Sunday, September 28, 2008

It seemed like a typical Sunday morning ...

Song: I'm so glad, Jesus lifted me


Jeff H said...

[shakes head] (affectionately)

Tregonsee said...

Had a similar experience when he visited our very Anglo-Catholic CANA church for confirmations. Well, we made an effort to get into the spirit, anyway, but things kept slipping back into the normal Frozen Chosen style. Like wisdom and running water, the deeper faith is, the less noise it makes.

Unknown said...

Is that why the Dallas fans were so quiet last night?


Anonymous said...

Was that a Baptist Church????

One Day Closer

Anglican Beach Party said...

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man!

Unknown said...

Ask Horace Boyer - he taught us the song.


Canon Tallis said...

Sorry, but there was nothing about that which was very Christian. Can anyone just imagine St Paul's reaction to it? There would have been a whole series of epistles just on "decency and in order."

I suspect that very few of those folks have ever read much of the New Testament or come to understand it at all. Worse, they won't.

Perpetua said...

canon tallis,

"I suspect that very few of those folks have ever read much of the New Testament or come to understand it at all. Worse, they won't." ???

Are you being sarcastic to be funny? This was Truro.

Rev R Marszalek said...

I think I'll remove my link to you on my website. I might not understand the context and I might even be way off the mark but I think it is unkind to post video of a congregation worshipping their Lord in the best way for them and accept posts that only poke fun at them for it.

What about our African brothers and sisters - now they worship with exuberance and joy - is their faith not deep? I attend a charismatic evangelical Anglican theological college, we can be seen with tambourines and a variety of instruments, i wouldn't like to think that this is symptomatic of a shallow faith.

Saddened Rachel at Re vis.e Re form

Unknown said...

Humor is key, I think.

Imagine sitting in a cafe - we have all kinds of folks in the cafe, some who's name we know and some - many, who's names we might not know. People sit around tables and express opinions (like you would around the dinner table with your extended family). Some times people say things that are so surprising the conversation can stop suddenly while everyone stares at their shoes or out the door or look at the blackberry until the moments passes. Perhaps there might be a few over at the David Blue Memorial Pinball Machine who might be chuckling under their hands. And then the moment passes.

One of the things I love about all of you who post here at the cafe is that I hear so many more opinions that I would not hear if I just "sat at my own table" with my own circle of friends.

It is likely that our friend "CT" above has never been in an Episcopal/Anglican church that's been so deeply influenced in the American Gospel traditions. He may not know who the esteemed professor, Horace Boyer is or of his tremendous contribution to the American music lexicon - including the publication of this song in the Episcopal Church Hymnal, Lift Every Voice. He may not even know that this particular congregation is a liturgical and vested church. He may not even know that David danced naked before the Lord or that devout Jewish people have been known to get rather exuberant themselves in worship - even in the time of Jesus. There may be a lot of things he may not know, indeed, a lot of things we may not know, - but the point is, he dropped in today and we just say, God bless you, brother. Pass the potato salad.

As someone who is also in the charismatic stream, my sister Rachel, I know some of our brothers and sisters in the catholic stream (or even in the evangelical stream) may have a tendency to classify worship styles as though they were social classes in the Mother Country - with classical worship as somehow "dignified" and and exuberant worship as somehow "common." It might not only be class, but race. But I have also seen it work quite the other way, where those of us who might be "exuberant" in our worship may deem such expressions as being "Spirit-filled" while those who may exercise decorum and order as "dead."

Both may be the case, but also both may not be the case. What is it that truly matters, - is it indeed what God recognized when David shed his clothes and took off dancing down the street - it is what is in our hearts. And only God sees our hearts.

"I may sing with the tongues of men and angels, and I may prophesy and understand all, and I may have all faith so mountains are removed, and I may feed the poor and give up my life," but it means nothing if there is no love. I am nothing.

The best way I know - and why we do allow a wide range of opinions to be expressed - to challenge people to consider what might be a narrow opinion is to respond in love and with humor. Every so often, Hagrid the Giant (who is even now dozing at his permanent table by the door) will rouse himself and toss a cafe patron out the door (and word has it he loves tambourines so we all should be careful) - we do try to keep our hearts open and our minds disciplined and employ as much humor as we can spare.


Anonymous said...

I guess it was too much to hope that we'd leave all the snobs behind when we left...

(said humorously)

Perpetua said...

I do admit that when I watched the video, I thought, "Oh, I wouldn't feel comfortable there."

I don't doubt the orthodox theology of the worshipers. The problem is that I always seem to clap exactly wrong in these sorts of situations. If I try to clap the way we are supposed to, I don't like it; it feels awkward and unnatural. But if I clap the way that feels comfortable to me, I am not in sync with the other people.

So this style of worship makes me feel like an outsider. I don't fit in. If I try to fit in, I actually feel worse.

But I don't doubt the authentic Christianity in it.

Unknown said...

I think I understand perpetua. What is really cool - and perhaps is a taste of heaven - is how we come to engage and appreciate (which must take the Holy Spirit to do since I think you are being very honest about your comfort level and that must be respected!) is how, as we come to love one another, we begin to open our hearts to other forms of biblically-grounded worship. It means taking risks, because sometimes what feels uncomfortable is what the Lord wants to break through - and sometimes when we feel uncomfortable it is the gift of discernment that we've gone off the rails, as it were!

How do we know the difference? I supposed one test is who is at the center of the worship - is it Christ? Is the reverence, reverence unto Christ? Is the joy, joyfulness unto Christ? We can often, I think, figure that out as we are squeezed and what bursts out tells exactly who or what we are worshiping.

