Sunday, April 16, 2006

How not to ‘renew’ a parish (more*)
Believe it or not, I started to read about this with an open mind. Not every place has to be Gothic or Baroque or Byzantine. I wouldn’t want every church to be that way but I concede it’s possible to be a no-frills Catholic: witness the Tractarians (outwardly indistinguishable from other Anglicans), Prayer Book Catholics and conservative Novus Ordo people (regrettably the last often do want every church to be just like them — why didn’t Jesus save himself a lot of bother and be born upper-middle-class ethnic Irish?**).

That’s not what’s happening here.

Imagine a less cool Joel Osteen*** crossed with AmChurch. A heaping (steaming?) portion of ... narcissistic boomer granola, the sort of thing smart, cynical kids laugh at. (Like doing services with U2 music videos playing in the background****.) Mainline-Protestant wannabes.

I’ll pass.

P.S. This may surprise some but I like this sculpture as art. Liturgically and as a crucifix it doesn’t work as Amos explains in this thread.

*Note to the webmaster of this ‘happening parish community’: frames are several years behind the times, dawg.

**He could have looked like Conan O’Brien!

***Using the form of the megachurch and the idiom of US Southern evangelical culture to push self-esteem and prosperity, not really the gospel, but he’s got a point some of the time like just about any psychologist or motivational speaker (getting rid of self-defeating patterns) — search the blog for more on him.

****Like the Gospel of Judas (search the blog), not news: such types have been doing ‘rave Masses’ for about 10 years. Sad to say, this sort of condescension may have begun in England with the ‘Nine O’Clock Service’ in Sheffield.

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