Risky Worship

The Church Times reports on efforts to reach young people:

Holding short services, going to night clubs, and finding language that is appropriate for the 21st century are three of the many suggestions made in three new books about working with young people. The books have been published by the Church of England this week.

They challenge Christians to take part in risky worship that could allow “tawdry youth culture” into the church, if young people are to feel at home in the pews.

In the first book, Young People and Mission: A practical guide, Diana Greenfield of the Church Army, one of 12 contributors, writes about nightclub chaplaincy, a field she describes as “untapped”. She criticises churches for their lack of work in what she says some Christians call “dens of iniquity”.

Other sections include a challenge to speak in contemporary rather than special Christian language, even at the risk of upsetting older members of the congregation, and to meet young people outside church premises, on their own territory.

Read it here.

Related, on our side of the Atlantic:

On the Feast of the Ascension, the historic Church of the Ascension [Atlantic City] — now also known as Ascension on da Strip — installed the Rev. Timothy “Poppa T” Holder as its rector in a ceremony that was a combination of High Church, African-American gospel and hip-hop.

Holder, a founding priest of HipHopEMass, most recently served in the South Bronx. The goal of the group is to use the language and music of the streets to bring young people to the church.

“It is a venture in faith,” Bishop George Councell of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey said in introducing the new rector to the congregation.

Read, also, Father Jake’s wonderful account, High Church Hip Hop.

Meanwhile, back in the UK, Church Times is also reporting on the strife at Wycliffe Hall seminary surrounding attitudes towards women:

The complaints centre on the management style of the Principal, the Revd Dr Richard Turnbull, and his appointment of the Revd Simon Vibert as Vice-Principal. Mr Vibert had made public his belief that women should not teach men.

He co-wrote, with the Revd Dr Mark Burkill and the Revd Dr David Peterson, a Latimer Trust paper that argued that a woman on her own should not teach men about faith or lead a congregation (Ministry Work Group Statement concerning the ministry of women in the Church today).

Since Dr Turnbull was appointed in 2005, six full-time or part-time academic staff have resigned posts.

The governing Council of the theological college, a permanent private hall of the University, is chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd James Jones. This week it said that it had embarked on a review of the college’s governance.

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