Worship – All Things Alternative

This weekend I taught a workshop for the Fall Leadership Summit of the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod of the ELCA. The session was titled “Worship – All Things Alternative.”

Here is a brief overview of what I talked about:

  1. Definition of worship
  2. Attempt to define differences between worship styles
  3. Problems with trying to define worship styles
  4. Questions for reflection
  5. The alternative perspective of Convergent Worship
  6. Some alternative elements to use in worship
  7. Resources

Dowload the handout-notes here: “Worship – All Things Alternative”

Wounded Eucharistic Prayer

From FreshWorship.org:

lift up your hearts
we lift them up to god
lift up your heads
we lift them up to god
lift up your voices
we lift them up to god
lift up your hearts
we lift them up to god

we praise you for your unswerving love for us
though we are fragile
though we are wounded
though we are broken
you have never stopped loving us
and you have never forsaken us

greater love has no one than this that they lay down their life for their friends

you take what is broken and transform it through your death and love
what once was hurt
what once was friction
what left a mark
no longer stings
because grace makes beauty
out of ugly things

so we join with the angels singing
holy holy holy
holy holy holy
lord god almighty
lord god almighty
heaven and earth are full of your glory
heaven and earth are full of your glory
hosanna in the highest
hosanna in the highest

in your last meal with your friends
before your betrayal
you took the bread and gave thanks
you broket is and shared it saying ‘take and eat. this is my body broken for you’

christ’s body is broken
we are christ’s body, we are broken
may christ’s broken body nourish you in all the right places

you took the cup of wine, gave thanks and shared it saying
‘drink this, my blood shed for you’

christ’s body is wounded
we are christ’s body, we are wounded
may the blood that flowed from christ’s wounds heal you in all the right places

send your holy spirit on us
heal our brokenness
by showing us our place in your community of faith
great is the mystery of faith
christ has died
christ is risen
christ will come again

this is the table of christ
today it is literally made of our brokenness
a sign that christ welcomes us all as we are
there is no need to pretend and no need to hide

so gather at this table
not because you are whole
but because you recognise your need for healing
not because you are good enough
but because you recognise these gifts of god

What is alternative worship?

A definition from AlternativeWorship.org:

  • Christians reinventing faith expression for themselves within their own cultural settings
  • a response to postmodern Western society and cultural change
  • faith expression within culture not in a parallel ‘Christian’ culture
  • reconsideration of all inherited church forms and structures, including recent modernising ones
  • rediscovery of ancient and alternative Christian traditions as resources for the present and future
  • paradigm shift from centralised into networked forms of church