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Friday Gathering

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Setup

The room was cleared of all chairs so that we had open space. I asked everyone to spread out as far as possible.


Liturgy

Call to Worship:

Come, let us worship the Lord our God. Let us praise him in song and prayer as we gather this evening to commit ourselves and this camp to his Holy Name. Amen.

Leader:

To begin our worship, I invite you to pray silently, by yourself, asking God to guide you as we seek him this weekend.

30 seconds silent prayer.

Song: I Will Worship My God (Paul)

Leader:

Now, find those who you came to camp with, the people from your local church. Hold hands as

you gather together in a circle. Pray with your fellow church members that as a local community you may come closer to Christ and each other this weekend.

1-2 minutes for small group prayer.

Song: Come Let Us Worship Our God (Paul)

Leader:

We come together not only as individuals and local churches but also as the Body of Christ. Look for other churches near you and open your circle to include them. As your circle grows, find other groups around you and include them in your circle as well. Continue growing the circle until we are all gathered together in one large circle.

1-2 minutes for the gathering into one large circle.

After all are gathered…

Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, we ask that you be with us now. We come to this mountain top as individuals, as churches and as your assembled Body so that we may grow closer to you. Bless us and guide us in this quest. Be with our speaker, our counselors, our leaders, and each one of us that our hearts may be opened to receive your word for us this day, on this mountain top and for the days to come. Amen.

Song: Come Let Us Worship Our God (Paul)


Commentary

This service was intentionally very horizontal in nature. That is, it was focused on the worshiping community and their commitment to God and the weekend rather than explicitly vertical (address to God).

I understood that the youth culture is very individualistic. I didn’t want to attack this, but rather use it.  Still, I wanted to convey the message that while we are individuals, we still come together as a community.

The actions within the worship (standing individually, as a local church, and as an assembled body) helped to define what was happening at the retreat and the purpose for it – to gather as a church. Each phase did not overshadow the preceding one, but allowed for individualism within a local community, and local communities within the larger church.

There was also a transition from I language to We language in the music and prayers. This also helped to accomplish the sense of gathering and community.

The song was an original work by Paul. It did present a problem when all were gathered in a large circle that some people had their backs to the projector screen and could not see the words.