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Worshippers are told that “our planet is messed up” and that “things are not right”.
They are then asked to approach the altar and rub sea salt on their fingers to represent tears, before walking around and meditating at eight “prayer stations” representing themes such as “gender equality” and “environmental sustainability”.
A psalm is recited in “beat poetry” style to the accompaniment of African Djembe drums, and prayers are said “for the corporate world, for influential CEOs who oversee billion-dollar industries”.
The prayers continue: “We pray for John Chambers of Cisco Systems, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Dr Eric Schmidt of Google Inc, H Lee Scott Jr of Wal-Mart Stores and others who have already made commitments to justice.”
Among the alternative services explored in the book, which is co-edited by the Rt Rev Steven Croft, the new Bishop of Sheffield, are so-called “U2charists”, services in which the congregation receives communion but sings the songs of the Irish rock band U2 instead of traditional hymns.
The services, which include such songs as “Mysterious Ways”, “One”, and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, have been pioneered at St Swithin’s church in Lincoln.
The book also features Transcendence, an event held in York Minister in which traditional Latin chant is set by DJs to hip hop or ambient dance music and video images are projected onto the walls.
The Rev Sue Wallace, who has pioneered the event by blending modern technology with ancient prayers, says that the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Originally posted by silent thunder
Now, this is just cheezy as all get out, if you ask me.
This is an extreme example of the problems being faced by many "mainstream" traditional churches...the declining appeal to youth. In combatting it they are going about it in entirely the wrong way.
I think the churches would attract more general interest by playing up their "mystical" and traditional aspects rather than cheezing out with pop culture. They simply don't understand. People have a startling lack of DIGNITY and TRADITION in their lives. I think there is a longing for old stained-glass windows and moss-covered bricks out there...the darkness and cool shadows of an ancient church apse, the dull-bronze implements and secret texts and archives...these sorts of things would, I believe, be snapped up by a public that has been "over-Starbucks-ized": Everything is overly sanitized, halogen-lit, erognomic, ultra-modern, etc...the Churches have a big chance to offer a spiritual environment that allows people to connect with deeper, ancient, and more mysterious traditions...instead they are trying to turn themselves into iChurches, or something. Its a big mistake and a tremendous miscalculation if you ask me. The adoption of cheezebal New Age and sickeningly politically-correct rituals is also a massive turnoff.