Thursday, November 6, 2008

Damned if You Do...

Sometimes everyone feels as if they can’t do anything right. For example, many people like to complain about their church community. Obviously, I hear many of these complaints and that’s why I sometimes feel as if I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t…

I know that people are concerned about the length of our 10:00 am Church service. I even hear suggestions that we should drop something from the service to make it shorter. And so I ask what to drop? Now, before you answer that question you should know that in theological circles I’m known as a minimalist (that means I like to plan worship that has only what’s necessary and what’s necessary can include things that we enjoy). So, we already are very close to the bear minimum.

Let me point out one more important factor in this discussion. Remember how it used to be at the old 11:00 am service: the clergy and administrators received communion first, then the choir and then the remainder of the congregation. We rarely needed the two scheduled hymns to sing while people were receiving communion. In fact, more often than not, we were finished distributing communion before the first hymn was half over. By contrast, last week we had time to sing three hymns during communion and we still weren’t done administering.

The difference between what was and what is, is the numbers of people in Church to receive communion. It used to take about 120 seconds to distribute communion at the 11:00 am service. Now, it takes about 10 minutes at the combined 10:00 am service (that’s much longer than it was at the old 9:15 service too).

I for one am joyful that so many of us worship together. It’s really not a burden for any of us to take the time to spiritually nourish our neighbours and ourselves. I do not believe in adding unnecessary things to the worship, but neither am I going to be rushed. This is holy stuff that we are about. Nothing short of allowing space for the Divine in our midst. If you rush it you’ll miss it.

If you want to know why something takes place, then ask. If you want to have input into the worship then come to a meeting. The Worship Team is the group who makes the decisions about Sunday morning’s worship.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Rushing worship turns services into the rest of our lives -- get things done quickly and get them out of the way so we can get home for lunch / to go somewhere / to get work done. Why not have a drive-thru service? Offering at the first window, bread and wine at the second, dismissal at the third. That way people wouldn't have to go through the pesky annoyance of getting out of their cars. One of my dreams for the church is that it might be filled with people who find joy in worship and don't spend the last 20 minutes checking their watch.