Dear St. Paul’s family,
All of our recent congregational surveys have indicated a strong desire to offer some kind of alternative worship experience. As you know, our Sunday services are quite formal and traditional, which we love, but we also have a nagging feeling that an offering with a different vibe might appeal to people who don’t feel nurtured by the traditional style. We have made several efforts to start something but we have lacked a consistent core of dedicated leaders to develop a new effort … until now. Christian Gillette is a relative newcomer to St. Paul’s; he has experience of starting a congregation and is deeply interested in exploring new forms of church – what you might have heard me call the “Emerging Church”. For the last several months Christian, along with David Tremaine and several others, has been conducting a quiet experiment on one Sunday evening a month, and it’s now time to invite the wider cathedral community into this experience. Here are some notes about Doxology Life, in Christian’s own words.
Doxology Life is a new community of St. Paul’s Cathedral that engages in a creative, contemplative, and dynamic expression of life and worship on the campus of the Cathedral. We gather on the fourth Sunday of each month to worship together, explore our faith, and to deepen our connections to God and one other.
WHAT DOES “DOXOLOGY LIFE” MEAN?
The word “doxology” comes from the Greek words δόξα, doxa, meaning “glory” and –λογία, logia, which means “speaking.” Among Christian traditions, a doxology is a short song or hymn sung in praise or worship of God. As we grow more deeply into the people we are meant to be, our most true, free and authentic selves, our very lives become songs of praise to God.
WHEN IS THE GATHERING?
For now, the gathering happens every 4th Sunday of the month in the Great Hall. The Service begins at 6:30pm, but we meet at 5:30pm so we get all set up and ready to participate together.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE GATHERING?
A worship service that goes for about 30-45 minutes followed by a shared potluck meal together!
WHAT IS THE WORSHIP SERVICE LIKE?
Our service is experimental, participatory, experiential and a reflection of those present… Everyone is invited not only to participate in the service, but to help create it as well! Each time we gather, you will see people who have volunteered to present or embody six roles or sections of a liturgy similar to Evening Prayer. Those who wish to participate are invited to lead, embody or interpret that role in any way they choose. By allowing our worship to reflect our community, not only do we get to learn from and share in each other’s gifts, but we are able to worship God with all the beauty, diversity, and creativity of the community- a Living Doxology!
If this description intrigues or attracts you, come and try it out – and bring a friend. If you’d like more information, contact Christian at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am very excited by the organic development of this new way of making community, and I hope that it will attract many more people to St. Paul’s.
Your sister in Christ,