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  • Title: alternativeworship.org
    Descriptive info: .. About alternative worship.. About alternative worship:.. Introduction.. A definition of alternative worship.. Alt worship & Emerging Church:.. the same or different?.. Directory:.. Churches & groups.. Blogs.. Websites.. Books.. Resources.. Practical advice:.. Some notes on how to get started.. Welcoming people to weird worship.. Cafe church.. Writing prayers.. How to make it happen: a beginner's guide.. Team, church and venue.. The worship environment: equipment.. The worship environment: visuals.. The worship environment: layout.. Service structure and ingredients.. Making your own resources.. Putting it all together and doing it.. Other sites:.. Small Fire.. | a photographic archive of alternative worship.. Images & words.. © Steve Collins.. unless otherwise noted.. 2012 note:.. This site has existed since 2002.. The movement it attempts to describe and map is now too diverse and widespread to be adequately summarised here, even if I still had time and energy to do so.. Consequently this site will not now be actively maintained, as in truth has been the case for some time.. However, the site is still functional as a gateway to the movement on the internet, for those coming from Google, Wikipedia or books.. The definitions [which have been much quoted] have been updated, along with the directories.. The practical advice is still valid..  ...   included something you think should be here, please email.. steve//at//alternativeworship//dot//org.. with details or links.. It would be helpful if you made sure that the things you're putting forward for inclusion fit the.. general definitions.. We say this not to be exclusive but to prevent the lists losing focus.. The world of alternative worship and emerging church is a complex and fluid network, and any attempt to define sites by category is approximate.. Sites may appear in more than one list because they contain a variety of material or functions.. Blogs, in particular, combine personal opinion, authoritative writing, debate, resource-sharing, and networking, so it's no surprise that they are at the heart of the emerging church community.. Many voices:.. Many of the items on this site or linked to it cover similar ground from different angles.. There is no single authoritative voice in this movement giving the 'right' answers.. Rather, it's a global conversation where ideas are passed back and forth and, hopefully, refined.. You don't have to be a member of any elite or train for years to join in.. Alternativeworship.. org is a portal site.. We cannot be held responsible for the content of the sites we link to, or for the opinions expressed therein.. top..

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  • Title: alternativeworship.org
    Descriptive info: by Steve Collins 2012.. This definition was last rewritten in 2005.. Since then the picture [and my own understanding] has moved on in some regards, notably the emergence of the neo-monastic approach and the curation model for worship leadership.. However the intention of this definition has always been to give a broad view of the generalities of the movement without too much attention to sub-genres.. What:.. Christians reinventing faith expression for themselves within their own cultural settings.. a response to postmodern Western society and cultural change.. faith expression within culture not in a parallel 'Christian' culture.. reconsideration of all inherited church forms and structures, including recent modernising ones.. rediscovery of ancient and alternative Christian traditions as resources for the present and future.. shift from centralised into networked forms of church.. Not:.. not intended to transition people into existing forms of church.. not an attempt to reach particular social or cultural groups.. not about making Christianity appear cool or fashionable.. not a restyling of existing forms and structures.. Who:.. a diverse network of individuals and small groups, practitioners and theorists.. no single centre or authority.. no single theological position or statement of beliefs but mostly within Christian orthodoxy.. sometimes working within existing church structures, sometimes forming separate churches.. crossing denominational and theological boundaries, even within single groups.. variety of forms - full-time ministry, spare time, emphasis on events or community, result of lay or clergy initiative.. high levels of friendship and exchange of ideas throughout movement.. many of the people in positions of influence or leadership are not ordained or church employees.. When:.. beginning UK late 1980s.. Nine O'clock Service, England, 1986-95, first deliberately postmodern 'club culture' church but its hierarchical structure was unlike other groups.. numerous smaller groups inspired by NOS appear in the late 80s - early 90s.. movement established in Australia and New Zealand by mid 90s.. facilitated by simultaneous rise of the internet - the movement contained many technological early adopters exploiting its openness to new contributions.. collapse of NOS in 1995 due to abusive leadership caused period of suspicion and difficulty for other groups in Britain.. movement emerging in USA/Canada/Europe since 2000.. Church of England 'Mission Shaped Church' report 2002 and subsequent 'Fresh Expressions' initiative marked institutional acceptance and encouragement of the movement in UK.. Emergent Village as focus for movement in USA during 00s.. emergence of denominationally based groupings with varying emphases in late 00s.. Alternative worship and emerging church :.. movement known as 'alternative worship' or 'alt.. worship' c.. 1990-2000.. original reference to alt.. groups of early internet.. 'emerging church' general use from c.. 2000.. reference to science of emergence, ie self-organising systems.. both labels ambiguous, 'emerging church' more representative of intentions.. however 'emerging church' label identified by some only with 'low church' 'postmodern evangelical' tendency.. consequently 'alternative worship' label reclaimed by some to indicate liturgical 'high church' background.. 'Fresh Expressions' umbrella term in England covering many things beyond alternative worship/emerging church.. 'neo-monastic' groups emphasise community built around a rhythm of shared spiritual practices, rather than creative worship events.. Values:.. authenticity - faith expression that truly represents the people who make and take part in it.. faith as journey, to be facilitated rather than controlled.. giving people space for their own encounter with God.. an exploration of creativity - in everyone, not just a gifted few.. risk-taking, experimental - openness to failure and mistakes.. holistic - life not divided into sacred and secular..  ...   not the public interface with Christianity but a resource for Christians - a point of renewal/reconnection.. Mission:.. "if we fix the service, they will come" - we fixed it, they didn't.. life as chief instrument of mission not church service.. non-believers won't come to church to receive 'product'.. so 'product' must leave church as point of delivery.. encounter with Christ through individuals and communities rather than through events.. mission as actions of individuals and communities in world, resourced by their communal events and practices.. Community:.. community as means of personal formation/discipling.. framework or 'rule' - explicit declaration of values and practices to shape life of community.. community as support for countercultural living.. prophetic community - public demonstration of alternative values and possibilities.. community as missional tool - undertaking and enabling christian action in the world.. Leadership:.. leadership as facilitation of the faith journeys and gifts of others.. leadership from different people at different times according to circumstances and inspiration.. no fixed roles or hierarchies - leadership expected to be temporary and passed on within the community.. the core team are not an elite group delivering expertise to the community, but a representative group creating something for the use of the community.. gifting understood in a very wide sense - not just preaching/teaching/music.. re-empowering people who think they have nothing to offer, or have nothing to offer that fits within the confines of a conventional church event.. Events:.. events created and led by many people not one or two.. congregation are active not passive participants.. emphasis on community worshipping together rather than team leading congregation.. elements and activities that emphasise hierarchy or authority generally avoided.. behaviour generally relaxed, informal - permission to use the space as you wish, to not take part.. movement and discussion often encouraged.. learning by exploration and interaction, not located in a single 'teaching' slot.. periods when people can do different things at the same time.. rituals and liturgies often newly created for specific events or communities.. pre-existing rituals and liturgies usually adapted and mixed with new elements.. events not restricted to conventional church timetables or venues.. How events are made:.. curation model - organiser assembles team, shapes contributions into coherent event, but is not sole or dominant voice.. events often planned around a chosen theme which determines all of the content.. no fixed or obligatory elements.. almost anything permitted if it makes sense within the event context.. shape of event worked out in group.. individuals take pieces of the event to do.. event comes together on the day, generally without rehearsal, in accordance with the shape agreed during planning.. high level of trust in people's ability to deliver appropriate content.. New forms of church environment:.. avoidance of arrangements that embody hierarchies, such as stages, pulpits, pews.. non-directional space - no front to face, things happen all around.. centralised space, symbolising community.. cafe spaces and communal tables - eating and drinking together.. informal seating arrangements - comfortable and domestic in style, or sit or lie on floor.. atmospheric lighting for intimacy, warmth, a sense of mystery - spotlights, candles, projections.. installations and artworks.. ambient music - often as background to everything including speech and prayer.. ambient video - relevant to event content but not attention-grabbing.. creative use of available technology and media, including from home or work.. technology and media used for environment or art as well as presentation tools.. venue may not be existing church building..

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  • Title: alternativeworship.org
    Descriptive info: Alternative worship & emerging church.. The same or different?.. When this site was first planned in 2001, the term 'emerging church' was not in widespread use.. In Britain, Australia and New Zealand the term 'alternative worship' had for ten years been the generally recognised name for the kind of church expression listed here.. Nevertheless people had long been dissatisfied with the term.. 'Alternative' implies only ever a minority taste, and misleadingly alternative worship has nothing to do with alternative rock.. And worship is just an element of what it's about - it's not just an exercise in changing worship styles.. So calling this website 'alternativeworship' was controversial.. Many in the movement felt it would perpetuate a name they'd like to leave behind.. And yet it was still the only widely accepted name, however grudgingly, for a very distinctive Christian movement.. The picture is now different.. New church expressions of a similar kind in America called themselves or were called 'postmodern' or 'emerging church', and the term 'alternative worship' never really took root there.. 'Emerging church' was also taken up by many in the original alternative worship movement as a less limiting and more accurate description of their intentions.. At the moment, then, the two terms are used side by side and often interchangeably to describe the same general area of church expression.. Emerging church  ...   can still be discerned.. The people involved are linked by friendship and collaboration across the world.. They often disagree, but the disagreements have shaped the movement and given it impetus.. Because this is an ethos and not a recipe, there are diverse forms of expression - indeed part of the ethos is that there is not a single answer or direction at this time.. This site is for church expressions within that ethos, whatever they call themselves.. The expressions on this site share a set of values and take part in an ongoing conversation - a movement, in fact.. In Britain a third term, 'fresh expression' can be heard.. Fresh Expressions is an initiative by the Anglican and Methodist churches to support non-conventional expressions of church community - this includes 'alternative worship' or 'emerging church' communities, but also covers many other things such as cell churches, mother and child groups, weekday services in non-church venues etc.. Another widespread term is 'neo-monastic', meaning communities that have some structures and a shared rhythm of life derived from the monastic tradition.. These groups de-emphasise the bold creative worship that is considered the mark of 'alternative worship'.. However this unspectacular community focus has always been a stream within the movement in spite of its name, and these groups still share the movement's loose and creative relationship to tradition..

