Some interesting quotes I ran across recently:
Our worship service is designed to help people experience greater wholeness and integration in their lives, to take down some of those barriers between the sacred and the profane that divide our lives and diminish our energies.
One Sunday, a woman visiting with her nine-year-old son told me they’d definitely be returning. They would come back for several reasons, she said, but most particularly she was struck by her son’s excitement over our energized music. He recognized a tune we were singing as something he had heard on the radio and exclaimed, “Mom, they’re singing a real song!” (p. 19)
(from Ken Beldon, “Devotion” in The Growing Church: Keys to Congregational Vitality, Thom Belote, ed. (Boston: Skinner House, 2010)
This gets at the essence of “contemporary style” worship: there’s no secret language or mysterious rituals standing between the worshiper and the direct experience of group worship. John Wycliffe and Martin Luther were thinking the same thing when they translated the Bible into their native languages. Why shouldn’t that process continue?
And in a sermon last year, Rev. John Buehrens poked some fun at “typical Unitarian Universalists”, claiming that they think “Since I’m one of the wisest and most discerning people I know, this church must have been just about perfect when I found it. Therefore, it shouldn’t change, or that would reflect poorly on my judgment.”
So, there’s an argument for and an argument against moving into the 21st century with our worship. You are invited to cheer them on, or to knock down the straw man, in the comments.