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How was church today?

Discussion in 'Church Life' started by Mendalla, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. Mendalla

    Mendalla A Node in the Interdependent Web

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    Music is an important part of worship for me though I wouldn't say I go to sing. It's more that music is part of the broader event for me. It doesn't have to be big, flashy music, either. A pianist or guitarist leading a small group in song works as well as a large choir accompanied by an organ.
     
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  2. Jae

    Jae Well-Known Member

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    The music I like best in worship is congregational singing.
     
  3. Luce NDs

    Luce NDs Well-Known Member

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    Inside ohm'r for the outside benefit? Post for modern institution as stuck ... imp aled!
     
  4. Carolla

    Carolla wondering & wandering

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    There are several of her phases that resonate (no pun intended) for me - the 'we-ness of worship" that comes for some in collectively singing; the being in the present moment, indrawing the breath, journeying together, the whole being so much more than the individual; the rush & challenge of getting somewhere on time, then settling in to the blessedness of so doing.

    It was a rush for me to get to church this morning - to a service that starts an hour earlier than that to which I am accustomed. It was disorienting to arrive at a different place, find my way through different processes, be heartily welcomed by some, and by others who were smiling but their words were not particularly of welcome - although I trust they did not mean them to be so, and doubt they recognized their impact. To discussions about what our new name will be. To a sermon and music of recognizing change, grieving and celebrating - change and ambiguity are not easy, but with God's help I trust I will find my way forward.
     
  5. Mrs.Anteater

    Mrs.Anteater no anteater, but German wild boar

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    Meeting for worship was very deep today. The reading was about “ love your neighbour and your enemy” and we were about 9 people. Spoken ministries were about “ you can love people but don’t have to like what they are doing”, to “ being open to the spirit- what is the spirit in the context of the love your neighbour” , “ did Jesus really mean “ love” or rather “ respect” and “ empathy”, “ who is my enemy.” All of this touched through personal reflections and experiences.
    We do have interesting people in this group, there is a psychologist, a councillor who gives courses in non violent conflict resolution, an engineer who spend the last 30 years in Africa, Pakistan and Malta, a human rights lawyer from the US who fights for people on death row, a tai chi teacher, a mental health activist. Quaker worship gives opportunity to listen to other people’s wisdom.
     
  6. paradox3

    paradox3 Well-Known Member

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    Our service was about prayer. The minister is doing a three week series based on Anne Lamott's book, Help. Thanks. Wow. Today was help. The scripture lesson was Luke's version of Jesus in the garden, praying. Christopher also read a psalm of lament in his sermon. It was good.

    A 90 year old man was recognized on his birthday. He was one of the founding members of the congregation in 1958.

    A mix of new and old hymns and a lovely anthem. Good sized crowd.
     
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  7. paradox3

    paradox3 Well-Known Member

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    The grief associated with losing a congregation is not always fully appreciated in its depth.

    And as one who has journeyed with a few different congregations, I will say people are not always as welcoming as they think they are. Often they mean well but just don't know how to actually behave in a welcoming way. Some say too little and some overwhelm newcomers by saying too much.

    I forget what you said about your church closing. Is a 3 way amalgamation happening or do I have this wrong?
     
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  8. Carolla

    Carolla wondering & wandering

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    It's two churches amalgamating P3 - keeping both buildings for the time being - so one NEW CHURCH - two campuses which are being refered to by geography not former church name. So while the grief is perhaps more anticipated for those of us leaving our usual church building - there will (I do fervently hope!) also be changes ahead for the other congregation as well in terms of 'how we do things' , activities etc. So I am sensitive that we are all experiencing the ambiguity and change.

    You are definitely right in saying that often we church folk think we are "welcoming" when in fact words & deeds say otherwise, either inadvertently or by intention. It's a tricky thing this welcoming!
     
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  9. paradox3

    paradox3 Well-Known Member

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    Some have found the best way forward is to get rid of both buildings & start over elsewhere in a situation like yours. I know this is not always feasible. There have been some successful amalgamations where one building was retained and renovated.

