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Liturgy for church committee meetings

If liturgy is public work, and vestry and committee meetings are where some of the work of the church gets done, then why do we run our church meetings using more of the rituals of commerce and government than rituals of the church?

Charles Olsen of the Alban Institute offers some suggestions for Ways to Pray in a [Church] Board Meeting. Here’s an excerpt:

Resistance to infusing the work of a board with prayer tends to come from the conviction that “there is a place for everything and everything should be in its place”—that worship belongs to Sunday and sanctuary and prayer belongs to worship. But an inspirational moment in a meeting does wonders in loosening the strings of resistance, and those inspirational moments will come once worshipful work is attempted. Let the only rule be “meetings are worship.” All else will flow to and from that fountain. Then we can drink from its fullness!

Some interesting ideas here. Maybe we should develop an Order for Vestry (and other!) meetings. We could even have a new supplemental book, the Book of Regular Meetings, perhaps? A Worship committee seems like a good place to start. Other ideas?

(Via Episcopal Cafe.)

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Mary S. | January 13, 2009 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I agree completely. The New Zealand PB has a prayer for meetings (p 141) that speaks well. For a variation on the theme and continuing as a contrarian to the practice that separates the business of the church from its worship and liturgy, do not our budgets and perhaps annual meeting reports or ministry plans reflect our labor? Should they not be offered to God as well when the community gathers?

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