Saturday, January 15, 2011

sadness update

I've been doing a little better with my church grief. I haven't been crying daily anymore, but if I let myself think about what our church used to be and what it is now I cry. And I cry every Sunday because it's a reminder of our church family that's it's in shambles now. It's a giant loss and I feel that if it isn't healed I'll always grieve it. I feel hope though, as much hope as I feel grief, and that's something. That's a whole lot of something!

Last night I was reading this bit from "Moby Dick" (which always reminds me of Heathers) and it fell open to this bit, how crazy is this? This is the Presbyterian Ishmael speaking:

What is worship?—to do the will of God—THAT is worship. And what is the will of God?—to do to my fellow man what I would have my fellow man to do to me—THAT is the will of God. Now, Queequeg is my fellow man. And what do I wish this Queequeg would do to me?


My heart started hurting again reading that, because our church is Presbyterian and our new worship vision that was written as a precursor to the music guy's firing starts "What is worship?" And now our community and congregation are dispersed and in great pain. Sad face sad face sad face.

5 comments:

Still Breathing said...

"What is worship?" - a big question indeed and I think Ishmael is close to the answer. What worship isn't springs to mind - it isn't endless repeats of 'songs', it isn't emotion, it isn't something we do on Sundays. Those can be part of worship but that's not enough.

Ishmael's answers aren't wrong either; they point to worship being a way of life but I don't think it's quite right.

Worship isn't about doing anything, it's about being. Being in God's presence. Being aware of God sustaining creation. Being aware of the thin places were God breaks through. Being aware of God's image in each other and loving each other because God loves each and every one of us.

We can't have a 'worship vision' as that presuposes we know where and how we are going to encounter God.

spinning said...

i heard a lot of lectures on "worship" back when I was in evangelical/charismatic circles... mainly the same 5 or 6 points, repackaged over and over.

while i think some of the points were right, these lectures were always delivered by "worship leaders" who had particular biases. Again, some of what they said was accurate, I think... but it only touched on music and words, not being like Still Breathing says.

Sometimes I wonder why I was on a "worship team" for 10 years... I liked playing music with other people (even if the music was dull and/or crappy, which it often was). Am not sure I ever had much of a "vision for worship," in the way that it was understood in those circles. But I did make some friends through it, which might be the most important thing about it for me, outside of actually getting to play. I learned a great deal about playing in a group, and I mean that in an entirely good way. It was pretty much *always* a kind of pick-up gig, and that's challenging. It also gave me the opportunity to experiment with various instruments and effects in that setting (am a percussionist), which was something I'm very glad for.

But I would like to be able to do something more than "worship team"-type music in a church setting... not sure it's possible, at least not where I now live.

(sorry for rambling!)

Eli said...

Yeah. The question of what worship is & isn't and the totally obvious way that churches have lost it, gets me too. In fact, beginning to notice & get tired of the stupid sing-along called "worship" was the beginning of me stopping going to church. Began to all feel feeble, foolish, and incredibly naive & self/tradition centered. Doing things just because someone else does/says to isn't ok when it comes to relationship with God or others. Ugh. Yes, still not past it.

stephy said...

I keep thinking "you're gonna carry this weight a long tiiiiime." And I try to remember "the soul can only hold as much joy as pain carves out." Little reminders to help me gimp along....

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