I had a great morning with Alex Roller from YS looking at the worship spaces for the upcoming Emergent Convention in Nashville. If you haven’t heard, one of the things that we are doing differently in Nashville is to host our worship gatherings at three different local churches in downtown Nashville. There are two goals with this: 1) to define worship as an entity that is separate from the more general sessions; and 2) (and this is my agenda) to invite folks into blatantly sacred spaces to discern how to do emerging worship in these unique spaces.
Two of the spaces are amazing (one, from my own United Methodist tribe is mediocre, but will work). The Downtown Presbyterian Church was decorated during the Victorian Era and is done in Egyptian Revival. It is a historic space, with bright colors that is unique and odd but really cool. My favorite space, however, is Christ Epicopal Cathedral. It is old, gothic, and one of the most beautiful spaces that I have ever experienced. The great thing is that it is also very flexible and workable for our purposes. I think whatever service uses this space will be amazing simply because of the space.
There is no doubt that worship this time will be different from the normal event pseudo praise band sing until you drop model. There’s not anything wrong with that, but these services will be very different, from the one led by Madison Greene (an afro-celtic group), to Harp 46, to Taize services, to Dougie Pagitt and his worshipping choraliers. There is going to be a lot of diversity in worship, which should be a great thing.
Come with an open heart, willing to experience new things. It will likely be different. Enjoy it!!!! God has given us a color tapestry filled with all sorts of textures for worship. Revel in our amazing God who both speaks and listens in so many ways.