I have been reading and pondering the idea of the value of artists and the arts in our community worship gatherings. As I walk down this road, I am more inclined towards creating a position for a worship gathering curator than I am for a "producer", maybe we need both, I'm not sure. A curator is someone who is cultivating and helping to create environments. Their work is felt but not seen. Still thinking...
In hopes to help people enter past only using their reasoning function in worship gatherings, this Sunday we are using a variety of tools to help facilitate this. As we focus on Pslam 77 through the lens of Walter Bruegeman's three movements of the Psalms, we have:
1. created a prayer station that is simply a table in the back, with black cloth on it, two bowls: one with rocks and one with water, as well as a stack of blank index cards and pens. A sheet of instructions on it will state - “Please use these rocks to reveal struggles in your life to God. Use the water as a representative of your baptism and the index cards to write out memories of how God has healed struggles in the past as a way to enter the hope of Christ now and in the future.”
2. Asking people to take a rock from that station and hold it with them through out the service. Those rocks represent what we have brought in with us, specifically our struggles. There are always struggles, some of them are personal to our specific situation, some of them are situations that are near us that we bear as well.
After a congregational reading of Psalm 77 we are asking for people let the weight and substance be a reminder to them of the reality of their struggle. Then to sit with that reality, look at it, perhaps name it. Then as we move through the time of worship and on into teaching for them to allow God to speak to them through the reality of that experience.
3. The music arrangements that we are doing are more blues in reference. Using only electric guitar and drums and synth. A harsher, sadder, more visceral experience.