I appreciate the "calmer" platform décor. Really love the prayer song "Kingdom of Heaven"! (StoweGood). I love anything by Karen Drucker. - S.F.
Thank you. Our Celebration team does some really great work. Very versatile musically. As for the look of the platform - a new sub-team to the Celebration Team is being developed - the "A" team (A for aesthetics) to work on a cohesive look for the sanctuary and the rest of the building.
Please bring back the "Lord's Prayer" and "Our Thoughts are Prayers". Resistance to the Lord's Prayer seems to occur when it is interpreted through the lens of Catholicism. I know lots of people have issues with this (I did.) If this is the issue, please include training for interpretation. T.C.
"Our Thoughts Are Prayers" is used on a regular basis and is one of several meditations songs we rotate amongst. Rotating songs is beneficial to keep us expanding our spiritual practice, resonate with more congregants and to help prevent us from making any item of our spiritual practice a "sacred cow" in and of itself.
Regarding the "Lord's Prayer", we assume you are talking about the Malotte version. Musically, it has a difficult range for a congregation to sing. When Rev. Sharon was hired, she was quite clear that she did not use that version of prayer since it portrays God as masculine and separate.
Biblically, two different versions of this prayer are recorded - the long form in the Gospel of Matthew in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, and the short form in the Gospel of Luke when 'one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John [the Baptist] taught his disciples. "'Theologically, the Gospels say to pray in "this manner", not "use these exact words". In fact, Jesus admonished people for saying prayers by rote. The words of the Mallotte version were developed by English translators, influenced by Shakespeare. For many, the words are moving and meaningful and perfect to use in their private prayer practice. Even more powerful, is writing your own "Lord's Prayer" by creating affirmations that follow the pattern that Jesus laid out as a way to pray.