Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Liturgical Turn and the YMCA

Great article over at The Church and Postmodern Culture titled The Liturgical Turn: Church and Public of Worship. The article author's thoughts were spurred by the fact that his church now meets in a YMCA gymnasium. That fact attracted me to the article because our group has likewise been meeting in a school gym for 3 and 1/2 years now.

And also, there was a pithy comment at the beginning:

It’s easy to become overly connected to place. It seems better to stay in Egypt instead of making the journey to the Promise Land because there’s a desert in between. It’s easier because it’s comfortable, familiar, and controlled.

Then there was also this:

Reflecting on the fact that we now worship in a community gymnasium is pretty exciting to me because it’s a great way to be missional and to let certain aspects of the nature of worship flourish which have a tendency to be forgotten.

I would like to say more but I've got to get to work. Yes, its only 5:30 am but so many things on the list to do.


Missional Church Center said...

Enjoyed the article to which you refer. Yet I wondered why you are now moving into a permanent facility if the common experience you shared of worshipping in a gym brought greater depth and purpose to worship. Are you going back into Egypt, to use the metaphor posed at the outset of the article? If so, how do you reconcile the missional fiat of your immediate past experience and your future? This is not intended as argumentative, but simply a question to gain insight.

Steve said...

Dear Missional,

Thanks for your comment. I just got back from an extended trip out of town. I'm not sure we will be welcome by our Middle School authorities for very much longer. The YMCA is getting rid of the building where we meet on Wednesday nights also. Accomodating 300 people is not that easy. Aside from that structural issue, one drawback of where we are now is that we have no classrooms for adults except the gym and foyer. The acoustics are bad and not conducive to discussion. But to some, the class time is not that important. I enjoy a good class from time to time and occasionally like to teach if it is not too big. One of the best things we do is, after one or two short songs at the beginning of the service, is to stand up and have a period of fellowship for about 10 minutes. That has probably been our best and most beneficial practice. Everyone is happy and loud. The folding chairs are easily moved and it is easy to get around and visit with people one sees, even if they are on the other side of the crowd. Hope we can continue that tradition. Yes, there will be some changes when we move into a building. But the experiences of our beginnings have helped form and define the group in a positive way, I think, and so that will hopefully persist for a while. There is a church across the street from our neighborhood that met in the local high school for 9 years and achieved a body of 900 people before they broke from that tradition. Don't know how they pulled that off.

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