Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Is Worship Boring?

This piece from the Washington Post by Erica Brown, a Scholar-in-Residence for The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, came to my attention via an Anglican clergy discussion list. Providentially, I read it the same day I had lunch with a chaplain colleague who had returned from a six month tour at the military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, working with very seriously wounded soldiers and their families. My friend, a Roman Catholic, told me that what sustained him spiritually during this gruelling time was attending Mass as often as he could, and daily if possible. When a nurse friend asked him how he could do such a repetitious thing, he replied, "you breathe and eat, don't you?". MP+

Bored in Worship? No Wonder

The poet Dylan Thomas once wrote, "Something is boring me. I think it's me." This humbling confession gets to the heart of an issue long kept under wraps within faith communities. People are bored. People are terribly bored in churches and synagogues and mosques world-over. The liturgy can feel stale or archaic. The leadership of faith institutions can be out of touch with issues of contemporary relevance. In the fast-paced, ever-changing modern world of technology, religion can seem quaint but uninteresting to a young generation of hipsters who can't seem to understand the appeal of tradition.

But boredom can actually help faith if we allow ourselves to wallow in it just long enough for it to spark creativity. Think of a child who begs his mother for something to do only to be told that he is on his own. He must find his own entertainment. After sitting with self-pity for a while, he rummages in the toy box and two hours later has created a whole imaginary city. He sat with boredom long enough to get bored of his boredom and then found his own creative way out.

Read the complete text here.

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Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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