I grew up a pastor’s son in a main line, traditional style church setting. My church observed the church calendar that designated specific numbers of weeks for Advent, Lent, Epiphany and what is known as Ordinary Time. Each Sunday morning worship service was marked by liturgical practices that embedded themselves in my memory and became a source of comfort for me over the years. I was not always sure of what I was reading aloud as I participated weekly in the Lord’s Prayer, the Nicene Creed, the Call To Worship and Call To Confession, but I knew I was reciting words that mattered. I knew I was part of something that was bigger than me. The word “liturgy” is not necessarily known among the average church-goer today and certainly not among those who do not regularly attend church. If the word is familiar, it is often associated with boring, rote practices utilized in the traditional worship services of our grandparents.
In the years since my childhood, I have come to consider “liturgy” in a new way. My recent reading of James K. Smith’s You Are What You Love, a book I highly recommend, has prodded me even deeper into that thought process. Liturgies exist throughout our culture, not only in our places of worship. The liturgies of our worship services are the rhythms and practices that recognize the creator God and His redemptive work in our lives and the world around us. The other various liturgies of our culture point are rhythms and practices marred by characteristics of mindless consumerism, ambitious power, and unhealthy competition. Make no mistake, we are all liturgical people. It is just a matter of which liturgies will most shape us.
At Laity Lodge Family Camp we hope to be counter-cultural in what we do and in whom we are becoming. The liturgies of Laity Lodge Family Camp are aimed at helping to create rhythms and practices within the life of families that are different from those we so often see in our culture. The liturgies of quiet, slowing down, being “all there” with those whom we love, are just some of what we hope will become a source of comfort for families as they join us in the Frio Canyon.
Questions to consider:
- What rhythms or practices does your family participate in that are counter cultural?
- What types of “liturgies” would you like to create for your family to practice?
- In what ways do you, as a family, unconsciously participate in the liturgies of our surrounding culture (consumerism, power, competition)?
Cary Hendricks, Senior Director of LLFC