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Tuesday, October 01, 2002 AD
Did I Preach on Sunday?
When Brian, Wayne, Paulo and I had dinner together a few weeks ago, the subject of "special music" came up -- choirs, solos, etc. Brian was of the opinion that they were to be avoided because they create a mood of entertainment. I'm inclined to agree a bit, myself, but I obviously haven't let myself get completely convinced. I do think it's possible to worship while someone else is singing, I just don't think it's as conducive to worship as congregational singing. I enthusiastically agreed, though, that applause for such "performances" is absolutely out of place in a service of worship. It's something I just refuse to do. And frankly, it's something that makes me hesitatant about singing solos and choral music in church, knowing I'll be on the receiving end of it. Don't get me wrong, I love applause, getting and giving it! I just think it has no place in the context of the worship of God. Of course being in a church where everybody applauds, I tend to feel bad about not applauding, too. After all, who am I to say my betters are wrong?

Another point came up during the conversation, too -- that worship "performances," such as nonparticipatory music and drama, are problematic because they are in a sense sermons by people who oughtn't be preaching. Yesterday was at least the third time over the past several years that a pastor has gotten up after I sang and said something to the effect of, "Well, I don't really need to preach on this passage now, since Valerie's already done it." (Not that any of them has actually forgone a sermon as a result! ) Of course I know that each of these dear men has intended such comments as to compliment and encourage, but the comments still make me a wee bit uncomfortable.

See, there was a time in my egalitarian past when I did preach (not that my sermons would be classified as anything more than devotional thoughts by my current standards of such things). I spent two summers in Yellowstone working with A Christian Ministry in the National Parks. Mostly doing music stuff, but also preaching when I got the chance. When I came back to my home church, I got to preach there once, too. I preached maybe a total of 10 or 12 sermons over a period of two years. Then over the next several years, as I continued to be confronted by scripture, I came to believe that women have no business being in the pulpit. It wasn't an easy journey. The ground I currently hold was hard-won. Am I jeopardizing it by continuing to "preach" with my songs? Or am I just driving myself crazy over the thing I love best in the world to do?

I wonder if neurosis is a spiritual gift...?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 10/01/2002 07:22:00 AM • Permalink

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