One of the hazards of my profession, I suppose, is the fact that I find it incredibly difficult to just participate in worship. Worship has been the venue for work for me in one way or another since I started seminary in 2003. For the most part, I don’t really notice this anymore. It’s just part of the gig, you know? But every once in a while, I am suddenly aware of how much I thirst for a worship service when I can just be in worship. Frustratingly, however, even on the rare occasion when that does happen, I often find myself critiquing various aspects of the worship service I’m in rather than just worshipping. It’s aggravating.
During my Renewal Leave, I will have fifteen weeks in which I will not be working during worship for any reason. Fifteen weeks of time to simply be a worshipper. Fifteen weeks of not writing sermons, planning sermon series, or writing liturgies. Fifteen weeks of rubbing shoulders with other worshippers who are simply there to offer their praise and prayers to God. Fifteen weeks. I hardly know what to do with that yet.
What I do know is that I’m grateful for the sudden advances that most churches experienced during COVID to offer online worship. This will enable me to be able to worship in different venues every week during my Leave, experiencing different formats, voices, and worship experiences from the comfort of my home. There will be a few weeks, at least, when I know I’ll be able to experience worship in person when we’re out of town, too. But my commitment is this: I will not work during worship over the summer. I will simply participate, enjoy, and savor the way worship feels from the congregation’s point of view.
I’m looking forward to that a great deal.
And, hey, while I’m on the topic of online worship, let’s talk about YOUR summer plans. I know that summer is often a time for vacations and outings. But now, thanks to estate gifts and skills and expertise of David Gonzales and others at CtK, we have an amazing livestream of our worship services every Sunday! You don’t have to miss a thing! You can still worship with us whether you’re here in person or you’re in Timbuktu. Just log on to ctkdurango.online.church from your home computer, laptop, tablet, or cell phone every Sunday at 9:30am (local – MST) to join us!