Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Out of Fellowship: Post-Congregational Liturgy

My buddy Craig Bob at Out of Fellowship is attracting a following these days. He really struck a chord (no pun intended) in his most recent pod-o'logue about what liturgy looks like for out of fellowship "post-congregationalists" like himself. It's spawned a fascinating discussion, and I encourage you to check it out. Some exerpts:
Maybe you miss the Weird Songs because, even in their clumsy, overstated, stylized and sideways manner, they make a way for your body to touch (and express) a little bit of truth. Breath moves vocal chords, and lips shape words – interior things become externalized – living water is drawn up from the well… (Some draw up the water with a silver chalice, others with a Styrofoam cup, still others with a Peet’s Coffee mug… Jesus seems to enjoy the absurd array of containers people use to dip into the fountain.) -Scott
…..everybody needs frames and contexts……what’s that frank zappa thing? without a frame around it, people might say, “what’s that shit on the wall?”, - with a frame put around it, it becomes art, the frame creates a “way of seeing”……liturgy, same thing? -hilary
...I always marvelled at the collective response of my faith community to God’s presence in one another. I was never so moved and encouraged as when I watched the mother who had just lost her daughter to an overdose, lift her hands in an outward sign of what had already happened inside. In some form or other, I was witness to a similar liturgy of surrender almost every week. More often than not, it was those experiences that kept pulling me back from the brink of self-absorption. -Dorsey
I think of a “Congregation” as a local church organization that exists for several reasons — reaching the lost, doing God’s work in a certain geography, discipleship, etc. Sometimes community forms in a congregation but not always. Like Dorsey observed, community sometimes “happens” in this setting when you’re not looking — like during a weird songs session. -Craig Bob
I just can't say enough for the contribution that Craig Bob is making through his podcast. I would hold Out of Fellowship up as an example of what can come from individual believers speaking out about where they are at with their faith, asking questions, and processing alternatives. His podcast is a must listen for me every week, and I encourage you to subscribe.

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