    There is a nearby congregation that decided to disband rather than pursue amalgamation. In their history a 3 way amalgamation was pursued several years earlier and voted down by two of the congregations in the end.

    It can be complex, that's for sure.
     
  10. Carolla

    Carolla wondering & wandering

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    Yes - the fully new building/space is a thought that's been floated (by me! and others ... ) for a fresh start.
     
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  11. paradox3

    paradox3 Well-Known Member

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    It seems that a certain percentage of the membership is always lost after an amalgamation. I am not sure why this would be but it certainly seems to be common.
     
  12. Luce NDs

    Luce NDs Well-Known Member

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    One congregation injured by the other ... both ways even ... passion is radical ... bitimes! Thus divine schism ...
     
  13. BetteTheRed

    BetteTheRed Resident Heretic

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    The rev focused on the baptism of Jesus by John, but particularly on the word spoken by the Holy Spirit about Jesus: "beloved". She pointed out that at this point in this gospels, Jesus has not gone out into the desert to wrestle with his ministry, has not gathered disciples, has not performed miracles, has not died nor been resurrected, and yet he is still Beloved of Godde.

    Good service, nice lighting design at front of church. I was projecting. Windows decided to be difficult on me about starting up, which caused a few minutes of anxiety, but which I resolved in time to get through the Announcements slides 2-3 times, which was fine.
     
  14. GiancarloZ

    GiancarloZ Simul Justus et Peccator

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    Today I went to the larger United Church congregation in Winnipeg, for the second time. Beautiful building, good choir and great sermon. The music was good, too, mixing VU and MV.
    The sermon was about how our own baptism reflects the Baptism of Christ. The pastor is a gifted speaker and kept my attention all the time.
    Both times that I went there I left feeling light and good. What prevented me from joining is that the clergy and congregants have a weird distant attitude. Both times no one asked for my name, which I find very weird.
    Anyway, I went there exactly for that - didn't want to have conversations today and I knew no one would bother me there. Something weird turned out to be good, at least for today.
     
  15. Luce NDs

    Luce NDs Well-Known Member

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    There are many arms lengths congregants out there ... based on fear of strangers ... a biblical misnomer? Nominalism ...
     
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  16. Carolla

    Carolla wondering & wandering

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    That's the odd thing isn't it? If asked, I bet they all would say they are very welcoming! Glad though that it worked for you today ... sometimes it feels right to be solitary - or at least it does for me.
     
  17. BetteTheRed

    BetteTheRed Resident Heretic

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    In some ways, it's also sorta Canadian. OTOH, if it's a larger congregation, downtown, might be the city's "posh church", where the lawyers and doctors all go. I think there's one in every city that's large enough to support 3 or more congregations.
     
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  18. GiancarloZ

    GiancarloZ Simul Justus et Peccator

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    Definitely odd! I wonder if they are afraid of being too invasive or really just don't care, or don't want, in their depths, to have new people around. But works just fine when I want to be quiet and still - and you're right, sometimes it feels just right.

    Sorta Canadian in the sense of not wanting to be intrusive?
    I didn't know about this posh church thing but it makes sense, they even have some judges in the congregation as they pridely advise on their centenary celebration video.
    The odd thing is that I was properly welcomed in all the other congregations I've been to.
     
  19. BetteTheRed

    BetteTheRed Resident Heretic

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    I'm going with my posh church hypothesis, then, LOL... (and yes, I did mean "not meaning to be intrusive" because people can seem standoffish when they're really trying to give you the same level of interested distance that they would prefer.)
     
  20. GiancarloZ

    GiancarloZ Simul Justus et Peccator

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    Learning to navigate other cultures is such a challenge.
    Luckily I find it much easier at my Lutheran congregation here. Lots of Colombians there, and also most of the Canadians are first or second generation whose parents are/were German or Scandinavian.
    [FONT=Open Sans, sans-serif]Very different from a Anglo-Saxon, "national church" congregation. [/FONT]
     

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