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  • Title: alternativeworship.org
    Descriptive info: Directory.. This list is arranged geographically to make it easier to find your nearest group.. To help you plan your visit to an area, we have indicated the days and times of regular public worship or publically accessible meeting.. This has been done in relation to the month, ie 1st Sun 8pm 3rd Wed 8pm means that the group meets on the first Sunday of each month at 8pm and the third Wednesday of each month at 8pm.. For venue details please contact the group.. UK.. LONDON.. Borough Common.. - Borough.. | Every Sun 6pm.. Broken.. - Barnet.. | 2nd Sun 7pm.. Feast.. - Hackney.. | Every Sun 8pm.. Grace.. - Ealing.. | 2nd Sat 8pm.. Holy City.. - The City.. | Usually 1st Thurs 6.. 30pm - check website for exceptions.. Holy Joes.. | Every Tue 8pm.. Moot.. | Every Sun 6.. 30pm for 7pm.. Portal.. - Richmond.. | Monthly 7.. 30pm, day and venue varies, see website.. Revelation.. - West Hampstead.. | 3rd Wednesday 7.. 30pm.. Soul:space.. - Holloway.. | 1st Sun 8pm.. SOUTH-EAST ENGLAND.. Beyond.. - Hove.. | Last Sun 7.. Blessed.. - Gosport.. | Monthly and occasional events.. the garden.. - Brighton.. | check website for details.. Maybe.. - Oxford.. | check website for events.. Sanctum.. - Horsham.. | Quarterly - check website for details.. Search.. - Basingstoke.. | 3rd Sat 8pm.. SOUTH-WEST ENGLAND.. Agape.. - Newton Abbot.. | 2nd & 4th Sun 7pm.. Feig.. - Gloucester.. | Weekly community meals plus periodic larger events - contact Feig for details.. Fountain - Gloucester.. | In the Fountain pub, Westgate Street monthly, date varies | No website - contact.. Mark.. or.. Justin.. Foundation..  ...   Sanctus 1.. - Manchester.. | Every Sun 10.. 30am, every Wed 7.. Visions.. - York.. SCOTLAND.. Abbotsford.. - Clydebank.. | Every Sun 11am.. Cutting Edge.. - Perth.. | Last Sun Oct/Dec/Feb/Apr/Jun/Aug 8pm | No website - contact.. Jane Denniston.. NORTHERN IRELAND.. Ikon.. - Belfast.. | Last Sun 6pm.. AUSTRALIA.. Breathing Space - Melbourne.. | Every Tue 8pm | No website - contact.. Eddie.. Small emerging community with alt.. w leanings.. Cafe Church.. - Glebe, Sydney.. | Every Sun 7.. - Melbourne.. | Every Tue 6.. 45pm.. Connection Church.. - Croydon, Victoria.. | Every Sun 10am & 6pm.. Labyrinth Australia.. | Occasional events - see website.. LivingRoom.. | Every Wed night in homes for a meal and worship.. Unboxed Worship.. - Box Hill Melbourne.. | Third Sun 7pm.. CANADA.. The Freeway.. - Hamilton Ontario.. CHINA.. Shanghai Common - Shanghai.. | Every Sun 7pm | No website - contact.. shanghai@boroughcommon.. com.. GERMANY.. Kubik.. - Karlsruhe.. | Every Fri 8pm.. NEW ZEALAND.. Cityside.. - Auckland.. 30am & 7pm.. Graceway.. - Ellerslie, Auckland.. | Every Sun 5.. Side Door.. - Christchurch.. | 3rd Wed 7.. Soulplex - Dunedin.. | 1st Fri 7.. 30pm | No website - contact.. Jen.. USA.. Church of the Apostles.. - Seattle WA.. | Every Sat 5pm.. House for All Sinners and Saints.. - Denver CO.. | weekly community and worship events - check website for details.. The Landing Place.. - Columbus OH.. | Every Tue 7.. 00pm, Wed 7.. 00pm, Thu 6.. 30pm, Sun 7.. 00pm.. Peacemeal.. - Scranton PA.. | Weekly community and worship events - check website for details.. Solomon's Porch.. - Minneapolis MN.. Transmission.. - New York NY.. | 1st and 3rd Wed..

