At City Square Church we try hard never to do anything because “it’s what a church is supposed to do.” Whether community events or classes, collecting an offering to serving the community, we try to ask ourselves, “why are we doing this?” It’s really two questions: why us? And why this? What purpose does this serve in our community and what do we offer that’s different than what others might offer who do the same or similar work.
This includes perhaps the biggest “it’s what a church is supposed to do,” Sunday morning worship.
The answer to the first question is that worship is a practice or set of practices that bind us together as a people of faith. While many of us believe the same or similar things we work hard to be a place where folk who aren’t sure what they believe can find a faithful, spiritual community in which to belong and practice and, as we often say, even among “believers” faith can be a fickle thing. And so we gather together to breathe together in song and prayer, reflect with each other in word and silence, and break bread with one another at a common table. These are the things that hold us together through the shifting winds of doctrine and ideology.
The answer to the second question lies in how we gather, and with whom. We have always been committed to worship experiences that are challenging and engaging, that incorporate a diverse set of practices and voices, and that have theological, intellectual, and experiential integrity. This requires a great deal of time and intention as we cultivate the gifts of leaders, artists, activists, and practitioners within the CSQ community and develop relationships with the leaders, artists, activists, and practitioners in the community around us. Then the work begins of weaving those voices together to create a singular experience that is rooted in and transcendent of our context.
That is why it was my great pleasure yesterday to announce that as of May 1st, Alexus Rhone would be joining the City Square team as our first ever Curator of Worship. In the coming weeks and months you will have opportunities to hear Alexus tell her own story and cast her own vision for this position. For my part I will simply say that her theological training, artistic sensibility, production experience, and most of all, clear anointing by the Spirit make her uniquely gifted for the task ahead.
That said, no one could do this job alone. Whether you consider yourself a member of City Square a member of the Downtown Phoenix community, Christian, non-Christian, or unsure, if you are reading this Alexus will need your support. Drop her a note to say hello, offer to take her to breakfast, coffee, happy hour, or dinner (she can’t afford to eat with all of you so offer to buy, yeah?), keep her in your prayers, intentions, or good thoughts. Most of all, build her and the rest of us into your community so that as City Square grows we might grow to reflect more and more of our diverse community.
Because that’s what a church is supposed to do.