After not taking communion last week with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Michael said that Team Quirky needed to go Episcopalian. I tried talking him into Lutheran or Catholic, since we haven’t done either of those, but apparently last week was just a little too much for him. We’ve been saving some of the liturgical denominations for weeks like this, so we headed off to “The Well” 9:15am service at St. Luke’s.
The Well is “an imaginative interactive worship and Sunday school service for the whole family,” and was largely attended by 30-somethings with elementary/junior high kids. Most liturgical services are very interactive, as the congregation stands, sits, recites, sings, responds, kneels, etc., but The Well service was even more interactive, with congregational participation in the sermon and the Eucharist as well. I asked David Marshall, the deacon who led the service, for a copy of the power point they use, which I’ve included The Well Liturgy here. Michael and I both liked slide 16:
“Communion: All are welcome at the table. At this time (and for any reason), if you do not want the bread or wine, please cross your arms across your chest. But, be prepared, you may receive a blessing . . . “
One of my harshest criticisms of the Episcopal Church is that they tend to start losing their young people around the age of 8 or 10, and generally during their teens. The Well service specifically includes these young people, inviting them to the table to wash their hands, help with the words of institution, and then break and distribute the bread and the wine. Most Episcopal services includes children of this age as acolytes, but this service brings them directly into “the action” that’s most central to Episcopal worship–the communion.
Two other things that were designed to include were the distribution of shakers/triangles/tambourines for use during the singing, and the use of physical songs. One of the songs we sang was “Father Abraham,” with slightly different words/motions than I’m used to (right hand, left hand, march around, nod your head, hallelujah–I’m used to this version), but the whole group marching in a circle was a good deal of fun.