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  • Title: alternativeworship.org
    Descriptive info: When this site began, blogging was new and little-known.. Now blogs are the bush telegraph of the movement, where the thinking and arguing and reporting goes on.. As is the way with blogs, most link through to most of the others, so jump in anywhere and move around.. This site can't pretend to offer a full list of alt-worship/emerging church blogs, but most of the major ones are here, and you can reach the rest through them.. A.. abbotsford.. org.. uk.. | A wee congregation in Clydebank, Scotland.. Adam Feldman.. | Adam Feldman.. The Alternative Hymnal.. | Darren Wright.. ASBO Jesus.. | Jon Birch.. B.. benedson.. blog.. | Ben Edson.. Breathing Space.. | Eddie Chapman.. C.. The Corner.. | Bob Carlton.. D.. Deep Church.. | Jason Clark.. [depone].. | Daniel Ehniss.. Distinctly Askew.. | Ben Askew.. djchuang.. | DJ Chuang.. Doug Pagitt.. | Doug Pagitt.. E.. e-mergent kiwi.. | Steve Taylor.. F.. Faithmaps.. | Stephen  ...   The Lingering Lemon of Death.. | Michael Toy.. The Living Room.. | Darren Rowse.. M.. Maggi Dawn.. | Maggi Dawn.. Malcolm Chamberlain.. | Malcolm Chamberlain.. microclesia.. | John La Grou.. Mootblog.. | Moot group blog.. Mountain Masala.. | Craig Mitchell.. N.. neurotribe.. net.. | Stephen Said.. The New Christians.. | Tony Jones.. Nouslife.. | Andii Bowsher.. O.. On Earth as in Heaven.. | Steve Hollinghurst.. P.. Pete Rollins.. | Pete Rollins.. pomomusings.. | Adam Walker Cleaveland.. S.. Sarcastic Lutheran.. | Nadia Bolz-Weber.. The Shiverian.. | Mark Shivers.. Small Ritual.. | Steve Collins.. Sound and Silence.. | Nic Paton.. Staring into the distance.. | Paul Roberts.. submergence.. | Karen Ward.. Sue Wallace.. | Sue Wallace.. T.. tallskinnykiwi.. | Andrew Jones.. theyblinked.. | Dan Hughes.. Tim Samoff.. | Tim Samoff.. W.. Waving or drowning?.. | Mike Todd.. way out west.. | Mark Berry.. wee beautiful pict.. | Paul Thompson.. willzhead.. | Will Samson.. Y.. Youth Ministry Blog..

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  • Title: alternativeworship.org
    Descriptive info: Networks & portals.. Emergent.. | US networking centre for postmodern Christianity.. Emerging Women Leaders.. | US networking centre for women in the emerging church.. Fresh Expressions.. | Church of England network and information site for new forms of church in England.. Futurechurch.. | New Zealand-based portal for 'emerging forms of spiritual community'.. Organic Church.. | UK network for emerging church leaders.. Magazines.. Changing monthly content by more than one author - articles, reviews etc.. Catapult.. Emergingchurch.. info.. Next Wave.. Precipice Magazine.. Seven Magazine.. The Ooze.. Publications.. Encounters on the Edge.. | Church Army publications exploring new forms of Christian expression in England.. Photographic.. | A photographic archive of Alternative Worship events with links.. Festivals..  ...   Generation X, by Karen Ward.. emergingminister.. | Greg Adkins - worship ideas, graphics, music, video, reviews.. FutureChurch.. | Postmodernity, the Church and the arts, by Tom Hohstadt.. Ginkworld.. | US networking centre for postmodern Christians, by John O'Keefe.. Sacramentis.. | Sally Morgenthaler's site - her writing and photography, plus links for resources.. | Creative thinking about expressions of church by Steve Collins.. The Little Black virtual Book With Red Ends.. | Animated parables 'n' stuff by Andrew Lorien.. Online worship.. These sites offer an on-screen experience of worship, meditation or prayer.. Embody.. | Interactive multimedia meditations, rituals and games.. Holyspace.. Labyrinth.. | Interactive ritual journey based on the Labyrinth installation.. Vurch.. | Interactive prayer..

