Thursday, December 11, 2008

Worship Resource Incubator

My work with university students has taught me much about their use of Facebook notes to share ideas, try their hand at creative writing, and in general looking for ways to express themselves. Recenlty one student posted some original rap lyrics he'd written a year or so ago. The emotion and struggle he presented were a perfect match for the feelings of a college student during final exam week! It made me wonder how we might facilitate a network of communities of people who might share original music, poetry, readings, etc. that might have application in worship.

Imagine if we were to try to create a worship experience for our diverse lunch crowd that gathers Tuesday as different religious (or no religion) backgrounds, various life experiences, array of ethnicities, and huge array of musical and entertainment tastes all converge in one worship. Get the idea?! We'd need to create something different than white worship or black or hispanic worship. Different than some of the traditional or mainstream stuff, not just praise music or contemporary Christian, but an experience that was real, honest, accepted people where they are at in life, yet eager to help a diverse group of people experince God in fresh, affirming, energizing, transformative ways.This all brings me to seeking your creativity, input, voice!! My friend in Nashville is part of a group that could benefit from the kind of creativity I've already found in you. Read some of his words below, let's talk about it, and let those creative ideas flow BUT share them with me. Pick up a hymnal or think about what a worship service needs BUT put it in your words-- think original music, prayers, readings, poems, etc. Think urban, rap, honesty, truth, peace, justice. Think emotional, vulnerable, expressive, soul searching. Share your/our deepest God questions, struggles, challenges. Share your/our deepest life questions, answers, curiousities. Let that creativity flow. Taylor writes below about a rap piece I sent him from a college friend, and gives a couple of options which you might be interested in. If you are interested in being part of the online creative community or want to submit something for the hymnal let me know.Taylor writes:So two things-- a) connecting communities of writers who are working on things like this and b) helping others see the value of this kind of thing for at least psalmody. Let's keep talking about both of these possibilities. The former is the kind of thing we're doing with the Open Source Liturgy Project. The latter would require submitting things to the Hymnal Revision Committee-- Let's dream, talk, worship.... Scott

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