Q & R: The Discipline of Inconvenience

Here’s the Q:

Years ago, when you spoke at a clergy gathering at the last ever such gathering at the National Cathedral in Washington, you made a very helpful reference about the power of liturgy and worship, and the inherent inconvenience of it…(and I’m going from memory here) to remind us that this whole enterprise is not about us.

I think you observed things like: a worship hour that is not chosen with us in mind, a liturgy that pushes us to say things we might, to sing hymns we might not know, in a sanctuary with a community of people we might not have chosen for ourselves, etc….

Does this sound vaguely familiar? And have you put it down in writing anywhere?

Blessings on your ministry!

Here’s the R:

What good memories I have of that week at the College of Preachers! And you have an amazing memory to remember – almost verbatim – what I said about “inconvenience” as a spiritual practice.

The closest I came to writing about this in a book, I think, is Finding Our Way Again. That specific point about inconvenience was in a talk I gave called “Public Worship as Spiritual Formation.” That’s material I’m resurrecting in an intensive called “Worship Matters,” part of the Convergence Leadership Project. You might be interested!