November’s Worship theme is Gratitude. Gratitude certainly is the quality of being thankful. More dynamically, it is also the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. That is, when we are the receivers of kindness in any way, gratitude is also about being ready to return that kindness, as well as appreciate it. Gratitude is therefore lived as well as felt.
On November 6, our youth will be developing and presenting the worship service. I hope that you will go out of your way to be present for them and to receive their worship with gratitude.
On November 13, our worship will address the election, focusing on winning and losing. I don’t know about you, but I will be very grateful once this election is over! It has been one of the more challenging elections in my lifetime, for many reasons.
We will celebrate Thanksgiving together in worship on November 20 with a bread communion. And finally, on November 27, I will focus specifically on ‘gratitude’ itself – what it means and how we can, as a spiritual practice, develop a greater sense of gratitude.
Also on November 27, I will debut a revised basic Order of Service. The arc of the service will be the same; it will be organized by the warmth of love, the light of truth and energy for action. All of the elements of the current Order of Service will be there, with nothing added and nothing taken away. What will be different is the order of the elements of the service and their placement within the three-part arc of love, truth and action. I struggle with the current Order of Service, specifically its energy flow and the order and arrangement of the elements within the three-part arc.
My plan also had been to convene a team of folks passionate about worship to redesign the Order of Worship substantially, starting with a blank slate and rebuilding from there. I had thought to do this next spring. However, as the Board of Trustees and I get into the work of developmental ministry, it is not yet clear to me where the priorities for my time need to be. Worship is one of the developmental goals – and yet it might be best for other goals to take priority. So, this project is a ‘maybe’ for next spring, but will happen down the road at some point.