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Thursday, November 09, 2006

U2charist

I just received an e-mail from a former colleague at seminary, Tim Schenck, telling me about a service he had at his church called a 'U2charist'.

Now, I'm not huge on trendy sorts of worship, nor on 'the church of what's new'. I was once accused -- mistakenly, I assure you -- of being a Luddite. I am not knee-jerk against innovation or technology, I just think we need to think a little more carefully about such things and the form they take in the church than we usually do. That said, I think that this is a really intriguing idea, using the music from U2, a deeply Christian band, as a setting for the Eucharist. It is not only profound music, but it also appeals across boundaries that people find it hard to cross; it can be a way for people to hear -- and perhaps be surprised by -- the good news. (I take it as quite significant that 70% of those who showed up to the service were not associated with his parish; no word on how many of those did not already have a church.)

The idea is not original with him; Sarah Dylan Breuer began it, and then there was a larger version done at General Convention this last summer. But the local press caught a whiff of it -- my friend's church is outside New York City -- and the story just snowballed. Long story short: he's been featured in USA Today and will soon be in a segment on ABC's Nightline. [Who knows, maybe a proper media outlet will even do a story on him at some point? :o)]

But the local paper even compiled a multimedia presentation on the U2charist, and I thought that Gower Street readers might be interested in having a look. Here's the link to the multimedia presentation.

Also:
The USA Today story
and (coming soon):
The Nightline story

And in the interest of providing more information about the U2charist, Sarah, its creator, tells of how it came about here and what it is here. The Rev. Dr. Paige Blair (and others) also undertake such things on a fairly regular basis: here is her home page, including a calendar of upcoming services (maybe coming soon somewhere near you, check it out).

Kudos (and a tip of the hat) to Sarah Dylan Breuer and the Rev. Tim Schenck and others, (and to U2) for working to think and act both creatively and faithfully.

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2 Comments:

Blogger James Lark said...

I like this game...

How about an A-HArvest supper? I'd go.

I bet a lot of people would turn up for the festival of Corpus Christina Aguerlira.

Or the feast of All Saints.

Lovers of jazz would probably go to the Nat(King Cole)ivity celebration.

I'm already rearranging my plans for this sunday to turn it into a R.E.M.embrance service......

Friday, November 10, 2006 9:59:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah Dylan Breuer said...

Paige is a good friend of mine, and she's rather frustrated that people keep saying she invented the U2charist. So far as anyone knows, I organized the first ones starting in 2003, including the first public U2charist (we spelled it "eU2charist" most of the time), which was held in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2004 by the Without Walls ministry network. Quite a few other congregations then started holding their own U2charists in 2004 -- especially after Without Walls did a U2charist at the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland clergy conference in 2004. When Paige was thinking about hosting her own U2charist, she had the liturgy we'd been using for reference. And she's just as clueless as I am as to how the rumor got started that she did the first one, but I'm sure she'd appreciate your help in getting the real story out as much as I would.

Thursday, April 05, 2007 10:19:00 PM  

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