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Reimagining Church: Rethinking Worship

Visioning a future church for the now; creating communities centered on Christ, cosmic good, and conscientious living.

Welcome

Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of resources to inspire and ground explorations in Rethinking Worship.

Scroll down to find:

  • Books to read and study
  • Webinars to share and discuss
  • Conversations About emerging worship practices
  • Multi-Media approaches to worship innovations
  • Blogs, Podcasts, & Articles to support exploration

Worship planners may also find inspiration and ideas in our Emerging Theologies and Faith Formation: Exploring God lib guides.

Books

     CHURCH AT THE WALL     Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred               Remove the Pews | Spiritual Possibilities for Sacred Spaces (Schaper)     Staying Awake: The Gospel for Changemakers     This Is God’s Table     

Webinars

CONVERGENCE offers numerous leadership and community development webinars on-demand or in a cohort:

                                                                 

The Plural Guild offers these online workshops; click each image for further information:
  How to plan creative, inspiring, inclusive and revitalizing worship. Without killing yourself.         How to create worship experiences that embrace our bodies…all kinds of bodies…as God does.         How can worship become a catalyst for justice, racial equity, inclusion and peacemaking in our world today?         What does it really mean to be LGBTQIA inclusive?  Versus just “welcoming…”              A walk through your congregational hymnbook to discover more of its untapped treasures .        How practicing lament can transform our worship… and maybe even our world.         How to develop a manifesto that’s purpose-filled and inspiring.         How dinner church can be a life-changing experience. And how to host your own.         Exploring New Ways To Do Church.         An open conversation on racism in the church and in worship and what we can do about it.              Making sure the songs we sing actually reflect what we believe. Plus, writing songs!         Opening our worship to mystery, beauty and belonging through inclusive language.

About

     

God on the Move: A Worship Series on Technology and Innovation

This series includes 3 original liturgies, title graphics, planning guide with hymn suggestions, promotional blurbs, and sermon starters.

Pairs well with God on the Move: Faith and Democracy, which includes 3 original liturgies, title graphics, planning guide with hymn suggestions, promotional blurbs, and sermon starters.

MennoMedia's Ex. Dir. Amy Gingerich, reflects on discussions with pastors about the post-COVID church:

...None of us brought rose-colored glasses about future church life. We know that COVID has and will continue to bring enormous change to the church and society. You can’t just not worship in person for 12 months or more and then try to push your congregation back to the way things were. That is worshipping a false god.

People have changed. The church has changed.

...I heard... humbleness around the unknown...[and] generative ideas for building new kinds of congregational life. My encouragement for this week for church leaders is to reach out to other church leaders. Share ideas, collaborate on ministries (even worship), invite God to dream with you about the future.

Multi-Media

An black and white photo illustration of rows of lit candles with the words "Songs of Remembrance" across the bottom.

Luke Medina/NPR/March 4, 2022

What songs meant the most to your loved ones and friends lost to COVID-19?

NPR curated a list.

Living Rough, Living Sheltered

(PDF download)

A service of solidarity with rough sleepers with an emphasis on compassion, listening and acting for justice. 10 pages.

     

 This video is from the 2021 Online ELCA's Children, Youth, and Family Ministry Network's Extravaganza. It is the Story of Confession from Vance Blackfox from the Opening Worship. A powerful confession for us all, based on the story of Joseph in the Pit.

A Sanctified Art provides liturgical elements informed by and incorporating progressive theology, expansive imagery, and beautiful and diverse forms of art to encourage engagement in worship.

The Plural Guild creates unique liturgies and music specific to the times and contexts in which we live. They also offer amazing workshops for leaders and whole congregations, when you're ready to revamp your whole worship experience.

Create excellent music and liturgical resources for worship online or in-person, including Pandemic Resources and Lament Together, among others.

Blogs, Podcasts, & Articles

Wil Gafney - Brite Divinity School

A new lectionary that centers women

“If the gospel isn’t good news to the women in the passage, is it still good news?” 

Grace Ji-Sun Kim interviews Wil Gafney 

February 15, 2022

The Mystical Body of Zoom by Diana Butler Bass

Online church is a gift to be embraced.

Image credit: Nicholas Kramer, Untitled (detail), 2021, photograph, Seattle. Used with permission.

From his week on Devotion, Fr. Richard Rohr's The Importance of Practice outlines compelling reasons to consider reimagining worship; Prayer of the Heart highlights the beauty of contemplative practices in personal and communal ritual.

In Memory of Malidoma Somé, 1956-2021 from Matthew Fox includes numerous quotes to start conversations on rethinking and renewing worship.

Why Campus Ministries Aren’t Streaming Worship

By University of Nebraska - Lincoln; Lutheran Center Campus Pastor Rev. Adam White (ELCA)

Rev. Dr. Cameron Trimble, reflecting on how our words/language create our realities, encourages us to Say What You Mean.

The Accessible Altar is a monthly podcast exploring the intersections of faith and disability.

The website includes this list of additional resources.

movingsidewalk.jpg

The Gospel for Changemakers by Rev. Tyler Sit

There is no Allyship Airlines for which you can buy a ticket and sit comfy.

In Searching for Why, Rev. Natalia Terfa asserts that, "the spirit is calling us forward, into something new", and encourages us to 'have the imagination to clear our minds of the what and the how and search for our "why"?'

In Our Library

50 Praise, Pray and Play Sessions By Rona Orme     Alternative Worship     Re-Imagining: Revisited and Revived - The Devil's Tale     Creative Ideas for Alternative Sacramental Worship          CHURCH ON PURPOSE     Essays on the New Worshiping Communities Movement               Book - Paperback     Healed, Restored, Forgiven     Healing Liturgies for the Seasons of Life     Healing Worship | Purpose and Practice (Epperly)     Picture of Introducing the Uncommon Lectionary - eBook [ePub]     Leading Worship Matters: A Sourcebook for Preparing Worship Leaders     Loving God in Return: The Practice of Passionate Worship - eBook  -     By: Robert Schnase     8354035               E-Book     Redesigning Worship: Creating Powerful God Experiences  -     By: Kim Miller     Speaking to Silence: New Rites for Christian Worship and Healing  -     By: Janet S. Peterman               Vital: Churches Changing Communities and the World: Acevedo, Mr Jorge:  9781426767555: Books - Amazon