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This is the article presented as one of ZionFire's convocation classes.  You may download the formated article


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A word about cultural tension.

Many of us have been raised up in a non-denominational, charismatic or evangelical church. There is a tension in bringing our familiar forms into convergence style worship that we may only be aware of as a sense of difficulty rather than being able to identify the real problem.

For instance, the model in most non-liturgical churches is to put special pieces at the offeratory. I've never liked doing this in any worship setting, because there is always the distraction of people jostling around for their envelopes and the passing of the plates. And after all, the offering should be "the offering". Putting special music there or a special visual is in a way doing a disservice to the attention that should be given to the actual making of one's offering. However, in a liturgical setting, there is even more tension, as things are also happening at the altar and our attempts to make this section of the service a showcase for presentation pieces fights with the liturgy.

I submit to you that rather than only thinking of the offertory and the praise set as the place for visual expressions, instead think about the other parts of the service that we can flow in with and not compete with as mentioned in the article above. I think we have to re-examine our assumptions that convergence worship should look anything at all like the worship forms we all came out of. We should be looking at the liturgy and developing our own form where expression flows easily out of the liturgy and without angst dependent upon ever-changing songlists and the pressure of coming up with a new "special" presentation each time we dance.

Instead, we can develop simple expansions on what is constant in the services--the liturgical music. This even can include how we enter into processionals and recessionals. If we can create meaningful contributions to these forms, we are freed from the tyranny of always having to create something new that may or may not have relevance to the other things happening in the service that day.
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Hello Helena,

Just finished reading your article on Movement in Liturgy! Excellent article and very well written. It gave me a lot to think about.

Glad you are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!