent with St. Paul’s Church Statement of Call?
Q: In our life together in worship, prayer, and mission, do we support each other in seeking and following Jesus Christ? In what ways do we “do justice, and to love kindness, and walk humbly with our God?” (Micah 6:8)
Q: How do we seek to engage each person’s whole heart, soul, mind, and strength in the love of God?
Q: Are we open to being changed, outwardly and inwardly, by the gifts of the Spirit that each person brings to our church community?
Q: Do we openly and consciously celebrate our unity in faith and practice with Christ’s church through the ages and around the world? Do we remember that since the day of Pentecost the followers of the risen Jesus have “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers?” (Acts 2:42)
These are one person’s idea of helpful open-ended questions to ask ourselves as we work to seek and serve the face of Christ in all people.
Next, I’ll demonstrate how these questions might be applied in a couple of real situation.
Continue reading »