Wednesday, 15 February 2012

telling stories of journey through stations and ritual

tuesday 14 february. (this post has nothing to do with valentine's day)

here is bread and wine for your journey, and here is a map, take your time - the people are greeted as they enter the chapel, which is set with few chairs, half a dozen stations, the font in the centre.


stations included searching for hymns carrying the imagery of bread for the journey; maps of Paul's journeys and words from his letter to the Corinthians on hospitality; a map and part of the story of the journey of Israel through the wilderness after leaving Egypt, with a prayer for those in wildernesses of their own in our time; Psalm 19 invited us to praise with all creation, writing words, or drawing in liquid chalk on the chapel's windows (more pics on Steve Taylor's blog). Words from the Basis of Union, celebrating our being a movement of pilgrims on the journey, were scattered on the floor.


Music played throughout, and after 15 minutes, we gathered around the font for a prayer of confession together, and a ritual of remembering our baptism - each of us dipped our fingers in the font, then marked the person on our right with the sign of the cross, saying, 'brother/sister, remember your baptism and be thankful.'
then we were sent out with milk and honey - into the abundance of God's Way of Love.

simple. invitational. moving (in more ways than one).

And for me, part of the gift was collaborating with Michelle Cook, visiting from far north Queensland for a fortnight to teach the intensive Church Ministry and Sacraments with Steve Taylor at Uniting College. What I enjoy most about crafting gathered worship is collaboration, sharing ideas about God and the Story and sharing a love for the people of God and our gathering together.
Tomorrow we are holding a feast, at which I will tell one of Jesus' stories challenging our expectations of what it means to offer hospitality, what God means by welcoming all, and our responses to the invitation.

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