Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

November 2007: Hospitality Communion

november 2007 grace flyer

The intention was to start with a parody of church exclusivity (and especially the perceived hip cliqueyness of emerging church], played sufficiently straight and close to reality to make the congregation feel genuinely uncomfortable until the joke was revealed.

1. Sign in as Grace member or visitor and wear a sticker

2. Entry to the church

people will be given a friendly welcome if they have a Grace badge, and a cold welcome if they have a visitor badge. The Grace people are invited to sit in a circle of beanbags, everyone else sits on the benches at a distance. The Grace people in the circle recite a fake liturgy which is pretentious and exclusive, and then pretend to listen to a track on their ipod headphones which no-one else can hear. Then there are fake notices which are worded so that only people who already know what's happening can understand.

[All this is to parody the ways that churches exclude people, accidentally or deliberately.]

3. The real welcome

Prayer by Mark Berry (verse 2 1st in balcony - Richard; 4 different voices)

The circle is dismantled, large bean bags hurled down. People are invited to sit and tear up the member/visitor stickers

4. Small group discussion

how did the start of the service make you feel; what makes you feel welcomed or unwelcome (Jackie)

5. Hospitality soundbites (1)

at the previous service Ben had recorded people talking about a person they thought embodied or practised hospitality - these soundbites are replayed at intervals in this service as food for thought.

6. Song – Toilet song (Jonny)

7. Introduce Dutch visitors to rest of congregation

[we had over 20, who were on a study visit to London churches] - one of them to say how they heard of Grace and why they had come

8. Hospitality soundbites (2)

9. Group discussion:

focussing on Grace - how can we be/become more hospitable
reporting back
questions on screen
ensure that each group has a Grace person [Mike]

10. Hospitality soundbites (3)

11. Reading/Meditation (Dean)

meditation about personal boundaries and Jesus becoming the outsider

12. Confession

short, with reflective pauses (Jackie)

13. Song – 'Table of Christ' (Jonny)

14. Eucharistic prayer (Dean)

15. Blessing (Dean)

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