Having focused last week on the Assembly (including various entering/seating/worshiping configurations), we concentrated tonight on two of the three other liturgical centers, the Word and the Meal. Consultant Gale Francione again provided photographs and commentary about different possibilities.
A fundamental contemporary worship principle is that both the proclamation and the interpretation of the Word should come from the same approximate location. We struggled with the name for this place (“pulpit” suggests a raised space for the pastor alone; “lectern” can easily suggest a book stand in a lecture hall; and “ambo,” the ancient word that liturgical designers prefer, is foreign to most people). We imagined an almost impossible combination of qualities for this building feature: artful solidity, without being a massive barrier between speaker and assembly; adjustability for different speakers, without being flimsy or overly-complicated; functionality, without seeming merely utilitarian; potentially moveable, without seeming unsubstantial. We raised similarly high expectations for the Eucharistic table, both in its construction (artful without being over-elaborate; solid without being massive and immoveable), and in its location (in the midst of the assembly, but still visible and widely accessible). The table is often the general location for communion, but we also discussed the older traditions of communion rails and of kneeling for communion.
As we talked through all these possibilities, and more, we discussed various strategies for gathering the greatest input from the upcoming congregational gathering (June 29, 6:00-8:00 pm, Fellowship Hall).
—The Sanctuary Design Team (including those who couldn’t attend the June 22 meeting): Pastor Mike Wilker, consultant Gale Francione, Wilfred Bunge, Brenda Carlson, Kate Elliot, Jennifer Larson, Mark Z. Muggli, Carrie Nimrod, Mark Potvin, and resource persons Adrian Walter and Spencer Martin.