Every day, up to eight times a day, I silently perform a 1-3 minute spiritual ritual that is – quite literally – changing me. Now in my early 50s, I have decided it is the single most vital personal habit I have formed to date. According to my wife, I am becoming a different man.
photo courtesy of Anna Siran Wilt
Spiritually igniting, robust yet simple, the habit that is changing me is called the “Daily Examen.”
The Daily Examen is a daily prayer exercise that is integral to the Spiritual Exercises created by Ignatius of Loyola – the founder of the Jesuits (the current Pope Francis is a Jesuit).
The Daily Examen is just one example of Ignatian spirituality and, in particular, the Spiritual Exercises. The Examen is…
…A technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience” (www.ignatianspirituality.com).
Today, at the time of this writing, is the celebration of life service of dear friend, Don Rousu. He passed away on Sunday, March 19, 2017, at the age of 75 in his home in Sherwood Park, AB, Canada. This post, written in the form of a letter (a format I thought would best express my feelings), is my simple tribute to “Pastor Don.”
Don Rousu’s faith, character, and remarkable family have indelibly marked me – as well as myriad others. The legacy he leaves as he precedes us all into Glory is remarkable, and I decided that writing my thoughts out as if I was writing a letter to a friend would best serve what I’d like to say today.
Last Sunday, Nathan wrote a post on your Facebook profile. It said that you had passed on into the presence of Jesus in the early hours of the morning.
I’ve now spent most of my adult life (30 years) thinking about, leading, and teaching on the topic of worship. It’s been central to my life’s call to reflect on why we do what we do in worship in settings like local churches, conference events, an universities. After interacting with contemporary worship ideas around the world over these past 3 decades, here are the top 5 most important things I believe every congregation needs to understand about worship.
As each of the following sections is a summary, I promise that I will leave out language about worship that is important to someone. But in this setting, the summaries will have to suffice.
Under each point, I suggest “What We Get Wrong,” and “How We Get It Right.” I hope these insights are helpful to our shared understanding of worship.
On a weekend in January I had the privilege of sharing in a Chapel service of the Robert E. Webber Institute For Worship Studies. The theme chosen by Darrell A. Harris, who is the IWS Chaplain and one of my dearest friends and mentors, was Hospitality.
My text was Ruth 2, so I chose the sub-theme of Radical Hospitality: Lessons In Hospitality From Ruth 2, drawing on the story of my wife’s Armenian grandmother, Siranouche.
To become Good News in the world, to become people of the Gospel of Christ, we must become people of radical welcome.
Thanks Jim Hart, for the kind invitation.
The following guest post by good friend Ryan Flanigan further explores the theme of friend Glenn Packiam in “What You Probably Don’t Know About Modern Worship.” His insights from his contemporary worship leadership roots and Anglican experience leading at All Saints Dallas are priceless in this conversation. If you connect with the contemporary worship experience, and the liturgical life of worship, you’ll love this addition to the conversation.
Photo courtesy of www.clairemccormack.com
Making “Sense” of Modern Worship: Scripture, Spirit, and Sacrament
By Ryan Flanigan
Glenn Packiam is one of the most important voices in modern worship. In an attempt to reason with those who continually slam modern worship, Glenn posted this fantastic blog on what critics might not know about modern worship:
As Glenn argues, not all modern churches are alike, so it’s usually unhelpful to make blanket statements about what’s wrong with modern worship or to lump all megachurch worship with modern worship. He also observes that much criticism of modern worship comes from people who want to “kill” it rather than people who want to make it better.
He then speaks to the good in modern worship, such as its Spiritual inspiration, missional impulse, and emotional engagement.
Glenn and I share similar journeys and convictions about worship. We were both born into liturgical traditions, have both spent considerable time in the charismatic world, have both been educated in evangelical theology and have both found our way into the Anglican tradition, where there is freedom for all three of these streams — liturgical, charismatic, and evangelical—to find full expression and form. (Read my story here.)