What can you expect?
Well, it’s likely that our worship gathering will be a little different each time,
but here are some things that will be the same:
Disturbing | Comforting
Regardless of religious or irreligious background, almost everyone will find something that is familiar and something that is foreign to them in our worship gatherings – this puts everybody on common ground. Since God’s Spirit is at work in the world, we engage with all kinds of music, stories, film, art, and culture within our services, which allows a fluidity of life where our world flows into our worship and our worship flows into our world – creating a whole life faith.
No question nor topic is off limits because ‘nothing can separate us from the Love of God in Jesus’. But when the Gospel comes to us we are both disturbed and comforted. The ‘prophetic’ voice agitates the status quo, uncovers false ‘gods’, calls out injustices, sparks yearning and disturbs the comfortable. While the ‘priestly’ voice remembers stories of God’s faithfulness, cultivates relational trust, remains present in pain and comforts the disturbed. Facilitating an environment of deep transformation means maintaining a conversation between these two, seemingly opposite voices.
Our worship gathering is a safe place, a ‘sanctuary’, not because we wont be challenged to give ourselves more fully to God and the world, but because Grace – God’s gift in Jesus, is contagious. Paula sings it best, “We need each other more than we need to agree. Father, Son, Spirit bless us with you love, with your grace and peace.”
We consider our services “Creatively Lutheran”, meaning that we are deeply rooted in the Lutheran tradition of the ELCA, and at the same time we are freely reforming into God’s future. When these worlds collide a beautiful hodgepodge emerges of ancient ritual with modern language, old forms with innovative expression, and improvisation with time-honored elements.
In this creative atmosphere technology blends effortlessly with Jerusalem incense, electronica mixes with Gregorian chant, and Russian icons sit alongside modern art installations. These ancient-future collaborations create a rich space to hold all of our doubt and trust, angst and joy, fear and love, yearning and contentment, despair and hope, gratitude, awe and adoration as we worship the One who calls us into community with the Trinity.
Liturgy means, ‘the people’s work of worship’. We put our community to work both crafting and facilitating our worship gatherings. Special experience is not needed, because God has given us all unique insights and gifts to offer to our community’s expression of worship. Liturgy Groups meet to pray, dialogue, study, and dream up either a season of services (like Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost) or just a single service (like St. Francis Day, The Marvin Gaye Eucharist, Earth Day, Prayer for Refugees, The Seusse Service…) for their community to experience.
If you want to join a Liturgy Group to help create a service or a season of services email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Experiential | Sensory
The Church knew 1,800 years ago what researchers are just now finding out – that people experience a deeper understanding and retain much more when all of their senses are engaged, not just their eardrums, and especially when they are an active participant. So we try to create a worship experience that we can taste, smell, see, hear, and feel. We try to create opportunities for active engagement in prayer stations that are deeply personal, in rituals that practice real life, and moves us past passive observers who consume a spiritual performance to participants that have ownership and responsibility in an unmanageable encounter with the Living God. Children love this type of interactive space and often lead us in this type of unashamed ‘Godly play’. A lot more can be said about worship gatherings at Church of the Beloved, but there is nothing short of coming and worshiping with us.
– Read some worship resources created by Church of the Beloved here.
– Listen to some worship services from Church of the Beloved here.
– Download Church of the Beloveds new album for free here.