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  • Title: alternativeworship.org
    Descriptive info: Books about alternative worship & the emerging church.. Alternative Worship | Jonny Baker & Doug Gay with Jenny Brown.. SPCK | ISBN 0-281-05396-0.. A resource book & CD-ROM with theoretical and contextual essays about alternative worship.. Baker | ISBN 0-8010-9170-5.. US edition with new foreword by Sally Morgenthaler.. Alternative Worship in the Church of England | Paul Roberts.. Grove Books | ISBN 1-85174-415-0.. Alternative Worship theology and practice in the Church of England.. Ancient Faith Future Mission: Fresh Expressions in the Sacramental Tradition | Steven Croft & Ian Mobsbsy.. Canterbury Press | ISBN 978-1853119736.. Creative worship practitioners from traditional wings of the church tell their stories and reflect theologically on the initiatives they are exploring.. The Art of Curating Worship | Mark Pierson.. Sparkhouse Press | ISBN 978-1-4514-0084-7.. The role of worship leader reshaped as event curator.. Curating Worship | Jonny Baker.. SPCK | ISBN 978-0-281-06235-5.. Curation as a methodology for creating worship experiences, including interviews with notable practitioners.. The Emerging Church | Dan Kimball.. Zondervan | ISBN 0-310-24564-8.. Postmodern church explained for the mainstream US context.. Emerging Churches | Eddie Gibbs & Ryan K Bolger.. Baker Academic | ISBN 0-8010-2715-2.. In-depth analysis of the missonal theology and praxis of US/UK emerging churches, based on wide-ranging interviews.. Emerging and Fresh Expressions of Church: How Are They Authentically Church and Anglican? | Ian Mobsby.. Moot Community Publishing | ISBN 978-0955514005.. Exploring the theology, sociology and spirituality behind some emerging & Fresh Expressions of Church in the UK and US.. Emerging Worship | Dan Kimball.. Zondervan | ISBN 0-310-25644-5.. Creating worship gatherings for new generations.. How [not] to speak of God | Peter Rollins.. SPCK | ISBN 0-281-05798-2.. From right belief to believing in the right way: an a/theology for the emerging church.. Illustrated through 10 transcripts of.. services.. The Out of Bounds Church? | Steve Taylor.. Zondervan | ISBN 0-310-25904-5.. DJs, cybermonks and tour guides - the emerging church around the globe.. The Prodigal Project | Mike Riddell, Mark Pierson, Cathy Kirkpatrick.. SPCK | ISBN 0-281-05250-6.. The theory and practice of Alternative Worship, from its most famous Australasian practitioners.. Includes case studies and multimedia CD-ROM.. Refreshing Worship | Kevin & Brian Draper.. Bible Reading Fellowship | ISBN 1-84101-146-0.. An accessible guide to the whys and hows of Alternative Worship, from the originators of Labyrinth.. Reimagining Spiritual Formation | Doug Pagitt.. Emergent-YS | ISBN 0-310-25687-9.. A week in the life of an experimental church.. Remixing the Church | Doug Gay.. SCM Press | ISBN 978-0-334-04396-6.. Towards an emerging ecclesiology - emergence interpreted through  ...   1-904024-60-2.. Using contemplative prayer in youthwork.. Includes multimedia CD-ROM.. Books about the wider context.. Ancient Future Faith | Robert Webber.. Baker | ISBN 0-8010-6029-X.. Rethinking evangelicalism for a postmodern world.. Aqua Church | Leonard Sweet.. Group | ISBN 0-7644-2151-4.. Transforming church for a postmodern world.. Christi-Anarchy | Dave Andrews.. Lion | ISBN 0-7459-4234-2.. Recovering the vision of Jesus from the ruins of Christendom.. A Churchless Faith | Alan Jamieson.. SPCK | ISBN 0-281-05465-7.. Why Christians leave churches while continuing in the faith.. The Complex Christ | Kester Brewin.. SPCK | ISBN 0-281-05669-2.. Signs of emergence in the urban church.. The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why | Phyllis Tickle.. Baker | ISBN 978-0801013133.. How the Church is going through a once-in-500-years transition.. Jesus in Disneyland | David Lyon.. Polity | ISBN 0-7456-1489-2.. Religion in postmodernity.. Liquid Church | Pete Ward.. Hendrickson [Paternoster for UK] | ISBN 1-84227-161-X.. New patterns of church in postmodern consumer culture.. Making Sense of Church | Spencer Burke with Colleen Pepper.. Zondervan | ISBN 0-310-25499-X.. Emerging church conversations from TheOoze.. com.. Mass Culture | Jonny Baker and Mike Riddell Pete Ward et al.. Bible Reading Fellowship | ISBN 1-84101-069-3.. New approaches to Holy Communion - chapters by Alternative Worship practitioners.. The McDonaldisation of the Church | John Drane.. Darton Longman & Todd | ISBN 0-232-52259-6.. Why the Church doesn't reach large parts of our society.. Mission Implausible | Duncan McLaren.. Paternoster Press | ISBN 1-8422.. 7295-0.. Analysis of the crisis of credibility of the Church in Europe.. Mission-Shaped Church.. Church House Publishing | ISBN 0-7151-4013-2.. Church planting and fresh expressions of church in a changing context.. A New Kind of Christian | Brian McLaren.. Jossey-Bass | ISBN 0-7879-5599-X.. A tale of two friends on a spiritual journey.. The Post-Evangelical | Dave Tomlinson.. Triangle | ISBN 0-281-04814-2.. Why many Christians are rejecting Evangelicalism as previously understood.. Zondervan | ISBN 0-310-25385-3.. Revised US edition.. The Post-Evangelical Debate | Graham Cray et al.. Triangle | ISBN 0-281-05108-9.. Responses by UK theologians to The Post-Evangelical.. Postmodern Youth Ministry | Tony Jones.. Zondervan | ISBN 0-310-23817-X.. Exploring postmodernity in the context of Christian youth ministry.. The Shaping Of Things To Come | Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch.. Hendrickson ISBN 1-56563-659-7 [USA] Strand ISBN 1-8768-2587-1 [Australia].. Innovation & mission for the 21st century Church.. Threshold of the Future | Michael Riddell.. SPCK | ISBN 0-281-05055-4.. Why the Western Church is in crisis, and what might be done.. Virtual Faith | Tom Beaudoin.. Jossey-Bass | ISBN 0-7879-3882-3.. The spirituality of Generation X..

