I’m still asking myself why I wanted to do this? But I signed up, and I even got one of the coveted Friday slots for preaching in Miller Chapel. Fridays are Communion Days and very popular – and I got one: Friday, December 14. On December 14, I will be preaching in Miller Chapel – come one and come all. Seriously, I think it will be interesting. Of course, there is the question of what text to preach, what prayers to pray, etc. At the beginning of the school year, there was a meeting for those leading worship in Chapel and we were given the “template” for the worship time that we were to follow. They say that they will give us a lot of flexibility, but that is *somewhat* different from what I’ve heard from other students in the past. Who knows – maybe it’s different now?
Leading Chapel worship is very different at Columbia Seminary – at Columbia, you put together a “Chapel Team” of 3-5 senior students, and a faculty advisor. That Chapel Team is then responsible for the chapels during an entire week. While it seems like a lot more work (and it probably is) – it’s a wonderful chance to experience an amazing amount of diversity in worship. Last year, there were dueling preachers, liturgical dance, creative music and media presentations, and a host of other diverse worship styles and contributions. It just seems to help add creativity and a more organic feel to worship – worship by the people for the people.
Then compare that to the experience at Princeton. A group meeting where they give us a template? Then, we have to have a meeting with the chaplain and the music director to run through everything and make sure it all “fits” and is appropriate. Perhaps I’m just skeptical because of past experiences with the Chapel that I’ve heard second-hand. One other thing I find very interesting is President Torrance’s desire for the Chapel worship to be “domestic worship” – what he means is that anyone participating in the worship has to be a part of the Princeton Theological Seminary community. It was explained to us because of an issue with people asking certain friends/mentors/pastors from outside the community to preside over communion. They said, “It’s great that you might have a special relationship with that person – but no one else does, so…” Interesting…domestic worship…
Has anyone else preached in Miller Chapel? How was your experience? Did you feel that you had freedom to be creative? Or was it more of a cookie-cutter worship experience? Any ideas/suggestions for ways for me to ‘stir things up a bit’ during my worship time?