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I grew up Nazarene, and attended Eastern Nazarene College. I got involved in the Liturgy Committee at my small, local church and became very interested in the subject, both studying the history of worship forms since the early church, and in planning our congregation's weekly worship.
Here in Blacksburg, I'm attending a Presbyterian Church, where I am participating in a year-long worship renewal effort under a grant from the Calvin Institute.
I see worship as one of the influential and important jobs of the church. I grew up using liturgy watched the church leave liturgy and then return to liturgy. I have attended high worship churches and free worship churches. In college I wrote Encountering Worship a book covering the history, philosophy and practice of worship.
I am most interested in the content and meaning of worship elements.
By the way, I'm middle-aged enough to soon be a grandmother.
I am a small-c catholic whose church background ranges from Roman Catholic and Episcopalian through Church of God in Christ. I currently am looking for a regular parish home.
I am a soldier of the Salvation Army, but came to faith in a fairly charismatic pentecostal church and have later studied theology at the baptist seminar ("SALT" - Scandinavian Academy of Leadership and Theology) for some years. I love systematic theology and historical theology, even being one of those "artsy" types.
Oh - I live in Sweden... Malmö, to be exact, even though I am from Stockholm originally (and proud of it).
I am Reformed, theologically. In terms of Liturgy, I think it is very helpful in bringing one to worship. That being said I believe that liturgy should most importantly be Word centered, Christ Centered. Secondarily it should reflect the beliefs/theology of the body of Christ (fore most the first 2 mentioned items) and therefore community building through worship. I believe that Liturgy has been and is a great social commentary on the needs of the people worshiping as well as a reminder of the importance to focus our attention, in worship, upon Christ.
17scottknitter Primeira Mensagem
I'm also a Benedictine oblate of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana.
All of this means I have far too many hymnals, missals, and breviaries in my library!
I'm curious what being an oblate means in your context. How often do you visit the Archabbey?
It appears I changed it, though inadvertently. Unless there is a strong opinion voiced to the contrary, I will re-open posting to non-members...
22ManipledMutineer Primeira Mensagem
I love all forms of Christian worship and do wander off to nonliturgical worship services from time to time, but always come back home. I find the call and response of the liturgy in any form is transporting.
With all due respect, i said i was influenced by Islam, just as i have been influenced by Judaism (as has Christianity itself) and by Rastafari. A lot of things have influenced me in my life.
My beliefs are as follows. I believe in the One God of Jews, Muslims, Christians, and all others who have faith and trust in One God of love. I believe God became God's own creation by becoming a flesh-and-blood human being (without ceasing to be God) who died and returned via resurrection to physical, albeit glorified, life, and did this to reconcile all creation to God's self.
I emphasize in my personal devotion the One-ness of God, without denying that God can be at the same time, in a divinely mysterious way, Triune in personal manifestation -- because God can do anything!
Unfortunately (i'm not saying in this case) "Islam" is a scarey red flag to many people. I respect Islam because *on average, repeat! on average*, among those of my circle of friends and acquaintances in Atlanta , Georgia, with whom i have discussed spiritual matters, those who identify themselves as Muslim tend to be more truly and sincerely spiritual than those who identify themselves as Christian.
In a discussion during which i stated the above views a Muslim friend said he considered me spiritually a muslim (which means "one who submits to God") in light of the views I expressed.
I deliberately mentioned Islam in my introductory post to clearly distance myself from Islamophobia. To paint all Muslims with one brush is as bad as doing the same toward Jews and Christians. Personally i think that both Judaism and Islam have both suffered worse from Christians than the reverse case.
But God is love, and Jesus' coming to earth manifests that. And that's why i am a Christian.
