tonight peter majendie spoke about some of the art installation work that he and joyce and others have worked on at opawa, and steve received multiple mentions. i had seen some bits of this from mark pierson and heard stories from steve, so then meeting peter and hearing from him direct was wonderful - an interesting, funny, thoughtful, super-creative person. you have a sense of him having grown into this worship-artist role rather recently, so his candour is quite engaging.
peter and joyce led worship tonight - based on romans 12 and some worship that had apparently been done at opawa at some stage. a stunning centrepiece of small, painted, balsa wood houses lit with fairy lights, with a fabric canopy overhead hung with strips of magnetic audio cassette tape. it looked much better in the dark, but hard to capture on my crap camera. a brilliant focus from which I'll be borrowing ideas. the theme was mainly about finding freedom, and home being a kind of focus for that. (i had cinematic orchestra's "home" song playin in my head all night)
several stations that people could visit at will, while a range of music played (coldplay, travis, and some really nice stuff that i'll have to ask about. btw sufjan stevens got serious airplay yesterday. i'd like to claim early discovery, but then i did that with keith green too...) interspersed with prayers and poems (leunig, john o'donohue...). an intro from peter, later an explanation of his painting piece, and a brief benediction.
the stations included a serve-yourself communion table (wine chosen with a label matching the theme), a reflection station with hand-made flax paper representing the hard and painful process of shaping fragile beauty, and a prayer station with candles and o'donohue's wonderful "light" reflection from "bendictus".
there was also a painting that peter had done at opawa over three sundays while steve preached on romans 12, with a postcard to take away. very complex and symbolic. i actually would have preferred to not have it explained to me, as i had interpreted some of the imagery differently for myself.
i try not to critique worship that i've just experienced. i found it visually stunning and clever. some lovely music and some that was probably too busy for me. being with a group of people whom I didnt know at all made it quite a challenge for me. since i'm here looking to and listening at how people frame alt-worship, i'm certainly in an analytical space, which makes it hard to just sit back and appreciate things. my overall sense is that artists, like technicians, need people with liturgical abilities to frame and shape their work. usually ministers lament the lack of help or time! its no surprise that wise leadership invites others to share their artistic gifts and helps provide the interpretive and experiential frame.
while I'm travelling i'm reading "identity and the museum experience" by john falk. a research piece trying to bridge the gap between "its all about the museum content" and "its all about the visitor demographics". great so far, especially when i insert "church" for "museum". will post some quotes shortly!