This morning we attended St. Paul’s Anglican Church in downtown Toronto. We picked the 9:30 family service, which is held in a corner of the huge sanctuary and feels surprisingly intimate. It uses some liturgy but is neither high church nor low church. The sermon was excellent.
I’m struck with the history of a place like that, as well as the huge physical plant, and a calling to a very urban neighborhood. Jim Collins talks about preserving the core while stimulating progress. This church seems to be a good example of how to do that. They’re rooted in tradition, theologically robust, and missional.
I’m also coming to realize that some of the richest experiences I’ve had visiting churches are when I visit liturgical ones, like St. Paul’s and Nashville Presbyterian Church in Maple. Maybe the sermons of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York on my iPod count as well. Scot McKnight talks about the first time he experienced The Book of Common Prayer. “Two things stood out in those days: (1) those prayers were mighty prayers and (2) lots of spontaneous prayers were, no matter how sincere, well … sloppy.”
I just may have to come out of the closet as a liturgist at heart. Just don’t tell.