Skip to comments.As lives change, so does worship
Posted on 02/28/2006 7:26:38 AM PST by hiho hiho
Sunday traditionalists long have been divided into two categories.
For some, Sundays are sacred -- reserved for sleeping in, coffee, slippers and the morning paper.
But for many, Sundays are a suit-and-tie affair complete with pews, hymnal and lunch at Grandma's favorite buffet.
Busy lifestyles and time, or the lack thereof, are changing that.
At St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Salem, a 5:30 p.m. Sunday service that began Jan. 15 caters to the Sunday-morning minimalist who wants a little spirituality with her coffee and slippers.
"There are a number of ways to grow a congregation," said the Rev. Bob Burton, the rector at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. "One of the most practical is to offer a worship experience that's not already on the menu."
So the church worship committee decided to offer a new-look Episcopal worship experience, minus a few things.
For those familiar with the Episcopal liturgy (similar in traditional elements to a Catholic Mass), gone are the vestments, gone are the Gabriel Kney tracker action organ and formal atmosphere of Sunday morning.
Instead, participants meet in the church library, under subdued lighting, where a guitar plays instead of the organ pipes and orchestral brass.
The priest appears in casual clothing and offers what Burton calls an interactive message that includes a question-and-response time with the attendees.
Although the new Sunday-evening service offers participants a slimmer version of the normal Episcopalian worship experience, Burton said he wants everyone to understand that it is not designed to water down what the church believes.
"Flexibility and tolerance are not necessarily watering down the truth," he said.
"It's an organic version of spirituality," said Anne Burton, who is married to Bob Burton.
(Excerpt) Read more at statesmanjournal.com ...
I'd say the Episcopal church is a little too flexible and a lot too tolerant!
Suppose you were invited to a reception with a governor (you admited) or President Bush. You would dress in "Sunday best", wouldn't you? So why is the Lord entitled to less respect than our worldly leaders?
I belong to a formal church where men look like men and women look like women. We are also strongly discouraged from doing anything that requires others to miss the Sabbath because of work, therefore "Grandma's favorite buffet" is not part of the Sunday plan. Sunday isn't a day of rest in the leisure sense because we are busy checking on congregants, visiting the sick and shut-ins, studying scriptures, serving others. I can't imagine church and Sunday any other way.
I have found it very useful for weekends where the kids have lots of activities. Of course there's always the 8 a.m. . . .
If I am away from home on the weekend, the resources at www.masstimes.org are very helpful. Of course, you never know quite what you're going to walk into . . . I was out of town for a dog show and wound up in a LifeTeen Mass . . . I do NOT recommend that for anybody who wants to preserve their hearing! (I did note that there was an ASL interpreter for the deaf at the service - couldn't help wondering if if was for folks who were already deaf, folks who anticipated becoming deaf, or folks who just couldn't hear because the electric guitars were cranked all the way up!)
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