Ways of Doing Worship Discussed
Mennonite Brethren, Anglican and United Church
Leaders Participate in Panel at Canadian Mennonite University
At The Meeting Place, a Mennonite Brethren church, they use lots of
technology in worship services.
|Jamie Howison of St. Benedict's Table, left, and Brian Kauste of
The Meeting Place, right, listen as Jeff Cook of Transcona Memorial
United Church speaks at the February 21 panel discussion on worship.
At Transcona Memorial United Church, they follow a traditional order of
service, but also utilize clowning and dramatic dialogue.
St. Benedict’s Table is reaching back into the Anglican tradition, employing
bells, incense and other symbols—and no Power Point at all.
Leaders from the three Winnipeg congregations were at Canadian Mennonite
University (CMU) February 21 for a panel discussion titled Three Ways of Doing
“Our goal to be irresistible to people,” said Brian Kauste of The Meeting
Place. “We always ask what a first-timer would experience.”
Although the church is open to using technology, he said they seek to balance
its use against the messages they are trying to share with people.
“If a person leaves the service only remembering a Pink Floyd song, then we
have missed the mark,” he said. “We want them to remember the theological or
biblical connection, too.”
For Jeff Cook, pastor at Transcona Memorial United Church, worship is a time
when “people come to find themselves in God’s story, put their life in
perspective, and remind them who they are.”
But, he added, that doesn’t mean that worship can’t also “be fun.” Some of
the best worship experiences, he said, “are unplanned, when God takes over.”
St. Benedict’s Table is rooted in the Anglican tradition, said pastor Jamie
Howison, but “we have loosened the bolts on that tradition, giving it some play
For him, “worship is the hub on which everything turns.” During worship, the
church uses silence, symbols, art, incense, bells and candles. “It’s
counter-cultural—providing space to breathe and stillness,” he said.
Additionally, the worship band doesn’t face the congregation, but the altar.
“It’s not a performance for the congregation, but a drama offered to God,” he
The panel discussion was part of a Winnipeg Centre for Ministry Studies
Master’s level class on Critical Issues in Worship taught by Dr. Christine
Longhurst. WCMS is an inter-Mennonite partnership at CMU that offers graduate
and professional theological education.
Posted March 8, 2008.
For more information contact the CMU Communications Director, 500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3P 2N2, telephone: 204-487-3300 ext. 630, fax: 204-889-1694,(www.cmu.ca)