Changing our perspective on liturgical practice

Senior Pastor Amy Butler reflects on change in the urban church context:

Changing Our Perspective

by Amy Butler in the Alban Institute Weekly

That Sunday I finally felt we were ready for something new and maybe even a little bit radical in worship. Very slowly over the course of our time together, the congregation of Calvary Baptist Church and I had been piecing together worship that was intentional and reflected our calling as a community. We introduced variations and new efforts very gradually; we worked on subtle changes like tuning the piano, dusting the sanctuary, proofreading the bulletin…you know, things like that.

This urban congregation, over 140 years old and inhabiting a much-too large and increasingly needy facility, had once been a grand Baptist church of Washington, D.C., a place everyone who was anyone went to worship, an important part of the social and political fabric of this important town.

As the urban landscape changed and people moved out to the suburbs and Sunday brunch with the New York Times became the preferred activity of most on Sunday mornings, the faithful people who sat in the pews on the corner of H and 8th Streets, NW, were determined-if it was the last thing they did-to concentrate on the task of getting things back to the way they used to be when everything was going so well at Calvary. Remember those days?

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