Liturgy is the work of the people.
It is supposed to be a collective effort to find words to express our deepest longings and greatest hopes before our God but too often the weekly prayers for worship are written by the pastor. She might have had high hopes of what worship planning might be but has mostly found herself cutting and pasting from the internet. Creating good liturgy isn’t at the top of her list especially after the pandemic. She has too much to do and no room for creativity.
There is still so much hope for what worship can be and do but without enough resources and time it becomes just another thing to cross off the list. The order of worship is done. The bulletin is printed. Check. Done. Onto the next thing.
I have loved supporting clergy through with my words writing pandemic prayers and now it’s time for something new.
I’m thrilled to introduce a new offering I’m calling Worship Threads for a small group of pastor-types to share in an experience of quarterly spiritual direction for 90 minutes. From this sacred hour together, liturgy would emerge uniquely attuned to the hopes and dreams of the congregations of the participating clergy. Some of these prayers might be written by those within the group but I imagine most of these words will be written by me to be used by this small group in their worship settings.
This is an experiment really because spiritual direction isn’t really supposed to have an outcome. It is a practice that reorients us and directs us toward God. It reminds us who we are and what we are not alone and there is no way to tie the life of faith into a neat little bow, but we can hold the threads together. We can notice where God is busy in our community and point to where God really needs to be. This is a practice we can share together and I believe that this shared practice among a small group of clergy and myself might create brilliant liturgy that is truly the work of the people.
I hope to gather this small group of clergy for the first time in October 2022 with an eye toward planning Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. It would be my hope to meet again in January to plan Lent and Easter. The group will be in intentionally small so that each person has the opportunity to reflect and dream about their congregation and call. We will do all of this in 90 minutes and that will be a lot in that short amount of time. Worship won’t be created then. That will be shared letter but our dreaming will start there and whatever goodness emerges from that spirited conversation will steer the prayers and resources that might be gathered for worship in that upcoming season.
The liturgy that is created and gathered by myself and others will respond to the particular hopes and dreams of the pastors and the congregations they are serving but I hope it will have a ripple effect. I hope that these same prayers might be shared in other contexts with great meaning.
If you’re interested in becoming part of this first cohort of Worship Threads, I hope you’ll contact me. to share in this experiment in caring for each other and creating liturgy that truly is the work of the people. If you’re not feeling like this is the right time for you or just want to see what prayers and resources this experiment might create, I hope you’ll subscribe to Prayer Threads on Substack.