I love co-writing metaphors for songs, especially with people who have lived through experiences different from my own. They bring fresh language for common experiences, and sometimes they relate uncommon experiences through very relatable images.
When we pass the peace in worship, we don’t reach out only to those we know or feel comfortable with. We pass the peace to anyone seated near us. Many of us look for those we don’t know, and pass the peace that we may get to know them, and allow them to feel welcomed and connected to our congregation. What if, rather than seeing this as a part of worship on Sunday, we could see passing the peace as how we are in the world?
Not all of us have the strength or opportunity to live authentically in our places of worship. But what is worship when we hide? What is confession when we are not giving all of ourselves – when we are not SO honest and authentic that we can feel it in our bones?
Pantomimed digging. Laughter. High fives. Spontaneous prayers. These are not uncommon ways for us to gather ourselves for worship at Immanuel Presbyterian Church’s weekly evening service. Here’s how we suggest implementing paperless liturgy.
If worship is providing ways to access God, then its important to think outside the box, the church box, and even the reading/neurotypical box. Where can we allow creative access to God? Where can we open the door to the work of the Holy Spirit? Where can we learn from other individuals’ spirituality?
I grew up in the Evangelical church and suppressed my being gay until my early thirties, when I had a very spiritual and cathartic moment that would change the course of my life forever. I was thirty-two when I came out as gay and Christian, fully affirming myself and LGBTQ+ inclusion in the church.
Farm workers have long lived at the bottom of our socio-economic scale. Even today, their pay is abysmal. Farm workers are usually paid by piecework, meaning they work as fast as they can to make as much money as possible.
Last week I accompanied my high school daughter to Tijuana. Abigail, a volunteer teacher with Little Brushstrokes, a program for refugee children, wanted to bring art to the migrant caravan children. Our day was different than we could have imagined.
I am grateful to listen to people tell their stories, which can be messy, disorganized, or in transition. They can be filled with pain, tragedy, longing, and loss. How we tell our stories and own our stories matters. How we are allowed to have our stories matters.
Sometimes demographics just don’t fit denominational goals. Sometimes the local way of life works against the imposed model of church. Sometimes the flaws in the context undermine engagement.