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Grace | *Lunch not included | Greenbelt 2008

Grace archive page for this service

This service was about hospitality. It starts by being deliberately inhospitable, in a parody of the ways in which churches unthinkingly make visitors feel unwelcome - members and friends picked out of the queue and given better welcomes, a members-only area, a liturgy and church notices that casually exclude outsiders, an in-joke... and then somebody decides to protest! The intervention of the venue manager was a secret extra arranged by the 'protestors' beforehand, in order to cause real consternation to the rest of the team!

Disturbingly, some people thought from their church experiences that the unwelcoming part at the beginning was for real... one person we spoke to later had left in disgust before the dénoument!

After small-group discussion about hospitality, the second half of the service has two rituals:

Setting the table - on the banqueting roll people add place settings to symbolise wanting to create environments in which hospitality can flourish.

Wall of bricks - to represent fears of and barriers to hospitality, the obstacles we have to interacting with others - people take a brick off to symbolise wanting to address these fears and barriers.

The service closed with a confessional liturgy.

The wall of bricks. Photo © Dean Ayres

Setting the table. Photo © Dean Ayres

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