Thursday, August 24, 2006

alternative worship

We had a go(o)d discussion on tuesday evening about the circuit alternative worship service that I'm involved with. It's actually part two of a discourse that began earlier in the summer as we looked at where we had come from, if it was worth carrying on doing what we do, and who do we do it for. It started as a youth service, and it has failed to shake off the image that it is something that the young people do. We've experimented with many different ideas and has been poorly attended. Sometimes we felt that we were just doing it for ourselves. The service is designed for those disenchanted with traditional church, for those already in church who just want something more than the five hymn sandwich. A place to be creative and to share ideas, a place to develop friendships. Which is more than singing the most up-to-date songs (which is the perceived), but questioning our faith, engaging with current issues, challenging our conformity.

Through the discussion it became apparent that what we did worked on many layers and levels, whilst pertaining aspects of many traditions. Within all this is the fellowship that we have managed to foster, not least between ourselves, but those few who do attend. Something we seek to progress, for me the whole experience of setting up the room is part of the worship, allowing me to use technical gifts I don't often get chance to exercise. The camaraderie that ensues from working and sharing food together is really integral to the experience and perhaps is an area we have to bring more incorporation to.

So we've decided to continue, but to reduce the number of events, as the monthly occurrence was draining on our time, no sooner had one passed then it seemed we were meeting to decide the next service. I think this will help, we also need to 're-launch' within the circuit, advertise it a bit more. However, it does seem that perhaps we are the only people who are (have realised) that we do not find the current format of church entirely engaging, and perhaps we could develop the idea for those not currently engaging in regular fellowship.

If we were pretentious we'd call it church for the creative, post-modern existentialist.

But we're not, so we just call it AWE.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Sounds like a very interesting discussion and a great service.
Could you let me know when the next one is? I'd love to come along.