Describing worship: Yom Kippur ads

The church Jonathan and I attended Sunday is renting space to a Jewish congregation for Yom Kippur services. This prompted me to look at worship opportunities for the holiday.

Washington has an interesting mix of “unbuildinged” and nested chavurot (fellowships) and congregations of various traditions and customs. But certain words crop up again and again among the more innovative communities.

Religious liberals (I think) will be as drawn to “egalitarian” and “participatory” as I am. I love how some services are “explanatory” for, in one case, “young professionals”. Worship is a learned skill — and how better to learn it than in a dedicated service?

Some of the services are, without any sense of contradiction, “traditional.”

I’d love an egalitarian, participatory and traditional worship service in a Christian church; why do Christians so rarely describe our worship thus? On the other hand, perhaps I’m reading too much into these description. After all, great glowing adjectives got attached to 1980s era liturgy and hymnody, though I’ve always found them sluggish, wordy and bureaucratic.

How would you react to a service described this way? What would you expect?  And a special welcome to anyone who has first-hand experience of services like these.

Categorized as Worship

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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