(From Paul Janssen)
....reporting from the Conversations Event in Orlando, Florida.
Conversations opened last night with a gathering of about 2 1/4 hours in a hotel ballroom. I'll spare you my personal reactions to the gathering, and instead, report with sadness that it was about what one would expect. Having served the General Synod for a few years as its worship coordinator, I know how very difficult it can be to plan worship that is truly unitive in our denomination. Last night's service was no exception as a testament to the enormity of that task. I only report from the postings of several friends on facebook that several of them found the gathering to be inspiring, uplifting, etc; and that an equal number felt dis-enabled from worshipping by the choices of music and physically assaulted by the volume of the music. Most fb friends on that side of the equation simply held their peace.
Another two items about the gathering are more than quibbles. First, there was no public reading of scripture. I know that this is fairly common in many gatherings of RCA folk. Does it not, however, strike you as odd? "Reformed according to the ......." Christ is the Lord and King of ........... The ......... became flesh. We are ministers of ......... and Sacrament. How do we gather -- much less worship -- without the public reading of the scriptures? I don't get it.