As an oblate of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, I'm part of a community of more than 1,000 oblates who have promised to incorporate monastic values into their lives as Christians living in the world and to pray for and support the archabbey community. I'd like to visit the archabbey for retreats much more regularly than I have so far; I've been there three or four times in several years and would like to go at least twice a year (sounds like a new year's resolution). I'm working with our oblate director and a local priest-monk of the archabbey to start a Chicago oblate chapter. There are many local chapters of Saint Meinrad oblates that meet monthly, but the closest one to me is in Merrillville, Indiana. I run the (very quiet) private Yahoo Group for Saint Meinrad oblates and serve on the communications committee of the oblate board. I also pray the Office, study the Rule, do lectio, and serve actively in my own parish on its vestry (board) and as an Evening Prayer officiant.
Thanks for the information about the oblates program. When I lived in the Boston area, I visited Glastonbury Abbey for prayer services quite regularly. One time, I inadvertently attended a meeting for inquirers about the oblates program, and I was fascinated. Since I was moving, and the program there seemed very much rooted in physical proximity, I didn't follow through.
I find myself in Blacksburg, Virginia now, and I am not aware of any monastic communities in easy reach. But, if you find yourself able to keep faithful as an oblate with a similarly tenuous physical connection, perhaps I should be encouraged to look into it myself...
I love how we're from all over. Gives me a real, living sense of the church universal.
You may be interested in reading about this online oblate chapter:
I love it, too :)
You guys have no idea how my life is blessed just by the conversations here. You might not realize what these discussions mean. Thank you, all, for sharing.
Oh - on another liturgy/worship note, I've just recently stumbled into the Celtic christianity way of thinking about this and got completely blown away by the fact that "we have been here before! 1500 years ago!"
37churchgeek Primeira Mensagem
I'm from Detroit (I'm technically still a member at the Episcopal Cathedral there, which vpfluke mentions), the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, but I'm in California right now, doing an M.A. in theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. I live in Oakland (where it's cheaper) and work part-time as a verger at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. (Alan Jones is the Dean there - he's a prolific author and phenomenal preacher - check out sermons at www.gracecathedral.org if you're unfamiliar.) Back home I was in the choir, and also a lector.
I became an Episcopalian at the cathedral in Detroit in the late '90s. I was raised (and baptized) in the Assemblies of God, but in college (University of Michigan, early '90s) started visiting various churches. There were 3 different points in my life through the 1990s that I visited different denominations, first in Ann Arbor, then in Lansing, MI, then in the Detroit area. I was in part "church-shopping," but was also very deliberately exploring and enjoying experiencing a wide variety of Christian traditions.
Liturgically, I consider myself fairly broad-church. I fit perfectly well in either my home church (the Cathedral) in Detroit, or at Grace Cathedral. Both are essentially Catholic in their theology, solidly Anglican in their liturgy, and about halfway up the candle, I think. Me too.
At work, I do a wide variety of tasks, all the way from schlepping furniture and straightening kneelers (sadly, we have detached, individual kneelers instead of the kind that are sensibly attached to the pews), all the way to leading Evening Prayer and lay-assisting at some weekday Eucharists. So... I LOVE my job.
I think I found this site through someone's profile or signature over at Ship of Fools, where I go by the same screen name. I probably have about a third of my books entered by now, but of course, I keep buying more. :) I got a huge supply of free books from the library at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit (where I audited classes) when the regular book sale turned into a free giveaway; I got lots of interdenominational prayer books and hymnals that way.
The Graduate Theological Union was the only school I applied to for the MA program. Like the seminary in Detroit, I was drawn to it for its ecumenical (and in GTU's case, interfaith) breadth. I don't want to study with people only of my own tradition. So while I'm becoming increasingly Catholic in my own theology and devotion, I'm still generally "broad-church" in my thinking - which I think is what the word "Catholic" really means, anyway. I think different ways of worshipping reflect the variety that God loves so much in God's creation and has brought together in the "one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church," which is too big to fit into any one institutional structure or denomination. We need all this variety in the various churches because there is so much variety in human personalities, cultures, and contexts.
