Let's give the Covenant a rest for a few moments (though it is hard to resist a note when the No Anglican Covenant Coalition announces new patrons including NZ's own +Jim White and Australia's Muriel "I write against Sydney, lots" Porter ... I wonder if Sydney might contemplate supporting the Covenant! Some of us may not like being likened to toothpaste, but there you go, we cannot always have the metaphors we would wish on ourselves.) Instead, with H/T to Joshua Bovis, I draw your attention to Sydney Bishop Rob Forsyth satirising worship services in the Sydney Diocese. Here is the beginning:
"Here’s a Contemporary Sunday liturgy that has not been included in Common Prayer: Resources for gospel-shaped gatherings.
It is only in draft form and I am sure can be improved. I would welcome suggestions.
A Contemporary Sunday Service outline (aka An Agenda for Sunday Meetings)
1. Begin late with chatty longwinded opening. It’s best to mention current affairs, the latest cricket results or football, anything to take people’s minds away from any focus on God and particularly if anyone had been praying beforehand."
Read the rest here. It is good humour to an Adrian Plass standard!
My serious point here is not to join Bishop Forsyth in criticisng what happens in his own diocese but to note that a number of the things he draws attention to feature in Kiwi services (in my experience). To take the first item cited above as one instance: I find it seriously disturbing how often a service begins with acclamation of ourselves, who we are, and what is happening in our lives without explicitly acclaiming our purpose in gathering, to worship the living God having drawn aside from our ordinary human living to engage in the extraordinary experience of communion with the angels and archangels and all the saints as we jointly acclaim God and the Lamb who was slain for us.