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  • Title: alternativeworship.org
    Descriptive info: Materials & liturgies for worship.. Alt Worship FAQ.. | Material used in worship by various groups, theory, practical advice & links.. Creative Prayer.. | A compilation of contemplative prayer stations for use in worship.. | Worship ideas, graphics, music, video.. Fishfood Media.. | Video/music/images/web/software/community resources.. Grace archive pages.. | Liturgies and worship material by Grace.. | Material from Graceway including full services, rituals, postcards.. the alt.. worship collective.. | Material used in worship by Host [Bradford], plus advice/ideas.. The Prodigal Project.. | The website of the book.. | Links for many kinds of resources incl.. art, photography, video and equipment.. | Complete liturgies from Box Hill church, Melbourne.. | Liturgies used in worship by Vaux.. | Material used in worship by Visions.. Wild Goose Resource Group.. | Music and liturgies from the Iona Community..  ...   & instructions to help you create your own Prayer Path Labyrinth.. Labyrinth CD-ROM.. | The Online Labyrinth plus a discipleship course based around the themes of the Labyrinth.. | The Labyrinth in Australia.. Music resources from within Alternative Worship.. Narthex.. | Worship music from Narthex [DJ dance mix].. Proost.. | Worship songs & liturgies including Grace, Labyrinth, Eucharist [ambient chill-out].. Sticky Music.. | Worship music from the Late Late Service [dance, ambient, ballads].. | Worship music from Visions [melodic techno dance hymns].. Ambient video for background use in worship.. Flicker.. | Contemporary ambient video resources and technical advice.. Highway Video.. | Contemporary ambient video resources, Flash animations, ambient music.. One Small Barking Dog.. | Contemporary urban & religious imagery.. | Contemporary ambient worship video and still images.. | Natural world, medieval religious imagery from Visions..

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  • Title: alternativeworship.org
    Descriptive info: Practical advice.. by Steve Collins 2004.. These notes were produced for a talk at Greenbelt Festival in 2001 and only just rediscovered.. They're not a polished piece because they were produced for speaking from, but I still think they're useful.. principles:.. why are you doing this?.. the usual answers are evangelism or your own worship needs.. it should be primarily the latter.. the former should be a by-product of vibrant realistic spirituality.. this is not about marketing christianity - better to create something that markets itself.. who are you doing this for?.. the target audience should include you.. if it's because you can see a need for suitable worship for a group that doesn't include you, involve people from that group at the start and give them the control.. authenticity/genuineness/personal.. your audience is most likely to be christians to begin with.. making a space to experiment.. negotiate a space to experiment in - a separate service.. it needs to be understood by the church authorities that this space is free - no premature judgements - no tight boundaries.. ie trust given to the participants.. you need freedom to try anything.. you need freedom to fail or get it wrong.. you're not foisting your experiments on other people - if they don't like it they don't have to come!.. you can feed back successful element and ideas into other services later.. it's easier to experiment successfully if you can control the overall shape and feel of the worship.. the context and style of conventional worship will limit what you can achieve.. the overall shape/structure of any act of worship carries cultural values, so it's hard to fit in little pieces of alt worship to a conventional setting - the context may undermine the core values of what you're doing.. which is why just updating the songs hasn't been enough to make church valid.. trust.. your church needs to trust you to experiment with worship.. you need to trust your congregation to make good use of what you provide.. opposition.. opposition comes in several kinds.. one comes from lack of understanding.. people don't understand why you're doing this, or misunderstand it.. many people have difficulty distinguishing between core theology and the forms in which it is expressed, ie they think that correct belief can only be expressed in a particular form of worship.. and so your experiments may be taken as proof that you're going wrong.. a lot of opposition will seem quite unreasonably vehement because what you're doing is shaking settled beliefs or touching unexpected personal chords.. some responses:.. don't be secretive.. explain clearly what you are doing and why.. try to present it as a positive extension of the church's ministry rather than as an attack or negative critique.. point to other successful examples of what you are trying to do.. show that you are not going off the rails theologically.. a different kind of opposition arises from issues of control and security.. some church leaderships are not prepared to allow anything that they don't have direct control over.. this results from a fear that things will go wrong - ie they don't trust their congregation to work out their own relationships with god.. this kind of opposition is harder to deal with because it's often irrational or fearful.. openness and patient discussion should help, but can still fail.. ultimately it's about trust.. if it becomes clear that explanations are getting nowhere, it may be necessary to be open about this - to say as gently as possible "it appears you don't trust us to work out our own relationships with god".. they will either say, we didn't mean it like that at all, and negotiate, or they will say yes - in which case you are not in a healthy  ...   