Monday, 19 April 2010

What is Real?

At last year's Baptist Assembly, an exciting new venture was launched, entitled "Real Life Worship." You can find out more details from the list of followed blogs at the side of this page. However, it is now ten months or more since anyone posted anything to that blog and the initiave appears to have stalled.

Which is very sad as it had a huge resonance with what we are trying to do here in Openshaw - and with what others are doing across the country.

In an attempt to breathe some life into this initiative, Clare and I are presenting one of our usual, mad papers at the Baptists Doing Theology in Context consultation at Blackley tomorrow.

If the technology works, you can download the paper by clicking here.

Hopefully, we'll come back to the paper following the discussion tomorrow - but we'd love to hear your comments/ reactions.


  1. I am curious to know how many other people write new communion liturgies each time (I do) and how many are simply formulaic repetitions. I doubt mine are as creative as yours, but they are part of the same endeavour to be 'real' to the context I serve in.

    Obviously given my NBC background much of what you say is familiar but I think it still needs to be heard.

    My suspicion is that most church people simply don't grasp how weird/unreal church is because either they never didn't know it or they have forgotten that they once didn't (I've a feeling this forgetting is somewhere in the Narnia tales but I can't recall where and I might be imagining it).

    Hope the consultation goes well; sorry I can't be there.

  2. That is an interesting question. Of course, for most Baptist churches communion - eucharist - is a much rarer event than it is for us. One of the difficulties of worshipping with other folk is that they are usually not celebrating eucharist.
    And, of course, Baptists "don't do liturgy." The Holy Spirit inspires the minister/ deacon to pray spontaneously.
    Sometimes, of course, this is genuine. However, I do fear that all too often this is merely an excuse for - "I don't like set liturgy, but can't be bothered to craft something myself." It is hugely time consuming. Perhaps disproportionately so for Clare and me. But living, as we do, largely outside of the church, there is something important about this link with the essence of our faith.

  3. Our paper has now been posted on the Real Life Worship blog which you can find by clicking the links to the right. I really hope it stimulates some debate because this initiative is too important to die.