Contemplative Worship

Related to my current interest in contemplative spirituality, I've beenĀ pondering some foundational questions about Protestant worship. In particular, I've been questioning the wordiness of our worship services and the centrality of the sermon in Reformed (and other) worship traditions. To be … Read more about Contemplative Worship

Celebrate Mother’s Day with Lucy Smith

Whether they admit it or not, most preachers approach Mother's Day with fear and trembling. In some places it ranks right up there with Easter as a Sunday that draws big crowds with high expectations. Yet many people have a troubled relationship with their mothers or with motherhood. Many have lost … Read more about Celebrate Mother’s Day with Lucy Smith

Planning Communion with Youth

This past Sunday was "Youth Sunday" at Fourth Church. Our eighth grade confirmation class planned the liturgy and led the 11:00 service and our high school students led the 9:30 service. While the confirmation class has long planned and led a worship service at Fourth, this is only the second year … Read more about Planning Communion with Youth

What to do with “Sisters and Brothers”?

So here is a liturgical language issue that is blowing my mind a little bit and raising lots of questions for me. I recently had a very interesting conversation with a member of my church who has a transgender sibling. Because her sibling does not fully identify with either gender, she made a … Read more about What to do with “Sisters and Brothers”?

20 Things, Luck, Derrick Rose, and Gratitude

Here are four good YouTube videos I used in our youth worship service yesterday. Kid President is just straight up funny and right on target. I used this at the very beginning of the service to get people to think about things we should say more often and to make the point that worship helps us … Read more about 20 Things, Luck, Derrick Rose, and Gratitude

In One Week: Electric Chapel

Several years ago I organized three U2charist worship events at Fourth Church (one of which was covered by the Christian Century). Those were meaningful and fun, but didn't really appeal to my target audience of youth as much as they did to adults my age or older. Ever since then I've been looking … Read more about In One Week: Electric Chapel

Have You Ever Participated in an Agape Feast?

In connection to some other related projects, I'm working on an exploration of the Agape feast as a pre-Christendom practice that may well serve certain needs of our post-Christendom context. (More on this later.) I've tracked down Agape liturgies in the following worship books: The 1972 … Read more about Have You Ever Participated in an Agape Feast?