Living Room Liturgies
Jul 8, 2020
As the U.S. coronavirus numbers climb and government regulation varies greatly from state to state, and even city to city, the burden of deciding how and when and where to worship remains a great trial of pastoral leadership. Whatever the regulations in your area, please take seriously the CDC Guidance for Communities of Faith, and also carefully consider the ecclesiological implications.
Most churches will have a relatively large portion of “high risk” members for whom group gatherings will not be advisable for quite some time. In light of this, I fear a growing schism of theological privilege between those who are allowed in the sanctuary and those who are left to observe from a distance, longing to enter. This division is not new, but recent necessity made all of us “shut-ins” and “homebound,” and we learned how to worship together in new ways that, in some cases, actually helped welcome members of the community previously excluded. The lessons we have learned about use of technology and communal connection even while physically distant may actually help our congregations be more vibrant and fruitful going forward.
This continues to be uncharted territory, and so none of us have definitive answers, and we must continue to learn from one another’s creativity and innovation. In that spirit, I offer this conversation with Rev. Jenn Graffius, who produces a weekly Living Room Liturgy that puts worship and worship leadership into the hands of the people gathered at home.
Blessings and Peace,
Rev. Dr. Jennifer Ackerman
Director, Ogilvie Institute of Preaching
Brehm Center | Fuller Theological Seminary
Doing Justice: Racism
View a sample of this important curriculum
This content is a direct look at the church’s response to racism in America. The goal is to begin to understand the theology and values that drive people to land in one part of the spectrum or another, so that we can learn to engage in courageous conversation and move nearer to God’s will for us. Use of this curriculum requires facilitation in a group. Micah Groups can provide a facilitator if you do not have someone trained in justice-related conversations such as that. (Doing Justice: Racism is part of a curriculum series that applies the same multi-response analysis to a variety of justice topics including Immigration, Mass Incarceration, the Environment, Violence Against Women, and many more. Email email@example.com for more information.)
First Things for Flourishing
New online curriculum available now!
This new version of the First Things Micah Groups curriculum has been redesigned specifically for use by lay people. First Things for Flourishing includes all twelve topics from the original material (Communion, Home, Fire, etc.), but focuses on formation of the people of God and does not include formation of the preacher and sermon. This spiritual formation content is suitable for individuals to use on their own, though we always recommend participation in groups or at least with another conversation partner. While First Things for Flourishing does not address issues of justice directly, it is designed to help people think more broadly and cross-culturally around these twelve foundational spiritual concepts. This may be a helpful starting place to provide some spiritual tools for those who are just beginning to learn about anti-racism and other important issues. Click here for a preview.
Nominate a Featured Preacher! What worship and preaching practices are helping you feel connected to a particular worshiping community or to the broader Community of Christ during this season? Nominate a church or pastor today — self-nominations welcome!
Sermon videos will be added to our YouTube channel and you’ll receive a $50 gift card to a local small business of your choice. To be considered, or to nominate someone else, email firstname.lastname@example.org and include:
- Link to sermon or worship service
- Preacher Name (and contact info if nominating someone else)
- Church Name
- Church Website
- Date of Sermon/Service
- Scripture and/or thematic focus of the sermon
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We will be highlighting creative at-home sermons and worship practices and will continue to add more videos in the coming weeks. Send us your links and resources today!