I added this comment to my own blog entry yesterday since a couple of folks thought that I was referring to a particular parish
"For clarification - my musings are rooted in my experiences in congregations in general (six where I have worshiped in SW FL, and four where I was Rector in MA) - not in any parish in particular."
That having been said, my concern is about the busy, cluttered, noisy and unfocussed nature of much of Church life.
I confess that as a Rector I often thought “the busier the better”, and was rarely if ever open to the heartfelt desire of many parishioners: i.e. to clear away the clutter, and to enable prayer and the practise of the presence of G-d.
Now that I am on the “other side of the altar/pulpit” I have an acute awareness that Church services are not often the best vehicles for:
1. our encounters with the Holy One;
2. our sense of dependence upon G-d;
3.our experience of awe and wonder;
4. the ability to listen to what G-d might be telling us from the Bible and in the Holy Communion.
It sometimes seems to me that our Church services are purposefully busy - precisely because we are scared of the prospect of encountering the awesomeness of G-d.
Tomorrow I will write about a couple of experiences of worship in which the presence of G-d was palpable.