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The Work of the People: Liturgy as Cultural Formation

A Workshop with James K. A. Smith and RVA Worship Leaders 

A key argument of James K. A. Smith’s work as a cultural historian and philosopher is that the patterns and habits of Christian worship are not merely ways in which the Church and individual believers give glory to God, but a means by which the Spirit aligns our hearts, minds, and souls with the values of the Kingdom of God. In other words the historic worship practices of the church (Liturgies) are both spiritual and cultural formation, molding us towards the likeness of Jesus and equipping us to do the work to which Christ called his Church. Just as importantly, sacred liturgies counteract the many secular liturgies in our contemporary culture, which will de-form us if we are not mindful and active in our resistance to them. Worship leaders, then, ought to understand themselves not (only) as curators of one- or two-hour worship experiences, but as pastors helping to shape a “rule of life” for their congregations that plays out far beyond Sunday morning.

What does this kind of attention to the power of Christian liturgy look like in our individual communities, across cultures, languages, and denominations? How can we learn to better discern the liturgical elements we already employ (whether specific to Christian worship or adapted from our secular culture), and choose appropriate elements for our specific contexts? Our Workshop will include discussion of these broad issues but also focus on practical steps pastors and worship leaders (and lay people) can take to add richness to their planning and participation in worship.  

With a Charismatic background and current home in the Reformed Church, Jamie Smith personally appreciates a wide range of worship traditions, but he’ll also be joined in the conversation by local and regional worship leaders representing diverse ecclesiological traditions and current church settings, as well.

The Workshop is organized by Third Church, makeRVA and Redemption Hill Church, and hosted by RH at the Fourhundred, just off Semmes Avenue.  Check out the FaceBook event and let us know you're coming!

Earlier Event: February 27
Makers Series | Imagine
Later Event: February 28
Re-Imagining the Secular