Presbyterians Today

APR-MAY 2018

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34 APRIL/MAY 2018 | Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay T he Rev. Margery Rossi of Peekskill Presbyterian Church in Peekskill, New York, asked a few members of her congregation, "How does our worship service connect our minds and our bodies?" Some didn't understand the question. The one person who did was a former Catholic. She replied, "At the end of the reading of Scripture, when you take the Bible and hold it up, that physical act reminds us that what we're reading is 'The Word of the Lord.' " She then added, "But that feels 'Catholic' to me." "Presbyterians tend to be a cerebral bunch," Rossi said, laughing. Many pastors and lay leaders yearn for a connection between the mind and the body in worship. But how does one nourish such a connec- tion? Is it something that can be done intentionally? Or does it just happen in worship when the head and heart mysteriously meet, moved by music, the Word and prayers? When the Rev. Anne Weirich arrived at College Drive Presbyterian Church in New Concord, Ohio, there was a layperson who did a few things during worship, but the pastor did most. Weirich began slowly changing the worship hour, making it more participatory. She started by adding the service of contrition, adapted from the old prayer of confession, which included silence, sung prayer and a choral response. The silence, which some in the pew often find uncom- fortable, was added in increments, allowing worshipers to adjust. "We're up to almost a minute of silence, 45 seconds now," Weirich said, emphasizing that the silent space "allows for a lot to happen inside us." While either training worshipers to be in silent prayer longer than they are comfortable with or creating an Pastors get pew-sitters engaged BY LESLIE MOTT Participating in the Worship Hour

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