But you'd expect an Episcopalian to say that, wouldn't you? ;)
I didn't think I would get an oblique connection to someone at this library site. My wife, Valerie Pfluke, who was a member of the Detroit Cathedral, and I were married there in 1986. I was attending Emmanuel Episcopal Church on the northside of Detroit at the time. We met in a prayer and spirituality course taught at the Cathedral Center under the aegis of the Whitaker School of Theology.
In 1993, we moved to Indianapolis and then in 1997 to Long Island.
Valerie grew up with Don Wiggins in Rome, NY (he is now senior warden) and she helped Joan Heneveld edit the monthly Cathedral Digest. Perhaps you know these people.
Do I understand that the Ecumencial Theological Seminary in Detroit has disbanded?
Our parish in New York, Holy Apostles (in Chelsea) is broad and fairly high (incense nearly every Sunday including summer).
I have about 5% of our books listed. Slow job, as I want to make sure that I register the right edition of a book, with the right cover.
Yes, I know Joan and Don. Joan has moved back to her hometown in Western Michigan, though.
ETS has not disbanded - in fact, they became accredited in spring '05 (I was able to attend the special event at which they unveiled plans for new buildings at the same site). They just have regular library sales, and that one time there was SO much they wanted to unload, they started giving it away. I think what happens is people donate their personal libraries to the school, and the school just can't use all the books. As I went to put my name in some of the books, I noticed, for example, that I had a lot of books that once belonged to the same man, some Rev. somebody or other, probably now deceased...
Anyway, ETS's website is www.etseminary.org if you want to check it out. The Cathedral's is www.detroitcathedral.org - includes some pictures, if you want to feel nostalgic. :-)
Nice to virtually meet you from one coast to another!
I've been to the Detroit Cath. website a number of times. I did visit Detroit last May 14 and had lunch with Joan Heneveld Don Wiggins, Joan McDonald, and Ken Homburg. I also ran into Bernie Moner when I walked in I was greeted by Bernie Moner, who was an usher at our wedding on All Saints Day 1986.
I was at Holy Apostles this morning (Advent 4), and was intercessor. My training in lay reading was done at the Detroit Cathedral, and we had to project our voice unaided from the sanctuary back to the narthex door unaided to pass. This was a challenge, but am a louder reader than most, and people seem to appreciate that.
For a while, I was on the Cathedral Chapter (appoointed by the Bishop, and then elected), and and helped edit and publish a book, Through the Years: a history of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. This was a remarkable effort, what with recalcitrant parishes, different ideas of standard English, and working with typesetter, securing half-tones, etc.
I was back at the Cathedral last May 21st! We just missed each other and didn't know it.
I remember seeing that book before, but I haven't read it. I'm getting to be more familiar with the Diocese of California now than I am with my own Diocese of Michigan, so I think I should get a copy of your book and read it!
Then, when I started work in an unfamiliar city, I was introduced by friends into an Anglican parish which gave me friendship, support, and the same kind of worship experiences that I have mentioned above. This reinforced my interest.
At about the same time I found that a genuine interest in religion and its adjuncts had kindled within me and I started to collect and read relevant books. For reasons of personal inclination, as well as parsimony, I went for the older and more traditional books and, as I found that books written for Anglicans were generally more available and accessible than traditional catholic tomes, I perservered with them, which probably explains the bent noticeable in my LibraryThing catalogue. This, I found, broadened and deepened my interest whilst (together with my experiences of Anglican worship in an Anglo-Catholic mode) also making me reflect on, and value, my own Catholicism more and has led me to where I am today.
Lots of people here connected with Detroit Cathedral. I was received as an Anglican (grew up Roman Catholic) by Bishop McGehee in 1986 at the Great Vigil of Easter. I've also sung briefly with the Cathedral Singers. Used to drive down from Rochester or East Lansing to the Cathedral Book Store.
In small churches lay people who want to participate end up with wider roles. You also don't have to be hgihgly qualified. When I went to a 1000 members church, the lectors all had broadcast experience, which I didn't. So, I was sure I wasn't needed, until during our monthly Taize services,I was occasionally asked to read by one of the assistant pastors.
