If you're a resident of Downtown Vancouver or even spend a moderate amount of time there, you're no doubt familiar with the sight of scaffolding. It surrounds and clings to condo buildings like ivy, and while it's not very beautiful, it serves a crucially important function. It allows construction workers to get to where they need to be in order to do their work in a safe, efficient way. This, in turn, makes the buildings more hospitable for those living within them.
We as the Artisan community believe corporate worship is at its best when it strikes a creative balance between freedom and form. Many of the Church's rich worship traditions -- the seasons of the Christian calendar, for example (such as Advent, Lent and Easter) -- function like scaffolding when it comes to designing worship gatherings that are creative, holistic and truly God-centered. The structure provided by these traditions is not the end in itself.
So why do we make a regular habit of incorporating a Call to Worship at the beginning of our gatherings? Because it helps us remember that God is the one who has initiated relationship with humanity, not the other way around. It also draws our attention to the reality that worship is a dialogue: God speaks, we respond.
When it comes to Worship Design, then, this '*liturgical scaffolding' provides endless opportunity for artistic expression. If the point of Scripture Reading is that "the word of Christ may dwell in us richly" (Colossians 3:16), then how might we use our God-given creative gifts to either hear or respond to this word more fully? If the point of the Lord's Supper or the Eucharist is to express thanksgiving to God, how might we express our gratitude in ways that move beyond what one normally expects in church? What is God doing among us, and how might we best respond to God's activity? These are the kinds of questions we ask as a Design Team. If you are interested in getting involved, contact Nelson for more information.
(*liturgy/liturgical here is to be understood simply as 'the work of the people'; e.g. what we do in worship)