Thursday, April 28, 2005

worship: reasons for voyaging

I led opening worship at the consultation for forming leaders in emerging churches today.

I introduced and explained an artwork from outside the Christchurch Art Gallery. It is called Reasons for Voyaging and features 7 sculptures, in the shape of canoes, honouring the different ways people have travelled to New Zealand.

I introduced, with space to pray, around 4 topics:
1- our voyages here – thanking God for those who gave us space to come
2 – our spiritual voyages – honouring those who taught us to read, write, think, create, who have mentored and believed in us
3 – bumpy voyages – praying for those in the emerging church going through bumpy voyages at the moment
4 – voyages home – recalling what God is birthed in us that is not yet realised, our dreams, future leaders, future communities.

And we used a verbal refrain:
Wind of God,
breath on us.

to commit in community our private prayers to God.

I then gave everyone a postcard of the artwork and invited them to write a prayer for someone they are “voyaging” with as a spiritual takeaway. I had a Jack Johnson surfing video in the background, specially for the Opawa Jack Johnson fans (Danielle, Shawn, Lynne, Amy, Roanna, Andrew and Mel).

I then introduced the hongi, a Maori ritual of greeting, and invited us to share it with each other, respectful of its origins and as a prayer that the Spirit of God would blow, unpredictable, through us.

It seemed to strike a chord with some.

Update: Rachelle gives a punters perspective here.

Posted by steve at 05:51 PM


  1. Sigh,
    wish I was there…
    I did have another quick look at the sculpture(s) on Tuesday when we popped in for a quick blat around the gallery. (there were less rain/hail drops than when i flew in on sunday to buy an odd 50 postcards of that same art piece!)
    Love you xx

    Comment by lynne — April 28, 2005 @ 6:16 pm

  2. hey steve,
    have you seen ron mueck’s ‘man in boat’?
    kind of covers a similar theme; canoes, journeying – all his stuff is really fantastic…

    Comment by si smith — April 28, 2005 @ 11:27 pm

  3. It was great. really inspiring. This liturgy has stuck with me and I am still in it so to speak.

    Comment by Rickard — May 4, 2005 @ 10:58 am

  4. thanks rickard. the postcard that i sent someone as part of the worship last week arrived today and it was interesting how that physical act of writing and posting meant that the worship was re-lived for me, a week later too. such are the contours of a journey.

    Comment by steve — May 4, 2005 @ 4:01 pm

  5. it was great . . enjoyed it much . . thanks for leading that time

    Comment by andrew jones — May 4, 2005 @ 8:11 pm

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