Tuesday, August 05, 2008

what about worship...

Does anyone else find it strange that in 12 or so pages of Canadian Mennonite's coverage (print version) of this summer's Mennonite Church Canada Assembly and MCCanada/MCUSA "Summit" there is virtually no mention of our time spent in worship?

The opening editorial reflects on the theme text from Deuteronomy 4:1-9 and Tom Yoder-Neufeld's "keynote address," and there is an article outlining the content of Tom and Christine Sine's sermon... but I could find no other mention of any of our plenary worship times and "the work of the people" (that is, the "liturgy") that was, it seems to me, central to what we did during those significant and meaningful days.

In fact, when one article refers to "the last 90 minutes" of the MCCanada Assembly it mentions a number of items/issues that were addressed and discussed, but it's as if the concluding worship time (including an annointing service) never happened... and similarly, another article refers to the "final session" of the Summit as Thursday afternoon while neglecting to mention that the "final session" was, in fact, our concluding worship service on Thursday evening, including a communion service of covenant renewal.

It's no surprise that I'm particularly alert to this, given that I served for 10 months on the national and bi-national planning teams that planned the worship, and given that I was involved in leading singing during 14 worship times in 4 days (10 "plenary worship" times and 4 with the children's assembly).

Part of me asks if the worship was not meaningful or memorable enough to warrant mention. Or, on the other hand, perhaps there was such an effective weaving of worship into the agenda and work of the assembly/summit that the whole time was so imbued with the spirit of worship that it doesn't need to be mentioned, any more than that we would mention the (delightfully fresh, to these Toronto lungs) Winnipeg air that we breathed and the (absolutely excellent) food that we ate, even though those are clearly vital and worthy of mention as well...

And then part of me asserts that, meaningful or memorable or "effective" or not, our worship together is indeed the "work of the people," and important and essential in its own right, while also providing the context and framework that enabled the gathered people to prayerfully discern the many significant issues that we need to be dealing with together.

In any case, I find it troubling that one can read through the pages of (otherwise excellent) reporting on the event, and wonder whether worship was even part of the proceedings.

Here's a link to a bunch of stuff from the assembly/summit, including some of the resources used in worship. I'm still trying to find links to some of the songs... if I manage to find them, I'll post a link...


Three of the songs are now posted online here.



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