Topic

Thomas Bergen (photo by Rosie Perera)

Thomas Bergen, in the first of three talks entitled “Liturgies of the Mall” began with a quote from American novelist David Foster Wallace, “everybody worships – the only choice you get is what you worship”. Choose a spiritual thing to worship, for everything else will eat you alive. Worship of wealth, money, power, beauty; all are default settings for being human, so our challenge is not to wait for the mountaintop experiences to turn us into active and vivid Christians, but rather to let the ordinary day-to-day processes – cultural liturgies – turn us into worshippers.  We must choose between worshiping God, or worshiping a false god, for our cultural practices will lead us to worship something – neither atheism nor secularism can truly be said to exist.  An observer with no knowledge of humans might find our religion in a shopping mall, where large groups of ‘pilgrims’ come great distances to respond to a summons advertised as “blow-out sale” in a building designed to evoke awe and lose track of time, with individual ‘chapels’ designed to respond to every need. This worship space is governed by its own liturgical calendar of sale days, with icons of worship (mannequins), acolytes (salespeople), mysteries (transubstantiation at the cash register), and mission (who seeks, shall find his desire).  Pilgrims leaving the mall go as missionaries on the Great Commission, with shopping bags advertising their beliefs in unified messages of economic success.  Both mall and church hew to a mechanism: A promise of salvation, a communal web of belonging, an invitation into a mystery, a mission to evangelize others, and a training of desire towards an ultimate object of love.  But our worshipful response in the mall is to consume things, compare ourselves to others with marketing, without wondering where this stuff comes from, in the hope of living the good life.  By contrast, our worship in the church begins with a confession of sin, an acknowledgment of the mystery of God’s love, and ends with a joyful recognition of our being made new in Jesus Christ, as His servants in mission to our neighbours and our world.  Thomas invites you to choose which is the more fulfilling for you. [AP]

Service Details

Passage: 2Th 3:6-9; Ps115:1-8; Dt 12:28-32; Mt 6:19-24;

Communion: Yes

Ecumenical or Event:

Potluck Lunch: No

Congregational Meeting: No

Worship Team

Speaker: Thomas Bergen

Worship Leader: Travis Martin

Song Leader: Paul Thiessen

Pianist: Cara Bergen

Usher: Erna Friesen

Childrens Feature Leader:

Hospitality

Bring Flowers:

Coffee Helper:

Sound Helper:

Sunday School Team

Child Care Volunteer: