Risky Worship Liturgy: Swansea & Brecon Diocesan Conference

S&B2

Last Saturday we were at the Swansea & Brecon Diocesan Conference.

As well as our presentation, we were also asked to lead a short time of worship, which we built around the themes of creativity, experimentation and taking risks.

The liturgy we used was put together by Justin Groves a few years ago for our own Diocesan Conference in Monmouth. We’ve posted it below incase you wanted to use all or parts of it within your own contexts:

Risky Worship

Opening Words

We’re here again, Lord
Your Church in fellowship together
Friends, strangers, colleagues, neighbours
Short, tall, rich and poor
Your people with one purpose and one aim

Be with us in our diversity
Join us in unity through your love
That we might leave this place
Knowing that we have met not only with each other
But also with you

Words of Confession

When our thoughtless criticism stifles the creativity of others:
Lord, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

When we keep a tight hold on power and deny others the chance to participate:
Christ, have mercy
Christ, have mercy

When we prefer the safety of our holy huddle to the wideness of God’s world:
Christ, have mercy
Christ, have mercy

When we decline to take risks for fear that we might fail:
Lord, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

But when we praise the gifts of others,
share the power that we are given,
engage with communities beyond the boundaries of our comfort,
and risk everything we have for the sake of others,
then God rejoices in us.

Readings

John 17:20-23
Isaiah 43:16-19

The Prayer of Sir Francis Drake

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas

Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

Closing Words

We will not allow our gifts and talents to be hidden:

We will enter the Kingdom through the door marked “CREATE”.
We will encourage all to contribute. Our ideas are a gift offered to God:

We will enter the Kingdom through the door marked “PARTICIPATE”.
We will be hospitable and supportive to one another, to visitors and to the wider church.

We will enter the Kingdom through the door marked “ENGAGE”.
We will engage with everyday life and connect with culture:

We will enter the Kingdom through the door marked “RISK”.
We will not be afraid to fail but will push at our boundaries and try new things:

We will go through these doors in the power of the Spirit,
knowing that Jesus has gone through them all first.
Amen.

About the author: James Henley
James Henley
James has been with The Lab since 2007 and leads our team. He's an ordained pioneer minister in the Church in Wales.