this week

So, we’ve been off this week. I’ve spent most of the week at a coffee shop here on the Square, reading and thinking (see the new “What I’m reading” page to your right).

This has also been a week for building and stretching relationships. I’ve mentioned some of the efforts that our congo has been making to reach out to other Churches of Christ in town. Things continue to progress as we get to know others better. I am continually amazed at the good things that people do and say, the sacrifices that they make, really, in pursuit of God’s imperative for unity among the followers of his son.

We’ve made some adjustments in worship at our congo as well. We started some weeks ago with a responsive reading of a psalm (or a portion of a psalm). This has been well-received, in general. The goal is to introduce more scripture into the service. To that end, we have based each service, apart from the sermon, on the Lectionary (Year B) in the Book of Common Prayer. This is going well in that it gives Scripture a much more prominent role in our worship. The real problem has been finding hymns that complement the lesson texts. We use Songs of the Church, which is probably the worst hymnal published among Churches of Christ. Name almost any topic and you will have a hard time finding hymns in SOTC that support that topic.

Anyway, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts/objections to this course of action.

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8 responses to “this week

  1. I think introducing more scripture into services is wonderful! A very good idea!

  2. That’s very interesting. Have you reformatted the rest of the worship service.

    I do believe your’s is the first coC I’ve ever known to use the Lectionary and responsorial psalm.

    Well the church I used to attend started a daily morning prayer meetings with Scripture readings. I made little booklets for every week and used the Lectionary for the the Scripture selections.

  3. Looks good. One question: why not sermons from the lectionary cycle? Is there a specific resistance to it or are you just incorporating the cycle for the readings? I can well understand what resistance there might be to a rapid high-church liturgy. We wouldn’t be ready for that at Central in Nashville. We are quite used to working through books (both OT and NT) in both AM and PM services. It took a long time to get used to that instead of topical sermons on a weekly basis. I am not familiar with the lectionary in weekly practice, so I’m interested in reading about how the experience goes for you. Best wishes, Grace and peace.

  4. Hi Mac,

    I think that using the readings alone is the best way to go for this congregation. The BCP lectionary gives us structure and a bit of dependability. That’s not to say that we are nailing ourselves down to the Lectionary, just that it’s the first place I tend to go to begin to plan worship. At the same time, we remain free to adapt and change the given Scripture passages.

    About the sermon: We don’t have a regular preacher, so that would be hard to coordinate at any rate. I think, though, that there would be resistance to preaching the lectionary cycle — probably would be seen as being too restrictive and/or “too Catholic,” because it follows the ecclesiastical calendar. (The latter, by the way, is the response that we’ve gotten from a couple of members about the responsive readings.)

  5. Chris,

    How many people are in your congregation?

  6. Our average Sunday morning attendance is 25 to 30.

  7. Are there really so few in your congregation? I’m sorry; I don’t mean to sound rude. I was just thinking that that is a very small group.

  8. No problem, Tina. If you’ve been following my blog you may remember me mentioning that we are attempting to bring together some of the congos in my area. Part of the motivation is that there are several CofCs in Newnan in exactly this situation — it makes little sense for all of us to exist separately.

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