A Matter of Taste?

Article by Frank Burch Brown

The cover of the August 1996 Atlantic Monthly announced a Christian cultural revolution: “Giant full-service churches are winning millions of customers with [their] pop-culture packaging. They may also be building an important new form of community.” Author Charles Trueheart described what he calls the “Next Church”: No spires. No crosses. No robes. No clerical collars. …

A Tale of Two Sundays: Liturgical Reform Gone Astray

Article by Frederick J. Parrella

Recently I was invited to preach in a middle-class United Methodist church in the San Francisco area. Our ecumenical era permits such invitations to Catholic theologians, whether lay or clerical. During the service, I was struck by the profound differences between the liturgies of Methodists and Catholics, and not simply because Catholics are high church …

Altar or Table

Article by Richard Lischer

He was the Word that spake it, He took the bread and brake it; And what that Word did make it, I do believe and take it.   The simplicity of this anonymous 16th century poem (included in The Christian Calendar [Merriam, 1975], p. 76) belies the centuries of theological warfare over the divine-human composition …

Back to the Future: Fourth-Century Style Reaches Bay Area Seekers

Article by Trudy Bush

A half hour before the Sunday morning service begins, St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco already displays the holy chaos that characterizes its worship. In the domed entrance hall a choir is practicing motets. In the rectangular “synagogue” area, where worshipers’ chairs face each other across a long raised platform, the liturgist …