that are valid, not just because they are what people do in church - so rethink.. be prepared to question everything inherited.. it's like clearing out the house - deciding what to keep or throw out!.. copying.. what you produce should be your own not a clone of some other service, BUT it is very useful to start by copying things from other services because it gives you a ready-made start.. it's very hard to come up with new forms/ideas in a vacuum, copying will give you a feel for what can happen [and then the ideas start to flow].. once you have sampled the possibilities, you will soon start to alter and adapt for yourselves.. environment:.. music.. foreground [songs or listening], background [mood, filling silences].. style - whatever your group finds spiritually helpful - may be easy listening, ambient, punk - even graham kendrick.. should relate to what you listen to outside church.. this can be a powerful way to break down the compartments of church versus the rest of life.. don't divide sacred/secular - just because music is produced by a christian artist doesn't mean it'll work better in church, just that it's more likely to mention god as such.. but secular stuff often has spiritual, even worshipful lyrics that sound right in church.. keep an ear out for potentially useful music.. songs - don't sing just because it's the done thing.. ask yourself why.. you don't have to sing.. don't equate worship with singing.. background - often instrumental, not so much songs.. beware inappropriate lyrics/noises eg orgasms - you can't always leave an album running.. bands - if you have a good one and what they play helps, fine.. if not, use recorded stuff [means you can have radiohead for real instead of hoping that your worship band can manage to sound like them].. can mix eg singer over cd track, live instrument over cd song.. needs rehearsal.. images.. slide.. video.. usually background, though can have specific images/clips to focus on.. for background, simplicity is best - not startling/distracting.. theme to general theme of worship, but can go off at tangent - add layers of meaning.. not just religious imagery - bring the world into church.. video on tvs usable in daylight, slides not.. song words - ohps are ugly.. can make slides, or use software that puts words on screen from computer.. art.. esp installation - see as much as you can, buy magazines.. will give you ideas even from pictures in magazines.. will give you buzz when you realize that your church installation was better than thing in art gallery.. a lot of art is conceptual, ie the idea is the real work of art not the object.. that's what you are about, so take inspiration.. general principles:.. simplicity.. - as good as complexity and a whole lot easier.. achieve complexity by buildup of many simple things.. don't get hung up on technical perfection.. freedom from sense of inferiority/inability.. the idea is not to focus people's attention on the work but beyond it - it is a tool.. more important to convey an idea.. leave space for congregation to act/interpret.. don't be didactic.. don't attempt to rigidly control how people react/act/interpret - let god speak to them and they to god.. [trust].. create worship where people who are not part of the team can contribute/feed back to each other and god.. words - discussion/opinions/writing.. actions - making/completing artwork, ritual, dance, song.. don't separate team from rest of congregation.. together we are the body of christ.. all have gifts and insights.. facilitate rather than lead.. invite don't command.. allow people to just watch or not be involved - no pressure or compulsion.. not a performance.. [although parts can be].. performance excludes participation/improvisation.. you want involvement not admiration..

    Original link path: /practice_gettingstarted.html
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  • Title: alternativeworship.org
    Descriptive info: by Steve Collins 2003.. When worship gets reinvented newcomers can find it hard to work out what's going on and how they fit in.. Here's three extracts from an email conversation on the topic:.. We all like routines, from the miniature of when we brush our teeth, to the routine of what to expect when we go into a cafe or pub, ie where to sit, how to order etc.. People expect something when we use the word church - lots of songs or lots of hymns or lots of words, depending on their experience.. So when we don't offer that, it's scary.. Where should they sit, face, move? How do we ease this dis-ease? It's just part of being a good host, I reckon.. Case in point - this women emailed me last week - wanting to find God but not into established religion.. She'd found us on the net and could she come to "pray, sing and worship".. Now that makes no sense - if she doesn't want establishment, why use establishment words? All I could deduce was that those were the words she knew to link with church.. [Mark Pierson, Cityside NZ].. Something that has always puzzled me, has been the numbers of people who have come to us, *really* liked the service and not come back again ever.. It wasn't till Jem joined the group, with the insight of someone new coming into it, that I started to gain some sort of insight into what was going on.. These people weren't lying when they said they really liked it.. You can generally tell when they are lying for the sake of politeness, there is a certain lack of enthusiasm there.. Since Jem joined our group though, people who have come for the first time have been coming back a bit more.. This is because he talks to them after the service and says things like "I know this can seem a bit weird at first.. Don't just judge it on one service, give it two or three if you can, to get used to the format, and then decide whether you like it or not".. I think he has a good point here, one that we need to be pursuing.. That people can experience sensory overload, disorientation, or unfamiliarity with what we're doing.. We expect our forms of worship to be more easily accessible to people coming in from the street, but even if the music is nicer or the building is prettier they aren't really as far as groundrules are concerned.. Especially if people have no framework to build on, or strong relationships to guide them through the initial confusion.. "What are the houserules for this place?","How am I expected to behave?".. Because we have re-written the groundrules for worship, an equal confusion meets those brought up in the church environment.. They think they know the groundrules, but they don't anymore, because we have changed them.. Some of us might even be changing them from service to service.. This can also lead to disorientation.. We need to be addressing this in some way.. Allowing people time to get used to the format.. Not by changing it necessarily, but by putting people at their ease, giving them space to talk through their concerns, reassuring people that it can take a while to navigate the territory, by encouraging them to try two or three services rather than just the one.. [Sue Wallace, Visions UK].. At anything new  ...   