Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Feng Shui of the Worship Space

Feng Shui is the ancient art of creating a spiritual space in one's living space. I have no understanding of it whatsoever but I like the word. It sounds really cool to say and whether or not I can explain it here is beside the point of this post. What is important, I believe, is creating a worship space that is inviting to worshippers. There can be so many distractions in worship already, such as shuffling papers, cell phones going off unexpectedly, fussing children or fussing adults, microphones screeching and so forth, that the space we occupy for worship ought to be as distraction free as possible. Not only that, it ought to relax us to the point of being able to settle down and breathe in the Spirit.

Almost two years ago we decided it was time to paint the sanctuary. The white paint that had been on the walls for many years had become like a grungy ivory color. It had no life to it. It inspired only sadness and sterility rather than the warmth and inviting feeling that we longed for. The character of the 100+ year old sanctuary was lost in a sea of graying white paint.

We decided it was time to do something about the paint. . . you know, every now and then walls do need to be painted. We had three color palettes to choose from and we got together and had a sort of straw vote about it. It was a hard choice because we had to use our imaginations, the white was all we could envision because it was what was right in front of us. 

Once we chose the colors, all three warm and inviting we took a huge leap and decided to paint the back wall a darker color. As the painter was painting that wall I would go in and look and I was scared we had made a wrong choice. But alas, when it was all finished, the worship space looked amazing. How can color make a person feel so welcome? How can colors make such a difference in the mood of the space? When we worship in our sanctuary now it is such a different feeling. I cannot explain it to you exactly but it is so much easier to settle in to the Holy that surrounds us, that was always there before but now seems more prominent. 

This may sound silly but I write this because I think there are things we can do in our worship spaces to help disciples WORSHIP. We can set the mood of worship by the lighting, paint, flowers,  candles, artwork, banners and more.  Everything about worship is to be evaluated, even the paint on the walls. It is the most important thing we do as a community of faith and we are responsible to help the faithful clear their hearts and minds of as many distractions as we can so they might enter into the holy and experience the divine. 

What do you think? How have you changed your worship space to facilitate more meaningful worship? Do you think the two are related or do you think I am off base here? Join in the conversation here.

Have a blessed Christmas season!

Pastor Amy Little

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