25 October 2007

I'm not dead

Just ruminating on some things. When I have something coherent to put out there regarding what's going on in my head, I'll be here with bells on. In the meantime, due to a very generous reader and friend, I'm reading The Meaning of Tradition by Yves Congar and The Spirit And Forms of Protestantism by Louis Bouyer.

And I'm exploring a conservative Anglican church here in town. I think I want to visit. Part of me resists because it only plays into the "mutt" reputation I have when it comes to churches. But, I think I'd like to at least try and experience a more liturgical, historically rooted way of worship and I'm just not at a place where a Catholic church would be an honest option or make sense for me.

Lord, give me guidance, grant me wisdom.

12 comments:

Qatfish said...

I thought for sure you were dead! ;)

FWIW, I think you should visit the Anglican church.

Ragamuffin said...

:^)

Well, I hope to visit it this weekend. I went to the Methodist church we've been attending this past weekend, the contemporary service. I don't hate it and the sermon was excellent, but I at least would like to try a more reverent, liturgical style service with weekly receiving of the Eucharist.

I'll admit, there's some trepidation. It's been 20+ years since I attended a church that had a more formal style. That experience wasn't great and I've been in contemporary or Pentecostal/Charismatic styles since. But that has worn thin. I just hope I'm not romanticizing something such that it can't live up to what I imagine in my head.

whose_body said...

I also think it would be worth visiting the Anglican church (from a former Anglican).

If your experience isn't all you may have dreamt of -- bear in mind that Anglicans don't always get as much out of their liturgical tradition as there is in it -- just like the rest of us. ;) That doesn't mean there isn't stuff there! :)

Qatfish said...

Anglicans don't always get as much out of their liturgical tradition as there is in it -- just like the rest of us.

Well said!

As for romanticizing, I think I understand what you mean, Ragamuffin, and agree that can be a problem. Liturgical worship, like any form of worship, requires active participation. :)

Ragamuffin said...

I'm sure I'll find plenty of stuff in there, but I'm sure it will also be an adjustment, both for me and my wife. At least at first. I hope we love it.

I just know that the few times my more contemporary-style churches took time to say the Apostle's Creed or the Nicene Creed or the Phos Hilaron, it felt so rich. I loved reaffirming those beliefs as a body together. Though I like a lot of modern praise music, it's the hymns that I've been enjoying the most.

I'm just not the same kid I was 20 years ago wanting desperately to "be on fire for Jesus" and certain that the way you showed that was by exuberant, somewhat exaggerated, loud and emotional outward gestures particularly during the singing portion of the service.

Evidently, these more formal modes and styles of worship managed to sustain century after century of Christians all over the world. That makes me think there's got to be something more to it than I understood when I was younger.

Ragamuffin said...

Well, we did indeed visit the Anglican church this Sunday. It was the friendliest bunch of people I've ever met. They were welcoming us from the beginning and I think everyone within 20 feet of where we were sitting managed to make their way over and introduce themselves and tell us they were glad we came today. One lady in particular happened to park next to us at the same time we were arriving and basically took it upon herself to show us where to go, where to take the kids and so on. And during the service, when my wife and I apparently looked a bit lost with regard to the liturgy, a couple behind us were nice enough to show us where they were or point us in the right direction. It's truly a sweet congregation.

I enjoyed the service. It's quite a bit more formal than I'm used to and I didn't know most of the hymns they sung, but overall it was nice. I appreciated the reverence.

It was an unusual service as they were having an infant baptised plus it was All Saints' Sunday, so the music and the sermon were oriented around that theme. They sort of packed in a lot of stuff all told which made the service run a little long. I'd like to go back and experience more of a typical service.

The only disappointing aspect was the sermon I suppose. The associate rector delivered it. I had listened to a couple of messages online for the senior rector and liked him. The associate rector was fine, but given the overall reverence and formality of the service, his rather informal delivery and joking manner while illustrating points seemed out of place and stuck out from the rest of the service to me and my wife. I mean, he was funny, but it just seemed like a sharp left turn for us.

We'll see. I'd like to go back at least once more before making up my mind. I like that it's a smaller congregation and that it's so friendly. It seems like an affluent group compared to us but I didn't feel uncomfortable.

Be in prayer for us as we seek God on this.

whose_body said...

It was an unusual service as they were having an infant baptised

This might well have been the best part for me! I haven't been to a Baptism in so long. One thing I've appreciated about the Anglican parishes I know, is that you don't go long without being there for a Baptism. :)

It seems like an affluent group compared to us but I didn't feel uncomfortable.

I think it would be really bad to feel uncomfortable among Christians because of this!

I mean, he was funny, but it just seemed like a sharp left turn for us.

See what I mean about getting as much out of a liturgical tradition as there is in it? ;)

Ragamuffin said...

This might well have been the best part for me! I haven't been to a Baptism in so long. One thing I've appreciated about the Anglican parishes I know, is that you don't go long without being there for a Baptism. :)
Oh, it wasn't that I didn't like it. It's just that along with that they had their annual commitment Sunday, the extra stuff surrounding All Saints' and some other thing such that it ran about 15-20 minutes longer than normal.

I think it would be really bad to feel uncomfortable among [affluent] Christians because of this!
I wouldn't make such a decision based on that alone. It would depend on the individuals themselves, not their net worth. But in the other churches I've attended, there seemed to be a bit more of a mix of economic backgrounds from lower middle-class or poor up to fairly rich. I can't say for sure obviously, but this one seemed to be almost all fairly affluent. I just worry that perhaps we'd find it hard to fit in since we are far from rich and in fact are struggling somewhat right now.

See what I mean about getting as much out of a liturgical tradition as there is in it? ;)
I guess so. He also seemed to read most of his sermon verbatim from notes rather than have an outline of sorts that he then spoke more extemporaneously from. I don't know that I could listen to him every week if that was the only option and that's his normal way. But here and there it wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me.

Qatfish said...

Happy birthday, brother!

Ragamuffin said...

Thanks, sister!

This weekend, from a sports perspective, utterly sucked. Every team I pull for lost. But at least it was my birthday and I got to spend time with my wife out to dinner -- no kids -- and got some really nice presents.

Aaron said...

Hi Ragamuffin! This is (The Real) Aaron from CMC.

I never knew you had a blog until today. Interesting stuff. I'll be sure to keep up.

Ragamuffin said...

Hi Aaron!

Glad you stopped by. I started it a few months ago as you can see but didn't want to make a big deal of it. I'd love any input you have or if you have questions, I've managed to attract a handful of good folks to help me.

Don't be a stranger.