Perspectives

Toward keeping our worship fresh

By Paul-Gordon Chandler
Posted 8/5/21

As I visited all of our churches throughout the state on my inaugural “tour de Wyoming,” one of the consistent topics that surfaced was a longing to revitalize our worship — both to …

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Perspectives

Toward keeping our worship fresh

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As I visited all of our churches throughout the state on my inaugural “tour de Wyoming,” one of the consistent topics that surfaced was a longing to revitalize our worship — both to provide spiritual freshness for those currently attending our churches, as well as to be more relevant to those whom we desire to invite to our churches. One of the ways we will be serving to meet this need is for the Episcopal Church in Wyoming to be a resource for new and fresh alternative liturgies that resonate with or are based upon our distinct Anglican ethos and spirituality.

In this regard, a liturgical committee is in the midst of being set up that will be led by Rev. Megan Nickles from St. John’s Church in Powell. Through this liturgical committee, the diocese is planning on providing an online resource library of liturgies that can be easily downloaded and used (as well as adapted) within our congregations.

We are planning to do this through a new website, which we hope will be up and running in the next several months. This Liturgical Library will be a dynamic resource bank that will include liturgies in the following three categories. Additionally, we will be providing ongoing training in how to use these various resources most easily and effectively (i.e. workshops, etc.).

Forthcoming liturgical resources:

1. Liturgies from throughout the Anglican Communion and beyond

In addition to our own Episcopal Church Book of Common Prayer, this section will include beautiful and moving liturgies from Prayer Books of other Churches in our Anglican Communion (such as from New Zealand, the Church of South India, Common Worship from the U.K., South Africa’s “Order of the Holy Cross,” the Church of Kenya, etc.). Additionally, we will provide links to alternative liturgical resources, such as Celtic Liturgies, among numerous others.

2. Wyoming-related liturgies

This area will include the growing number of liturgies that have been developed or will be developed growing out of our own Wyoming context — such as those relating to the beautiful and majestic natural world all around us here, to the distinct spiritualties that are reflected in our state. Examples of this are our current Wyoming Eucharistic Prayer, our new Wyoming Gloria, and Native American liturgies that will be developed from which we can all benefit.

3. Liturgies that are developed through our liturgical committee

Our liturgical committee will be providing on an ongoing basis liturgical resources they have developed for our use, that are written here in Wyoming. For example, many of us have already had the joy of experiencing some of the creative and deeply spiritual liturgies developed by Rev. Nickles. These liturgies will often be related to specific seasons of our liturgical calendar, to feasts and festivals, as well as specific celebrations.

Another aspect of revitalizing our worship relates to music in our churches, which is a subject we will share more about in the future.

    

(Paul-Gordon Chandler is the Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Wyoming. He grew up in Senegal, West Africa, and has lived and worked extensively around the world in senior leadership roles within faith-based publishing, the arts, ecumenical relief and development and The Episcopal Church. For more information, visit https://diowy.org/bishop.html.)

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