Friday, August 21, 2009

Two places I could really see myself worshipping.

We ministers spend a lot of time thinking about what kind of environment we'd like to worship in. Or, at least this minister does anyway. That's kind of odd, since in most contexts (mine included) we're kind of the master of ceremonies when it comes to creating a space for worship. I choose the hymns, the liturgies, the sermon texts, the sermon, what goes on the altar, etc. etc. I don't control what happens in worship--I believe the Holy Spirit has that responsibility. But, I draw the blueprint so to speak. So, why in the world would I be looking with longing at other communities of faith? I will here refrain from answering my own question. If you have an answer, you let me know.
So, I've before pointed to a places where I'd love to worship. I've also filled you in on my plans for a treehouse church. Probably what you've noticed about these two posts is that I'm a sucker for aesthetics. I fit very squarely into that 2/3 of young people mentioned in that poll in the second link who would rather worship in a Gothic or ancient looking church than a new-fangled technology enabled convention center. The darker and danker, with the lingering musk of incense, the better. So, I'm obviously not one of those who holds to the "we could be in a storefront or a sale barn, or where ever as long as the Spirit is there" kind of philosophy. Well, I don't deny that. I uphold that truth very much--worship happens where people gather and invoke the presence of the Spirit. It doesn't matter where people are, real and meaningful worship can happen. But, I'm also one who loves to be surrounded by beauty. For me and my personality, the Spirit of worship is translated through my physical surroundings. When I'm sitting in the light of a stained glass window and the hymnal I am using is bathed in blue, that's the kind of thing that gets me. I can get past a humble sounding choir. I can make it through an asinine sermon. If I can visually experience worship, then I am there.
Also, it helps if I'm worshipping with a group of people I connect with. That being said, I happened upon a couple of church websites that are both very aesthetically pleasing that lead me to explore churches that I could imagine myself connecting with. Perhaps you do too:
Oh, and then of course there's the church that Jonny Baker belongs to, Grace

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