I've been involved in planning two worship spaces simultaneously, one for blackwood (home church), one for the hold :: this space worship space at greenbelt.
My sisters and I were putting together worship for the contemporary worship space at Blackwood of a Sunday morning. We have received positive feedback for the way the worship hung together around the theme, balanced contemporary and traditional elements (the congregation is quite diverse), and was both thoughtful and thought provoking. Some of the prayers were unspoken, using music and/or pictures to speak the prayer. This room for reflection and space to think were welcomed. I wove the 'sermon' around the prayers, with short reflections on the Gospel story for the day: Feeding the multitudes. I'll post some of the thoughts I shared later. I used biblical storytelling to tell the gospel story to the kids and adults, with the kids helping me to think about how we know about Jesus (that it is complicated and in four versions...), and what the story said about disciples, and what that might mean for us today, who are also disciples of Jesus (involved in the miracle, no matter if what we have to share seems not enough to go around).
I'm not going to say much about the greenbelt space, as it's not really my baby. We're focussing on water, or the absence of water, with the metaphor of water for faith. I'm going to tell the passage from John of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well to open. I've got to find the mood for the telling that leads people into a reflection on the absence of water - it's not necessarily to be an opening of hope. So there's another challenge!
I haven't been writing as much poetry this past few weeks - after writing quite a bit. Got a bit harsh on myself as a critic. I had pulled out a collection that I submitted for a competition years ago, with a view to updating it and submitting it to a publisher. I'll still do that, but I also found the comments on my honours thesis, which highlight the introspective nature of much of my poetry, and the lack of imagery. Think this cut me a little, and I'll let that re-opened wound re-heal before I go back and address the weaknesses ... might become a summer project, when I have time!
I'm thinking about alternative church all the time - especially with the changes in direction in the UCA in SA re leadership. It's still uncertain what the future will look like, and this brings with it some anxiety, which the students at college are working through. It's mostly because we don't know - not knowing creates such anxiety - and we're all hoping that the place we have found to belong won't disappear i think. My hope is that the church will find leaders bold enough to experiment with different ways of being church, being the body of Christ in the world, in order for the body to continue to thrive. But it's not really about the body thriving for its own sake - we live in order to bear witness to Christ in the world. That means being in the world, with people, and for me that's where alternative church communities - smaller but more of them - could become the new shape of the Church: smaller communities worshipping and living out God's hope and love and grace in the world, networking together for the bigger tasks in the wider community through agencies like UCWesley. this is beginning to be a ramble, but the thinking goes on, and there is much imagining to be done if we are to revitalise communities with the Spirit's life.
So I continue to think and dream and hope for a place in the miraculous reign of God that is at hand...