I've written a bit about being taken out of my comfort zone in blended worship here:

But I also am reminded - knowing that I come from a Christian Science background (which is as as austere as one can get!) and came through the charismatic Jesus Movement (and didn't get whiplash in the process) - of being pressed and pulled out of my comfort zone to appreciate other forms of Christian worship, biblically-orthodox Christian worship - from hippies on guitars to nuns singing medieval chants.

Back in the mid-90s I went for five days to a convent in Catonsville, MD. I had never been there before and had been told about it. I decided to have a Silent Retreat. It was pretty ambitious looking back on it, but it had a huge impact on my life.

The convent looks like something out of Old Europe, the sisters are in traditional habits and there are cloistered halls and the hours are kept, with services every three hours and a Great Silence for the entire convent after Vespers and through breakfast the next morning.

I was encouraged to go to Eucharist at 7:30 in the morning, which I found odd since I was an Episcopalian. But I dutifully went, in silence, unable to ask questions but remain quiet (for this extravert, you can only imagine!). I was quite puzzled, though, when I got to the chapel. The sisters were all in the quoir behind the screen that separated us from them and the priest was celebrating at the altar. All around were crucifixes which for the first time in my life I appreciated in a way I never had, even after my conversion.

But still I was puzzled. What were all these copies of the Book of Common Prayer doing on all the cathedral-style chairs? Was there some sort of partnership between the Roman Catholics and the Episcopalians? That seemed unlikely, but perhaps it was possible. I was quite puzzled, especially when I was invited to receive.

Of course, I learned later that the convent was Episcopalian - I had no idea there were convents, though I began to remember meeting sisters from the Diocese of Fond du Lac during my days in NOEL. And I was blown away by the worship and the devotion - and the joy. It was a healing experience for me and to this day, I make sign of the cross during the liturgy to honor the Lord and pray for those sisters who at All Saints Convent whose witness of Jesus opened my eyes in ways I could never have imagined.


Anonymous said...

The Diocese of Mississippi was privileged to have Horace Boyer lead the music at our Tent Meeting in 2005 It was a memorable occasion, made more so a week later -- the theme of the meeting was water, and Boyer led us in many choruses of "Wade in the Water" -- a week before Katrina.
Like BB, I was raised in Christian Science and I loved both the very dignified services that drew me to Anglicanism long ago, and the occasional tambourine as well!!

Václav Patrik Šulik said...

It was such a joyous time. Maybe you had to be there, but Richard Crocker had just preached his last sermon at Truro Church and there were many guests visiting from older days (I was sitting behind Bruce Newell) - communion was completed and the Lord's table had been cleaned. We were all standing together, when all of a sudden, from the center back, came the sound of a crashing tamborine. A head several rows in front of me turned, broke into a wide smile and tugged at the sleeve of the neighbor. We all turned to see our former pastor there, with his wonderful wife, Angela, and his youngest daughter, Rachel. He was banging his instrument with joy and what had been a warm time of worship somehow got even warmer.

What joy it was!

Too soon, the song came to an end, but Tory Baucum, our new pastor, knew we needed a repeat and called Martyn up to co-celebrate with him. This is fully Tory's church now (well, obviously, it is the Lord's under Tory's stewardship) and yet there was no guile at all - just joy as we celebrated the old and the new.

While we were all sad at the departure of Richard, this was a grace to remind us of the gladness our leaders have brought us.


p.s. Karen B - if you see this, please know that you were the focus of our outreach prayer this Sunday and it was with deep gratitude we prayed for you.

Unknown said...

Way cool Mary! Thanks so much for posting this. So wish I'd been there... I'm glad that after the first rush of negative comments by folks not understanding what church this was or who the tambourine player was and why he was significant, that you and William S. weighed in to clarify.

Thanks for letting me know of the prayers, William! They come at a good time with many new opportunities and challenges ahead. Hopefully someday soon I'll write about some of them in a wide circulation prayer letter.

I hope to be back in the States from late November for 2 months, maybe a bit longer. So maybe I will get up to Truro some Sunday in Advent, and then maybe again for longer (2-3 weeks would be nice)in Jan 09.

Miss you all, and will miss Richard+

Kevin said...

Not to be outdone, we did Greatest Hits Sunday night downtown.

Actually, I don't think either of us knew we were in competition. Though some folks here may have been more comfortable with our stuff. When I say greatest hits, it's going to be the old hymns you can down in the lyrics, but then again maybe not, for they several were set to contemporay style and all were played by two guitars, piano, bongo drum and a backup vocalist, no organ in sight, so "Be Thou My Vision" works better than Bach.

Glad it was a joyous time, best wishes to Richard Crocker+ at his new calling.

Kevin said...

it's going to be the old hymns you can drown in the lyrics,


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed it very much and I'll hazard that our Lord did as well! I wish the worship and singing could be that exhuberant and real in our parish on Sunday mornings.

Anonymous said...

bb, When I was a boy my father began a latin mission outside of Los Angeles. This was one of the favorite songs of the small congregation - sung in Spanish with guitars, tambourines, hand clapping and much gusto! As with Truro, they believed what they were singing. I am pleased the old song is still getting some good use.

Anonymous said...

It makes me chuckle when people are upset by our "exuberant" praise. It IS exuberant, but in a classy, refined way. This is NOT a Pentacostal church, and I think you can see that in our worship. If it were, moi would not be there, as moi tends to embarrass easily at charismatic shenanigans. :) And usually it's just the last song after Communion when we freak out like this anyway. ;) I've gone to Truro for 18 yrs, and the music is one main reason I continue. 2nd only to the fact that Christ and His truth only is preached there every Sunday. I've met visitors who said they were considering moving from Florida to Fairfax because of our music ministry. It truly is blended worship, and somehow the Holy Spirit blesses each one of us in the pews, no matter our persuasion. Please visit and attend one of our services before making a decision about what we're like. The Lord will touch you in a very deep way....guaranteed.