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Worshipping together

Praying, worshipping and reading Scripture together are key ingredients of Continuing Indaba. The Anglican Communion is blessed with a rich diversity of ways in which the people of God praise and receive from God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Worship together in a Continuing Indaba journey has three elements.

  • Encountering the ways in which others in the group worship God.
  • Welcoming others in your worship and sharing your worship with them.
  • Finding ways to worship God together.

Worshipping in each other’s context

It is important when welcoming fellow Indaba journeyers into your worship context to remember:

  • They are there to worship not watch a show – this might mean taking time to explain the service.
  • They are there to share in your normal Sunday worship. Don’t change what you normally do.
  • Prepare the congregation in advance to welcome them so that all might have a taste of the journey.
  • Take time after the service to talk about the experience of worshipping God in your context.

When worshipping at in an Indaba companion’s context remember:

  • you are there to worship God and the context and worship might feel strange or even uncomfortable:  take time before the service to explain your fears with your Indaba companion and to find out what the service might entail
  • be ready to  share a taste of the Indaba journey with the congregation
  • take time after the service to talk about the experience of worshipping God in your companion’s context.

Worshipping together

A daily pattern of prayer can be both useful and edifying over an encounter or a facilitated conversation. Set this together and decide if you will follow an established liturgy, the daily office for example, or will design something for this Indaba. Share the leading of worship and allow space for silence and contemplation.

A commitment to be praying for each other between meetings is also important and a short daily prayer for all to use might be helpful.

Reading Scripture together

No matter what our liturgical tradition in the Anglican Communion, the Word of God is central to our worship and our lives as Christians. It is therefore vital as part of our Continuing Indaba journey to explore Scripture together.

There can be fear about reading Scripture with those with whom we disagree, that this might shutdown conversation or lead us into a place of violent argument. It is important to understand how your companions understand Scripture before focusing on passages that might prove controversial. It can be helpful to use the lectionary readings, rather than to impose a reading on one another as you begin to hear how Scripture is part of the faith journey.

There are many approaches to reading and studying Scripture and you will find examples and resources from different contexts on the Continuing Indaba website. Lectio Divina[1] has been influential in Continuing Indaba because of the emphasis that all voices are heard and all insights valued. An example of this process can be found on the next page.

Lectio is an ancient way of exploring the scriptures together that has been practised by Christians from the 6th century. It involves reading, reflecting, listening, sharing and praying. A form of Lectio, introduced by the Southern African Delegation to the Lambeth Conference in 2008, has been used throughout Continuing Indaba. The aim is to open us up to God’s word together and to enable us to respond to God in prayer.

African or Lambeth Lectio

Opening Prayer:

O Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.

  1. One individual reads passages slowly.
  2. Each person identifies the word or phrase that catches their attention. (1 minute)
  3. Each shares the word or phrase around the group. (3-5 minutes, no discussion)
  4. Another person reads the passage slowly (from a different translation, if possible.)
  5. Each person identifies where this passage touches their life today. (1 minute)
  6. Each shares. (3-5 minutes, no discussion)
  7. Passage is read a third time (another reader and translation, if possible. Or even another language)
  8. Each person names or writes: “From what I’ve heard and shared, what do I believe God wants me to do or be? Is God inviting me to change in any way? (5 minutes)
  9. Each shares their answer. (5-10 minutes, no discussion)
  10. Each prays for the person on their right, naming what was shared in other steps. (5 minutes)

Close with the Lord’s Prayer and silence

[1] Literally this means divine reading

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