Monday, May 13, 2013

Going on a Piligrimage

In a few short days, my wife and I will be embarking on a big journey, as we'll be joining in Bishop Mike Lowry's Pilgrimage to Taizé.

The Taizé Community of Taizé, France began near the beginning of World War II, when the man who would become Brother Roger sought to create a place to shelter refugees from the war.  Through some early ups and downs a monastic movement took shape, a group of brothers living in the world, but not of the world.  The brothers (now over 100) live in the home community in France and a few other missions around the world.  It is a center for peaceful prayer that young adults have been travelling to for decades.

Out of the community has come a style of worship known simply as: Taizé.  I first experienced the Taizé style of worship as a sacred music student at Perkins.  The music is chant based, with short refrains repeated for several minutes in a swelling dynamic to create an atmosphere of worship that is thick with the Holy Spirit.

The ecumenical nature of the community is in the fabric of it's worship - when you make the visit to Taizé, worship will be sung in your language and every language represented by the pilgrims there that week.

I've hosted many worship experiences in this style, and I always tell people as a leader in this style, the point is to get out of the way.  It's a style so far from what we're used to in most churches.  Leadership is not from the front, it's all around and within the congregation.  The leaders are just there to facilitate the worship of others.

I can't wait to visit.  It's a rare chance to be able to go to the source of such an amazing movement in modern worship.

I'd like to ask you to pray for me, my wife, the Bishop, and the amazing group of Central Texas Conference young adults and staff that are making this pilgrimage.  It comes at a crazy time in the life of my family as we've just made a huge vocational change with me stepping on the path to ordination.  But Leanne and I are looking forward to take a step back to pray and worship together as we immerse ourselves in the Taizé community.  We are very blessed.