or: To liturgy or not to liturgy?
A discussion going on on the email list right now centers around whether (or why) we should pray the Lord's Prayer every week. Last week, we used a special benediction, and neglected to say the Lord's Prayer; some disliked that change, and others appreciated the break from the repetition.
I think this is part of a much larger question, particularly among emerging congregations, as to what role the liturgy should play in the life of the church ("liturgy" being understood in the narrower sense of repetition of words, customs, etc. understood to have special meaning, rather than in the broader sense of that which the church does in worship). There are some who stand with mainstream evangelicalism in seeing liturgy as a barrier between the person and God, the repetition as standing in the way of the experience or becoming rote and meaningless; others stand with our Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and high-church Protestant brethren and sistren (...?) in seeing the repetition and regularity as ways to more deeply experience God.
I personally lean towards the high-church camp as opposed to the low-church camp, and I could get into the theology of that, but I don't want to abuse the bully pulpit - so I'm opening this discussion. What role should liturgy play in Tribe - and what is the role of Christian charity in our respecting one another's unique ways of encountering God both inside and outside of the congregational worship service? How can we do liturgy without it becoming rote and repetitive - or is the very repetitiveness of the liturgy one of its values? Is there a way we as Tribe can both participate in the liturgical legacy of the 2,000 year old church and do it in our own idiomatic way? Is that even desirable?