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    Alive to God in worship : possibilities of worship in congregations


    Alive to God in Worship
    Possibilities of Worship in Congregations

    Information offered by the
    National Working Groups on Worship and Doctrine

    [...]ome ideas for putting the principles of
    Christian worship, outlined in the Doc.byte on Worship and the paper
    “A Very Short Guide to the[...]
    Artful Worship
    The basic elements for ordering Christian worship (the liturgy) are rooted in the
    Christian traditi[...]ed to be a community of craftspeople, curators of worship, using those elements
    to create worship for this generation.

    The church’s worship has to be incarnated into a particular time, plac[...]se
    various elements constitutes the artfulness of worship. That art is not a performance
    people sit[...]y is the principal
    actor. Like an unfolding drama worship will have flow and movement.

    When a service flow[...]its climax and its resolution. When a service of worship has
    movement it goes somewhere; it carries people[...]by order, flexibility and the Holy Spirit. Artful worship has an effect on people’s hearts,
    1. Artful worship begins with the congregation’s
    worship leaders and teachers
    The worship of a congregation is usually planned and executed[...]f people
    who lead the community in performing its worship. They include Ministers of the Word,
    Deaco[...]and various members rostered for duties.

    Artful worship needs leaders who are willing to move beyond “o[...]dialogue with God that is central to contemporary worship. Where to start?

    • Develop your litur[...]s and lay
    • Read and consult the resources available from the UCA’s websites &
    publica[...]the theological truth that underpins elements in worship and
    find fresh ways of giving expression to h[...]d formulaic “Thanks be to
    2. Artful worship embodies the hospitality of God
    • Many[...]
    3. Artful worship is a creative act
    • Change for change’s sak[...]people, such as having breakfast together before worship; coffee and rolls
    before church or lunc[...]
    4. Artful worship is “the work of the people”
    The importance of[...]he
    essence of the liturgy and imperative for true worship. Stephen Burns writes: “That
    means that[...]do liturgy.”
    [Pilgrim People; An Invitation to Worship in the Uniting Church, pages 17-18]

    • The wo[...]and aware.” If
    people do not understand how worship works and what their role is, they cannot
    be[...]spectators watching
    what others do. Therefore worship leaders need to find ways to teach and
    encourage people how to worship; what their role is as a member of a commu[...]mission
    giving and flexible. Nothing enlivens worship more than a congregation who
    knows and accept[...]their body posture and their
    expectations of worship. It is the people’s work in the liturgy ([...]
    [...]eptable to God,
    which is your spiritual worship
    (Romans 12:1)
    5. Artful worship recognizes and enhances the gifts of all
    Minister[...]and other members of the congregation in planning worship. These
    designated leaders do not “own” the worship; their role is to enable the worship of the
    gathered community and to preside at their celebration of worship and sacraments.

    • Because worship is “the work of the people,” it is wise to lo[...]o be trained. To lead the congregation in its
    worship should be recognized as a ministry that calls for[...]today?”
    Don E. Saliers. Worship Come to Its Senses (Abingdon Pres:
    6. Artful worship structures are flexible
    “Liturgy” d[...]n the same for centuries and must not change. But worship needs a structure,
    an order that gives meaning and shape to the experience. The structure of worship
    is not a rigid framework but more like[...]hieve its aims. So “the liturgy” supports the worship of
    God in ways that are flexible, while[...]newspaper.
    • Check out the resources section of this Pamphlet for other ways to be creative
    in worship. True artists are able to innovate because[...]• Every innovation must serve the people’s worship of God and their ability to[...]
    7. Artful worship lets the symbols speak
    UCA worship is often wordy with too much explanation and an expectation that
    people will “understand.” But worship must move our heart and soul as well as
    our mind. Worship is enhanced as an experience when we allow for si[...]rtunity - it’s tactile.
    • Do the leaders of worship use their eyes and gestures to gather and bless t[...]nding them to mission. Make your movements during worshipworship shares food and
    in the earth.”[...]
    8. In artful worship music serves the liturgy
    Music is often a contentious issue in a congregation re-evaluating their worship.
    Many people like to sing “old f[...]rst or last. Rehearsal of unfamiliar songs before worship
    begins is helpful.
    • Ensu[...]• Make sure musicians are honoured as worship leaders who help shape the
    service. E[...]e ideas on how to invigorate
    music in worship. See[...]
    9. In Artful worship the sacraments are allowed to exercise
    10. In Artful worship, tradition and daily life come together
    Faithful Christian worship embraces the issues and needs of contemporary life.

    • In planning worship, it is wise to be aware of the Church’s[...]ion serves, and incorporate those
    issues into worship.
    • Create space in worship for people to share their experiences with the[...]flection and meditation in silence.
    • Use the resources of all the cultures present in your congregation in the worship,
    including recognizing special days in[...]to the congregation’s experience of God
    in worship. Read “Guidelines for Culturally Inclusive Worship” on the Assembly
    Worship website.
    • Consider having a place aft[...]
    [...]“liturgy” meant to you in your experience of worship?
    3. What are your expectations of worship in the Christian community?
    4. Have you ever be[...]conscious and
    active participation” in the worship? Would you welcome an opportunity to learn?
    5. Can you think of a time when a service of worship was artfully constructed so that
    both tradition and contemporary experience contributed to the worship event?
    What did you value particularly?
    6. What three changes to your current pattern of worship would better enable you to
    be fed and encour[...]race and your discipleship
    of Jesus Christ?

    • Doc.byte 11: Worship (available at[...](available at www. under worship resources)
    • ‘Uniting in Worship 2’, valuable guidance is found in the Preface ([...]4 (will repay careful study)
    • Contemporary worship songs are available at
    Further reading
    Uniting Church resources:
    Uniting Church in Australia Assembly, Uniting in Worship (Melbourne: Joint Board of
    Christian Education, 1988)
    Uniting Church in Australia Assembly, Uniting in Worship 2 (Adelaide: Mediacom Education
    Inc., 2005)
    Uniting Church in Australia Assembly, Ordered Liberty in Worship for Uniting in Worship 2
    (available at
    Uniting Church in Australia Assembly, Guidelines for Culturally Inclusive Worship (available

    Other resources:
    Robert Banks and Paul R Stevens, Worship: The Complete Book of Everyday Christianit[...])
    Stephen Burns, Pilgrim People: An Invitation to Worship in the Uniting Church (Adelaide:
    MediaCom, 2012)[...]Michael Perham, The Hospitality of God: Emerging Worship for a
    Missional Church (New York: Church Publishi[...]Bread, One Body: Exploring Cultural Diversity in Worship
    (Washington DC: Alban, 2003)
    Laurence Hull Stooky[...]ert, Welcoming the Stranger: A Public Theology of Worship and Evangelism
    (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992[...]ss Press, 2012)
    Mark Pierson, The Art of Curating Worship: Reshaping the Role of Worship Leader
    (Minneapolis: Sparkhouse Press, 2010)
    Don Saliers, Worship as Theology: Foretaste of Glory Divine (Nashville[...]ss, 2002)
    N T Wright, For All God’s Worth: True Worship and the Calling of the Church (Grand


    Alive to God in worship : possibilities of worship in congregations
    Worship Resources