More on changing faith

To continue my thoughts on ‘changing faith’: this reflection was initially a letter, written in early 2008 to someone who asked why I stayed at Church of the Apostles. I have since added and revised to reflect my current thoughts, not changing the main premise: I stay because of community.

I was raised Lutheran and felt quite comfortable in the Lutheran denomination and theology. Fresh in Seattle in Sept. 2004, it was my first time alone, outside of college, with the responsibility to find a church community. I found a progressive Lutheran church that I attended for awhile. There was however, something missing from this experience. Friendly for worship, I hungered for deeper connections with my church community. This might surprise you, but they were, in a way, too liberal. And by that, I mean no negativity at all, rather I was worshiping with folk whose theological issues left me a bit out of the loop. I’d consider myself liberal, but I approached church differently. Their issues were about not using “he” for God, which wasn’t an issue for me.  Sure, it excited me to explore varying names and expressions for God and be a part of a thriving social justice ministry, but the worship life, although musical and liturgical, seemed stagnant. This isn’t due to lack of variety, there was a hunger for community.
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LaudamusChurch of the Apostles, my church community has produced a second music CD. Laudamus is an ordo of morning and evening prayers. I’ll let the text from inside the jacket speak for itself, as it is an explanation of the community and this amazing project. I played a part in this, both as a musician (clarinet) and reader. Read more below…

Five years ago, Karen M. Ward gathered a ragtag group of dreamers to be a “future church with an ancient faith.” Together we wanted our language and music to live in the perpetual tension of the Tradition of the past and the Imagination of the future. We felt drawn to the monastic traditions, quickly realizing that these rhythms of prayer were for everyone… but how might we help to inspire the urban species to pray?

Laudamus (Latin for “praise”) is our audio journal of the praise that God continues to birth in our community. It is a window into our exploration of ancient words and forms of prayer. It is a representation of the friends that have spoken into our hearts, communities like Moot (London), HOME (Oxford), Visions (York), Tribe (Los Angeles), as well as Celtic and Roman saints, and Jewish, Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical Lutheran and Anglican-Episcopal Traditions; all of whom have given us eclectic gifts of praise. In the combining of this weird and beautiful hodge-podge of praise the Spirit seemed to be loosening our tongues in an innovative and collaborative way that we felt called to document and share.

These morning and evening prayers were made both by and for the people. The songs and prayers were arranged and written, played, sung and spoken by nearly forty urban monks in Seattle. And thy were intended to move you to praise. So listen to them on your way to work as you ride the bus, listen to them with your family as you eat breakfast or before you go to sleep, gather a group of friends and pray them together, take bits and parts that make sense to your church and use them in service, use the whole thing with new imagination, or let it be an inspiration for you to find old and new praise to God, “Laudamus te Deum!”

Want to buy it? Click here. The project was funded by a gracious donor, so all proceeds go to the church and our ministries.