Monday, September 22, 2008

Anglicans missing in action

The other day I had a conversation with someone who described herself as an Anglican. She asked whether the Anglican church had modernized. I said I thought it had. She went on to say that she could not go with Anglican services which were just words said by 'rote', and nor could she go with Pentecostal-style services.

I thought those comments were interesting because they implied a middle way which might be expressed in many Anglican services today which blend elements from here and there, but then again might not ...

Reflecting further on the conversation I am wondering if we are missing Anglicans from our services because they do not agree with the two main lines of styles we pursue, on the one hand the objective, traditional, repetitive words of formal written services, and on the other hand the subjective, non-traditional, spontaneous words (and actions) of informal services (whose only 'written' parts may be the songs). I mention 'actions', by the way, because one specific critique of Pentecostal services was the actions represented in waving hands and arms.

Readers of this will surely say, 'but we do have services which find a way between the two styles you have described'. The question might then be, Are we communicating this fact?

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