My Massachusetts colleague Kazimierz Bem, Pastor and Teacher of the First Church in Marlboro, doesn’t think so.
He had a wise and thoughtful post yesterday on faith street.com called Christianity Cannot Survive the Decline in Worship.
Here’s an excerpt:
The church is not made holy by the work it does — Protestants should understand that better than anyone. Rather, it is Jesus Christ and his cross that make us holy. Our service can never replace it, copy it, or perfect it. Our service can only be our response in gratitude for what God has done for us. As the great Congregational theologian Peter T. Forsyth once wrote: “The greatest product of the Church is not brotherly love but divine worship. And we shall never worship right nor serve right till we are more engrossed with our God than even with our worship, with His reality than our piety, with his Cross than with our service.”
For the whole article go here. I heartily recommend it. Kaz even quotes P.T. Forsyth. Well done!
Richard, My church, Pilgrims UCC is looking for a book for our Lenten study…not too long. Not too expensive. We need a spark here, you know what I mean? We had chosen the late Marcus Borg’s book Convictions but it is not in paperback until March and we can’t afford multiple copies at $18 a piece. Can you lend a hand?
One of my trusted colleagues suggests this for you: “Unbinding the Gospel” by Martha Grace Reese. He says that have used it several times in Lent to great effect.
Hi Ginny. Is your congregation getting the StillSpeaking Lenten daily devotional? That is a good place to start and not expensive. You could organize a conversation around that. I’ll put the call out to social media and see what I can come up with. Blessings, Rick