arrive.. And talking to latecomers may cause disturbance once the service starts.. So how about:.. A big notice on the door for brief basics, that people can scan as they arrive.. A printed handout with a longer explanation that can be perused while waiting for the event to start, and taken away afterwards.. A welcome person on the door to hand out the printed handout, repeat if necessary the stuff on the big notice, deal with other points like toilet directions, and - especially - to reassure people that you're not a bunch of weirdos entrapping them into your cult!.. The big notice should contain:.. Welcome to [your event].. Instructions for what to do on entry eg where to sit or stand.. The theme of the event [if it has one].. Hint: do your notice with welcome and instructions on, and leave a space for the theme.. Get it laminated, which makes it durable and weatherproof for putting outside.. Then write the theme in the space provided, using a whiteboard marker pen, chinagraph pencil - something that writes on a plastic surface but rubs off for re-use next time.. The handout should contain:.. What is [your event].. What usually happens - general kinds of things that aren't specific to one occasion.. In particular make note of things that people might not expect to find in a church event, eg ambient video or discussion groups.. What usually doesn't happen - the things that people might expect in a church event that you've done away with or altered radically, eg sermons, times of sung worship.. General principles of how to behave in your event - not event-specific instructions but your general approach.. Like, slob around on the cushions/dance manically/greet one another with a holy kiss.. Reassurance that there's no pressure to join in - emphasise that visitors are free to just watch if they're unsure or uncomfortable.. Something like 'Don't judge us on just one event - come to two or three if you can as the content and feel of events can vary hugely because of the way Alternative Worship is planned.. Who you are - your community.. What you believe - very short basic outline of beliefs.. Try to come up with a non-religious non-jargon explanation in simple modern language, for your non-Christian visitors.. No lists of doctrines please.. Your denominational affiliation if you have one.. It helps people understand your background, and may reassure them that you are not adrift or a cult or sect.. Encouragement to ask questions afterwards.. How to get on the mailing list.. How to get involved.. After the service:.. Several members of the team should be actively available for conversation, no matter what the time pressures to clear up the space and get out.. It should be made clear in the handout and at the start of the event that the team will be available for talking to.. These might be the make-or-break conversations that determine whether people come back or not.. Some of the above might seem painfully obvious.. But it's easy to overlook the obvious when your attention is bound up with the struggles and pleasures of doing new things, and the panic of last minute preparations.. Congregations have a way of arriving five minutes before you're ready to welcome them, so make it part of your system to have welcome persons and things ready even when nothing else is.. Visitors will forgive your technical shortcomings more readily than your welcome shortcomings!..

    Original link path: /practice_welcome.html
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  • Title: alternativeworship.org
    Descriptive info: Cafe church - some practical tips.. by Cathy Kirkpatrick 2002.. General stuff.. Before the evening, personally ask 2 or 3 or 4 people if they would like to make a contribution.. Knowing that there will at least be a few offerings can ease your own nerves, and provide a bit of substance which others can spontaneously (or otherwise) build upon.. You probably want people to tell you beforehand what they will do, but it'd be good if people could be able to just pitch into the flow if they wanted to, or had brought something at the last minute.. Plan a start and a finish to the night.. Make the 'open contribution space/time' clear.. If there is a loose time of general mingling at the start, then maybe you can figure a way to indicate this to those people who are new or easily frightened.. For instance, project something on the wall that occasionally contains a message that indicates that this is free time - to meet people, eat, drink, wander around the space, whatever.. And that more focussed proceedings will begin soon.. Whack the theme up somewhere, somehow.. Put stuff around the place that relates to the theme, for example bits of paper on the tables that people can read (prepared photocopied stuff - out of a book, or a few words that someone has written, or a cartoon.. ).. This can help the solo and shy people to find a place in  ...   of places (this part of the process can be a bottle-neck!).. Sugars can go on the tables, if you like.. Put out glasses and bottles of water on a different table (to avoid crowding).. Get some cheap bread and pile up some pieces.. A bit of something to chew is a good comfort.. Others might also bring an eatable thing - leave some room for this stuff to go on a communal table.. Appoint a couple of volunteers to keep an eye on the consumables and coffees - people who can act as food hosts - topping things up and making fresh coffee.. If you are offering espresso, good on you and good luck! I hope your barrista is fast, and has good help.. Waiting can be a drag.. Finish the set-up half an hour before you expect the first people to arrive.. Then kick back and enjoy yourselves.. I reckon that you and your mates should be modelling the sort of vibe and activities that you are hoping for the night.. so when people start arriving they have someone to be with and some way to join in.. If you are reclining at table, sipping your favourite beverage, nibbling on bits, doodling your dreams, and laughing with some friends, with the candles up and the music down (or vice versa) when people start arriving then at least you'll have a good time of the night, and others may fall into the vibe too..

    Original link path: /practice_cafechurch.html
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