Transforming Worship

Hello Companions on the Way!

One of my favorites all time worship inspirations passed away earlier this year.

Her name was Mary Oliver.

Of her many, many great works was this little gem, which, in a way, captures the heart of what worship can be….

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

As folk involved in the creation and transformation of worship paying attention is key.

Attention to our community, to the pastoral needs and longings, attention to the wider world and attention to creation and its song.

My sense is that worship is always transformed and transforming when it is a living act

happening in real time
that is inspired and changed
by who is in the space and what is awake within them…

And transforming worship has to be contextual and brave and beautiful.

This last Sunday, as Australia sweltered though another record breaking, climate change fuelled heat, I dragged a large inflatable pool into the church, stuck a house through the window, got all the kids to hop in the pool, told a story about Transfiguration and turned on the hose….

Children squealed, adults laughed, we all felt a moment of relief from the terrible heat. The ‘cool wings of the hovering Holy Spirit’ splashed amongst us and swooped into the weary hearts of us all

This week too Archbishop Comsensoli, reflecting on the recent conviction of George Pell, spoke about the desolation of Gods church…. The Roman Catholic story is not our story but we are all one family in Christ and the desolation is real enough.

Our worship, as well as being filled with astonishment at the GRACE needs to create spaces which do not turn away from the darkness and where we can allow anger and grief and lament.

My hope for our circle this year is that not only do we challenge each other and our church to be bold and contextual when it comes to stretching our liturgical language and our theological horizons but that we also share stories with each other about how we are travelling. In the desolation and the delight.

That we…

“Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

SHARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE TRANSFORMING WORSHIP CIRCLE Email: circles@nat.uca.org.au