Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Creating Dramatic Worship Services

My church here gave us the unprecedented step of taking over every 5th Sunday service to be a drama service this year.  Basically, we can do whatever we want dramatically and musically!  This has allowed us to try a number of different things through the year:  In January we incorporated Tom Long's "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Jericho"- a funny take on the parable of the Good Samaritan where the Scripture reader keeps taking a different part and finding the whole play shifting to make her the central character.  Interesting thing about doing it in Kenya -- it was challenging for some of the congregation to make the process of discovery and keep up with the changes ("what's going on?  What was that about?").  Others found it very deep.  Side note on this: When doing my doctoral research here I discovered, when working on a Swahili-language parable, that they don't go for the 'surprise ending.'  I was told there was a way to word things so that people knew what was coming up and wouldn't be taken aback by a new development at the end.  In many ways, it is the medieval morality-play mentality (those actually go over very well here).  

OK, moving on... May:  Did Paul McCusker's "Work in Progress," a series of sketches showing Christians as works in progress in their faith journey.  That took most of the service, with music bookending the play. Again, very well received.    In August the choir did a special program, so we are now facing October - coming up this Sunday!  We have chosen to do a reflection on the Ten Commandments (the topic of teaching this year).  We will use supporting Scriptures, short video clips from sermons, music and drama scenes to help people reflect on what the 10 commandments are all about in our lives.  We'll see how people handle having no sermon!

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