Sunday, August 06, 2006

Authenticity

Ron Robinson has got a couple of interesting posts here and here. As someone who wants to marry the emergent church and Unitarianism, I find what Ron is doing very inspirational.

The one thing that struck me from his notes was this trend: 'boomers [i.e. people older than 40-ish] focused on excellence, busters and mosaics [younger] on relevance and authenticity.'

This made me think about something I read in the GA Annual Report. The Worship Panel states that its Aims are this: 'We are committed to fostering worship of the highest quality wherever Unitarians gather.'

Something about the phrase 'highest quality' made me really uncomfortable. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but Ron's post made me see it. I want authenticity not quality, not excellence.

I have seen an amateur pianist and an amateur singer creating music in a church basement because they are members of a church plant and that is the ministry they offer. And I have seen a professional organist and professional choir in a large sanctuary who are there because they are being paid. I prefer the first. The second is better, the second is a higher quality, but the first is more authentic.

This is the simple reason that the Taize community appeals to thousands of secular European young adults: authenticity. Taize is authentic. Authentic silence, authentic singing Latin, is much preferable than guitars, power point presentations and sound systems if they are inauthentic.

What we need to offer is something authentic, something real.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ron said...

All I can say is Amen. And thanks for your blog. I look forward to more reading...

1:47 am  

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