On the other hand, in that big church, I was able to put together a men's spirituality group, because when you are doing unique things that only small percentages are interested in, you can get a decent level of particpation.
Perhaps 25 years ago, a friend at work took me to an Easter vigil liturgy in an OCA church in Detroit. Her father was a Russian Orthodox priest who left (escaped?) Russia in the 1920's. So, she knew everything that was going on. We entered the darkened church where there was a casket of Christ, which most people reverenced. At some point, we marched around the church holding pussy willows. Then we came to the front door. I guess the paschal falme was lit, but there was a neon inscription over the door which read, "Christ is Risen" in Russian, and that was turned on. Then we went back inside and white flowers were everywhere and all the lights were now on - what a transformation. At some point, the priest and choir processed what seemed endlessy around the church singing "Christ is Risen". At some point, however, my perception of the singing went from endless repetition to one where I awaited the choir coming close to where I was standing as if the sound was some kind of divine wave. After the service was over, we went ot the parish hall where everyone had wicker baskets in which were placed the twelve different types of food for the traditional Russian Easter table dinner.
I've also been to a holy day service at a Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia, and a number of Greek Orthodox services.
I, too, have mixed feelings about the "corporate" worship experience. I think I would agree with both lines of thought presented here, that it can be a negative sort of "showboating," but that is can also assist the worshipper to worship. I've seen it done both ways. It all comes down to the fact that worship services are lead by human beings who have their own motives, like it or not. And sometimes, they get it wrong.
I do think some sort of faith based ritual is important, though. Vital, in fact. But I think it is a challenge to keep elements of worship relevant and meaningful to those who have come to seek it.
Maybe that's why I love to learn the history. I wonder how people have come to worship, what moves them, and how that developed into a sustaining relationship.
52Pursuing_Truth Primeira Mensagem
I hope you can find time to catalog more of your books. We don't share any specific titles at this point, although we do have some common interest in theology books, I think.
Remind me if the Dallas Seminary is denominational. There is a seminary in New York City named General Theological Seminary, which is primarily for Episcopalians, but you can't tell by the short version of its name. I think their basic degree for those planning to be ordained is an M.Div.
- Bob Campbell
... dropping in. I won't be able to post a great deal at the moment as most spare moments are spent finishing a PhD. Liturgy and liturgical theology are though amongst me greatest loves, so hopefully I will surface, learn and opine with time (ooh - that half-rhymed!).
I am an anglican priest in Aotearoa-New Zealand, though I've spent much of the last twenty five years in Australia.
My family and I are also members at a local American Baptist congregation, where I serve as the worship team leader, and my wife is on the board of Christian education. The photo on my Librarything page is of me and my daughter reading one of her favorite books together.
I also play guitar- both for my own enjoyment and edification, as well as in the Sunday morning praise band at church. For self-care I enjoy reading great books (obviously), spending time outdoors whenever I can- either with family & friends or alone; and I play and practice on my Taylor guitar whenever I can.
I have been studying jazz, folk and a little bit of classical guitar for more than 5 years now and greatly enjoy it (although the more I play, the more I realize I have yet to learn- particularly when I hear my teacher play).
I look forward to the posts, discussions and book recommendations here on the list.
Blessings and peace,
I took a brief look at your websites, and they are interesting.
Living in the New York area, and atending church (Episcopal) in Manhattan, the subject of music is quite important.
My wife and I do not want to go to a parish where the music is mostly performance, no matter how great this music is. We like a mixed choir, not only men and women's voices (i.e we are not into the boy's choir tradition, think St. Thomas, NYC), but also mixed professional (and/or semi-professional) and parish memebers. Our own parish in New York has talented congregants, i.e. a bunch of people in the pews singing in parts.
We also like Taize music (which the majority of Episcopal churches do not do). Last Advent, a Methodist church on Long Island did a series of Taize midweek evening service during Advent which we really liked.
I sing in a community chorus group, but not in a church choir.
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