THE RHYTHM OF PREPARATION
Bridging the liturgy and creative expression.
In Kadosh Adult Formation, though our topic may change, our liturgy remains the same. This means the “bones” of preparation are consistent. Each liturgical movement will be engaged from week-to-week, so begin with those bones.
I. Gathering-opening chant, instrumental, song, poem or brief meditation. This is an opportunity for a member of our leadership team to get creative and engage with the topic. They will also lead this portion of the liturgy. This segment is usually 2-3 minutes long and takes on the character of the leader. At the conclusion of this offering, we always stand together and recite these words from Lamentations 3:24-26:
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in the Lord.’
The Lord is good to those who wait,
to the soul that seeks.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
The combination of repetition from week-to-week (Lamentations) and a unique way to be gathered provides creatively alongside stability.
II. Self-personal engagement through anonymous polling. This movement is usually a question to personally connect with the topic chosen. It could be an open-ended question or multiple-choice question. Participants are sometimes asked to define in their own words a key concept of the topic. Sometimes they are asked to think of a way in which they have personally engaged with the topic. No matter how we proceed, participants are invited to first engage the self and take “inventory” on the topic at-hand. After the responses are seen streaming on the screen, the gathered community is asked to reflect on the collective responses.
III. Neighbor-expansion of topic through engagement with neighbor. This movement of the liturgy invites our participants to acquire further insights about the topic through conversation with their neighbor(s). The phrasing of this next question should direct participants to begin considering other ways of approaching the topic. These discussions are best had when our questions generate open-ended responses, as opposed to yes/no responses. Encourage deeper investigation through the phrasing of the question. The facilitator may lead into this movement with a brief personal reflection. The questions are clearly visible on the screen during the discussion so participants may refer back to them.
IV. World-a brief video/audio/image challenges us beyond. This movement is typically a 4-5 minute clip that invites us to consider what may not be obvious. This is a good time to bridge other religions, cultures, realities, circumstances, pertinent news stories, or faith practices. This video/audio/image is followed up with question(s) for reflection. Our participants are asked to pair up with a different neighbor to engage these questions. The questions are clearly visible on the screen during the discussion so we may refer back to them.
V. Divine-Scriptural reflection and meditation. After researching and considering many Scriptures, theological quotes, or excerpts from The Book of Common Prayer, the facilitator and co-facilitator decide on the three most provocative. These are then flashed on the screen through PollEverywhere, as participants are invited to give one-word responses to each set of words. The co-facilitator is the Lector. After a substantial number of responses pop up on the screen, the facilitator invites the gathered community to give verbal additions. This enables anyone without a phone (or the ability to use one) to participate. There is no further discussion on any set of words. The facilitator concludes that offering with “Amen” and moves on to the next one.
VI. Commission-participants verbally call us out into the world. Each week participants stand and commission the gathered community out into the world. These words will help them to brainstorm.
Prayerfully send us out with words of
After all have had the opportunity to send us forth, we conclude with the following words of commission from Isaiah 6:8, week in and week out.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’
And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’ Amen.
As they depart, the class is then invited to vote on the topic to be engaged next Sunday in Kadosh Adult Formation (poll-by-text).
The leadership team.
In addition to the Assistant Rector (facilitator), we have 7 dedicated leaders in Kadosh Adult Formation at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Our weekly rotation calls for a co-facilitator, gatherer, and two greeters. This means that 4 of the 7 leaders are “on” during any particular session.
The co-facilitator typically receives an outline of the liturgy from the facilitator by Thursday afternoon. A phone meeting is set on Friday morning to brainstorm together the ideas in the outline. The co-facilitator helps to decide what Scriptures, quotes, images, videos, audios, etc. would be most suitable for the topic and corresponding liturgical movement. Most of the important work goes into how to word the questions we seek the participants to engage. This discussion usually takes 30 minutes.
We have experimented with a more hands-on role for the co-facilitator throughout the spring of 2014. In this model, the facilitator sends a couple of informative articles on the topic that was selected by the community by Tuesday afternoon. Then, the two meet over the phone on Wednesday. This discussion is more about brainstorming creative ways to engage each liturgical movement, as opposed to simply refining the outline provided for them. This model is preferable in an ideal world.
The gatherer is charged with finding a topic-appropriate way of gathering the community to engage. This may be, but is not limited to, a chant, instrumental, song, poem, or brief meditation. The gatherer must submit this material to facilitator by Thursday evening to be incorporated into the slides.
The greeters are expected to arrive early, greet participants, note attendance, and obtain contact information for newcomers.
This rotation is best determined at a social gathering hosted by a member of leadership. Calendars are essential – wine is optional (but perhaps necessary).
We utilize http://www.polleverywhere.com/ for online poll-by-text. The $65/month presenter plan enables us to attach keywords instead of using random 6-digit codes. For example, if the multiple-choice poll includes the options “temple” and “tabernacle,” we could use those keywords instead of assigned numeric codes. This greatly reduces the texting errors. This paid service also allows us to poll up to 250 people at once. The results pop up on the screen almost instantaneously.
We utilize https://basecamp.com/ for planning and collaboration. As with Facebook, this enables us to contribute to designated discussion threads at our own leisure. This service is $20/month. Basecamp has been such a great tool that we have begun using it for task forces and liturgy preparations.
We utilize “screenshot” recording for Kadosh Adult Formation sessions. We have purchased a sound receiver that plugs into the laptop and sits centrally located in the room to pick up voices. This way, the audio is recorded as the screen moves from slide to slide.
We embed all audio and video into the PowerPoint slides. This provides a seamless liturgical movement and enables us to cleanly record each session. To learn basic instructions on how to do this, click on the link below.
Embedding and Recording
Kadosh Adult Formation Home
A Guide to Bringing Kadosh Adult Formation to Your Community
1. Tenets of Kadosh Adult Formation
2. The Rhythm of Preparation
The Leadership Team
3. Get started: Images and Templates
When doing research, we recommend the following sites:
ATLASerials for Alumni, as well as various online news services.