Friday, November 23, 2007

Sally speak

I have been thinking about Heathers posts (and here) and about a recent visit to Transitional Church Weekend. It seems every church or corps claim to be welcoming, which makes perfect sense as nobody would claim to be unwelcoming. But are we really welcoming. I have been thinking about the "Sally Speak" we use.

You will often find the Officer saying "We will stand to sing the first song". But if someone actually did this they would be standing on their own for a considerable time before the rest of the congregation joined them. What actually happens is the Officer will say this and then go on to tell everybody about the song. Then everybody stands and sings. Don't believe me? Watch next Sunday morning.

The band and songster "message" is not in the form of a letter or even a note, but a carefully rehearsed piece of music.

The offering is a plate which you put money on. Which is immediately followed by somebody saying a prayer not down the microphone.

Even singing is something the man in the street may not have done. Young people don't sing in secondary school, unless they joined a specific choir. They listen to music all the time, through mp3 players but don't join in.

I look at some of the words we sing and I find them difficult to understand. I can't imagine what the man in the street thinks if he hears (nevermind understand) some of the stuff we sing. Perhaps we should use Song Books and use the overhead digital projector as a glossary to the words of some of the songs.

I will look for some more this Sunday.

When a group of people (usually wearing dark suits) come to meet in the hall for a couple of hours to sing songs and listen to the officer.

The guy in a dark suit who sometimes leads the meeting

A group of people in dark suits who stand up and sing a song in the middle of a meeting

A group of people in dark suits who sit and play brass instruments

1 comment:

John said...

You are so right, mate.

I have real concerns that in some quarters* we've become so accustomed to the peculiarties of the culture of our particular denonination that our hope of connecting with the real world diminishes.

We have developed strong emotional attachments to some things that are so insignificant that it risks damaging our calling & mission, and one of the principal problems is our insistance on retaining some of our Victorian terminology. Try explaining to a colleague at work that you are the Corps Sgt Major without raising a titter.

Also, at the risk of being branded a heretic (;-), there are days when I wonder about the cultural impact of the military metaphor.

Anyway, that's me off my soap box

J :-)

*(there's another one!! ;-)