A DIFFERENT WAY TO WORSHIP: REFLECTIVE AND CONTEMPLATIVE, INSPIRED BY TAIZÉ. FOR USE AT HOME AND IN SMALL GROUPS ESPECIALLY SUITABLE FOR CHURCH LEAVERS.
Many people today have a living faith and trust in God but for a variety of reasons do not worship in the local church as in the past. The church does not appear to be the first place to pursue spiritual enquiry. Consequently, our age has a growing sense of spiritual dislocation and, therefore, an opportunity to envision a new future. What to do? This is not new.
In 1843 many Christians in Scotland found they could no longer remain in the local parish church because of disagreement and conflict over church government, autonomy in worship, and faithfulness to God as revealed in the scriptures.
It was a time of upheaval that came to be known as the Great Disruption. Without church buildings, sometimes without minister and manse, faithful men, women, and children gathered together to worship God in open spaces: the Highland Cathedral.
In 1847 two ships sailed from Scotland for Otago, New Zealand, where a new and Christian colony was to be established. Many hoped Dunedin, Gaelic for Edinburgh, would rise above the pain and disagreements of the past to secure a future with religious freedom and prosperity.
The next 150 years saw the establishment of a magnificent and flourishing province with the church playing a significant role.
However, in more recent times, a great exodus from the church has occurred where many citizens prefer no faith, or hold a faith but no longer attend church. If they worship God at all they do so in the privacy of their home, often alone: the home has become the new Highland Cathedral.
It is not yet clear what God will inspire in the years to come. Will God rebuild the church through renewing existing parishes? Perhaps although many doubt that now. Will God raise up something that is presently unforeseen?
In the mean time, the people of God often remain at home, or in small groups in the community, and this book will provide an orthodox form of worship for Sunday worship. It is at the same time firmly rooted in the faithful traditions of the Christian Church, biblical, and determined to speak in the language of today. It offers a framework for experiment; week after week as the Christian Year unfolds and the great themes of the Liturgy are experienced.
In a time of disruption Christians can still be rooted in the faithful history of the church while waiting for God to reveal the future.