August 20, 2010

Quote of the Year

A young friend went to church close to my home a few weeks ago - the first time since her baptism over twenty years ago. She told me that she will not go again and handed me a list which read: "You are asking me to change the way I speak, the sort of music I enjoy, the length of time I usually listen to a speaker, the type of people I mix with, my body temperature, the type of chair I sit on, the type of clothes I am used to seeing people wear, my sense of humor. You expect me to know when to stand, sit and kneel and the answer to prayers I have never heard. I am prepared to change but there was nowhere I could connect any part of my life with that service." -- Anne Lehanne, Rochester Diocesan newspaper, quoted in Richard Giles' Re-Pitching the Tent: Reordering the Church Building for Worship and Mission


Jeff W. Fisher said...

This does ring true, I realize, but my experience is that we are attracting people (in their 20s and 30s) to our church for the reasons above: they believe that worshiping a God who is not like us - but is "other" - should be done in a different language, in different clothes, with a broader attention span, with prayers that don't use the word "just" in every sentence, with music that is different than heard daily - and to kneel when there is no other place in the world where it is acceptable to kneel.

The Rev. Torey Lightcap said...

Jeff, I get the otherness factor here, and I'm grateful for what you're saying. I think, though, that what is most salient for me is that the person in question didn't feel she had *one single foothold* with which to understand the worship experience. That's truly telling.

Jeff W. Fisher said...

I get ya, Torey. Something to ponder in CT, I'd say.