Tag Archive: worship


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I haven’t been to my church for a month now. Yet I haven’t missed a week of ‘church’, I haven’t fallen out with anyone at my church and I have been in regular contact with my clergy, home group and friends. So why have I been avoiding my church??

As I have written over the last few posts, I haven’t been feeling very well over the last few months since my GP suggested coming off my antidepressants. Over the last 4 weeks, I’ve been to 6 different churches with 5 different friends.

I guess in one sense I want to hide, to go where I am fairly anonymous, where people won’t ask me how I am in a public and big group context.

Also over the summer we joined with another church to worship. I love the people at this other church, they are very hospitable and I know them pretty well. It is also the parish church for where I live and therefore much easier and quicker to walk to. But it’s not my church. It’s not my church building. Going there is a diluted version (and therefore a less safe version) of my church family. 

Finally, and for me I feel the main reason, it’s just not accessible for me when I feel ill. It is not my perfect variety of church, but it’s where I believe I’ve been placed, it’s my family and I love that its local, but it is so frustrating a lot of the time. When I’m unwell I want to go to a church where I can worship in a modern style with space for the Holy Spirit, not having to trudge through hymns at the start and the end, with a modern bit in the middle. I need a sermon I can understand and engage with. Not just words, but something visual, a PowerPoint, props, interactive. Not big theological words I don’t understand. Practical teaching, not theories in theology. The last time I went to my church, I just went through the motions. 

So what is the plan for next week…I’ve been asked to babysit for a church family on Saturday with the opportunity to sleep over…so I can’t see how I can get out of going to my church with them next Sunday!!

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How does one worship when the brain chemistry is all wrong, and you feel like you are down in the depths…

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Yesterday I was able to partake in 2 acts of worship that worked for this place I find myself in, but were opposite ends of the scale…or perhaps just 2 sides of a coin. Words and no words. 

First I spent time with a friend praying through the evening prayer for the day…we prayed through the liturgy, the psalms, the old testament and new testament readings, the Lords prayer, the collect for the day, our own prayers for people and situations. The rythmn of prayer, joining with others around the world who are sharing the same words, words based on scripture, words given to you, when your brain can’t formulate the prayer itself. Praying together, taking a line each, when alone you, you might just have given up. 

Then driving out of the city with other friends, we visited a church which had soaking prayer. To sit or lie, resting in God’s presence, focusing on the music and my breathe, leaving space for God’s Holy Spirit to drop scriptures into my heart, words of encouragement, words of truth and hope, pictures too. Halfway through a hand was laid on my shoulders as someone drew near me and blessed what God was doing. What God was doing, my weary mind didn’t have to do anything, just rest in His presence and recieve, be filled. 

Two ways to pray when your mind is foggy…yet God works through both…and amazingly yesterday both had this verse of encouragement…

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

(Isaiah 43:1-2)