The Presbyterian Assembly in Aotearoa New Zealand featured some wonderful music that as new for me, and some rich prayers, led by Malcolm Gordon. You can download the resources for free here.
Singing Alleluia songs in a dozen different languages from across the breadth of the Christian church worldwide brings a richness and depth to our sense of being the body of Christ. On the recent Songwrite weekend held at Burnside City Church in Adelaide, Rev Professor Michael Hawn led the morning congregations in a global experience of worship through music, asking “How people who suffer can sing Alleluia?”
After two national UCA Songwrite events, this was the first synod-based event where budding songwriters could gather with space to create. As one of the co-ordinators of the event I had the privilege of helping lead some of the worship, running a recording studio, sharing some of my own songs, and even trying to write some fresh material.Continue Reading
Last night I led an evening exploring “Multimedia in Worship” for the Centre for Music, Liturgy and the Arts here in Adelaide. What can you cover in 90 minutes? Well, not everything that I had planned! I can easily spend a seamster on this stuff. But here’s some of what we did.
I had a number of different movie loops and images playing on a screen with some ambient music (Lux 1 from Brian Eno‘s “Lux” album), including Marshall McLuhan quotes from “Probes” and some Proost clips.
“White Lady” – Geoff Boyce’s wonderful video of a mime artist plus Brian Eno‘s “1/1″from “Ambient 1: Music for Airports” and a reading from John chapter 1.
MEDIA & WORSHIP
I have stacks of printed quotes from which I select items for discussion depending on the session. I handed out a bunch of these. People discussed a quote in pairs and then swapped quotes with another pair and discussed a second quote. Quotes taken from my collection here.
Then a couple of longer quotes to reflect on:
“Our technological assumptions are deeply cultural. It is right to want worship to be relevant to the people of God; it is entirely different to assume that worship must reflect the technological biases of a particular culture, whether it is high-tech or high-touch.” Schultze questions“the assumption that the most effective worship today must be visually augmented with presentational technologies.”
Quentin Schultze, High-Tech Worship?, Baker Books, 2004.
Technology and liturgy have been involved in mutual inter-change in every period of human history.”The notion that Christian worship is unconditionally good and healthy and technology is unconditionally bad and unhealthy must also be challenged.” Both “liturgy and technology… have the potential to numb the senses, deaden the conscience, and create climates of anxiety, injustice, and despair.”
Susan White, Christian Worship & Technological Change, Abingdon, 1994.
WORSHIP AS COMMUNICATION
I talked about three shifts in communication and asked the question “What do these mean for worship in terms of both possibilities and problems?” (We could have spent a LOT longer on this.)Continue Reading
For four years I’ve been leading a monthly intergenerational worship and learning time at our local church in Adelaide. I recently did a write-up about it for John Roberto’s “Lifelong Faith” Journal. The journal is free and an excellent resource that comes out three time a year. You can find it here. My article is in Volume 8.3. I also have an article about Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale Uniting Churches in Volume 8.2.
A week ago was in Tasmania running sessions on Worship as part of a presbytery event aimed at equipping lay worship leaders. About 35 people from across the state gathered for 2 days of input from people including Chris Barnett (pictured), Steve Terrell, Anne Perrin, Carol Bennett and myself. Wonderful organisation by Michelle Cook and Anthea Maynard.
Here are some of my session resources:
Worship as Formation (plenary session)
1. Story -“Always” from “Grasshopper on the Road” by Arnold Lobel
- What do you ‘always’ appreciate about worship in your church?
- What ‘always’ annoys you about worship in your church?
3. Dinner at my place
I described that habits of the Mitchell household when people come over to dinner, and then talked about human beings as creatures of habit.
Human beings are creatures of habit. We are shaped by our habits. The patterns of our lives and relationships begin leaving their mark on us from the moment we are born. Who we are is part nature, part nurture. The habits of our families of origin shaped us for better and for worse, and we spend much of our lives both drawing on the strengths they gave us and trying to unlearn the unhealthy scripts that they placed within us.
Any community, large or small, has a culture that is in part the accumulation of many habits – ways of speaking and acting that reveal what we value, what we hope for, what we like and dislike and what we believe. We are shapers of culture but we are also shaped by culture.Continue Reading