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Worship as Pastoral Care

I took a seminary class by one of my favorite professors entitled, “Worship as Pastoral Care.”  The premise behind the class is that we can offer corporate pastoral care in community as we worship.  It’s not separate; it’s holistic.  When we worship, we can also give care and receive care, and we can do it together.  One of the things my church does best is worship as pastoral care.
This past Sunday, we were at our best in that regard.  We got back to what I think we do extremely well—worship as pastoral care.  (I know we cannot do this every week.  Once upon a time we did this so often, we were called Powhatan CRYING Church.)  But as this series approached, I saw this potential.  I have prayed for this series and the care and worship and community that I knew it could cultivate.
It was a good day.  And today, a few days later, I have seen and heard multiple people acknowledge and share their brokenness, and Sunday’s worship experience was part of the process.  And I love it.  I love seeing how God is working in and through people and service planning and yet another Nouwen book (In the Name of Jesus—an all-time favorite book).  I love how what happened on Sunday morning is changing people’s conversations on Tuesday morning.  I love how people will be different people, be more of the free, beloved people God created them to be, as a result of worship as pastoral care.
And…I am immensely aware of the brokenness that remains in my life.  I'm aware that there are parts of me that are broken that I haven't identified yet; I'm sure my counselor will help me with that.  I am painfully aware of the brokenness that exists amongst my colleagues.  I’m anxious, because I’m me, and I’m always anxious.  But I’m also hopeful.  I’m hopeful that the brokenness in my life is being addressed; that it will not enslave me, but will ultimately free me and take me to a place I cannot yet imagine.  I’m hopeful that the brokenness I sense around me can be addressed in community, that God will grant us wisdom and redemption as we seek to worship Him together.


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