Worship Lab FAQ (because inquiring minds want to know)

What is Worship Lab?

“Worship Lab” began as the temporary name for a series of “build your own Eucharist” services to help us schemers and dreamers with the creation of an alternative worship experience offered to the un-churched and de-churched. As often happens, we’ve gotten used to the name even though the “lab” phase has officially ended.

What happens now?

Beginning November 28, New Year’s Day for the Church, the Worship Lab will be our second Sunday service, at 11:00 every week. Because the Worship Lab strives for flexibility, portability, intimacy, and interactivity, worshipping in the Parish Hall seems to work for the time being. (This could change at any moment.)

What is a Worship Lab like?

We gather for refreshment (usually coffee), prayer, and Holy Eucharist. We always hear the gospel, but sometimes it is acted out or chanted or recited from memory. We reflect on the gospel during a quiet, creative time when we can interact with various “prayer stations,” do some writing, play with clay, light a candle, or something else. We use a Eucharistic prayer written for the day or for the season.  The Order of Service is faithful to the lectionary, the liturgical season, and the Book of Common Prayer.

Who is the Worship Lab for?

Anyone! Because we offer a traditional Rite Two service of Holy Eucharist with choir and Sunday school at 9 am every Sunday, we know that service “works” for many of us, but not for everyone. Yet our Episcopal liturgy in all its forms has something life-giving and gospel-serving to offer many people. We hope that by offering a less formal, traditional service, we may in fact make our tradition available to more people as a pathway to discipleship and grace.

I like the 9:00 service exactly the way it is—it’s the service I grew up with. But my housemate/granddaughter/son-in-law/neighbor is church-curious and doesn’t like the same kind of church that I like. Should I tell her/him about the Worship Lab?

Absolutely! That’s exactly the kind of person who might like the Worship Lab! Here’s what we say about this service:

What are you hungry for?

Join us Sundays at 11 for a three-course Jesus brunch:

  • coffee and appetizers
  • interactivist Holy Communion, sharing ancient  stories in a new ways
  • moveable feast

What do you mean by “interactivist”? And what’s the “moveable feast”?

Confession time: one of our brilliant and talented staff made up a word. We wanted to say that this service provides space and time to create, interact, and take action as part of our worship. The moveable feast is part of this, and it’s what happens afterwards. Sometimes we’ll stay at church and eat homemade soup and bread. Sometimes we’ll all go out to brunch. Sometimes we’ll take to the streets with sandwiches for people who need them. Our time together will involve food and it will take a different shape from week to week.

How can I get involved in the Worship Lab?

This being the Episcopal Church, the first answer to that question is always “Come worship with us!” But wait….there’s more! You can get involved by sharing your gifts and talents and passions. Are you a musician? Do you like to paint or draw? Do you know and love PowerPoint? Do you play an instrument? Do you like to eat? Do you like to feed hungry people? Do you work for an organization that we should reach out to in our moveable feast? Come worship. Sundays at 11, 2800 SE Harrison, Portland.

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