Communities across the church are searching for new ways to worship that makes use of the tradition, but somehow addresses new needs and concerns, perhaps especially with generational differences in mind. This is one example of a community in New Orleans that came together to explore the struggle of the early church to express a new faith by inventing a new form of worship. They started a worship society, not a new church by any means, and named it after St. Polycarp.

On a Monday evening, as most workers were on the way home, I joined a group enthusiastically gathering outside of Rosy’s Jazz Hall. The entrance hall led us to a table laden with wine and cheese in a bright room in which stand two large trees. People were laughing and talking as adults lifted glasses and children snacked. Noise from the kitchen spoke of food preparation. I was aware that the people were there to celebrate; eating typical New Orleans fare, drinking wine, singing, and perhaps doing a bit of “dancing” – all familiar activities to the venerable and lovely jazz hall on Tchoupitoulas and Valence. But these people were there to do this as part of Christian worship. I wondered at that. But, as we entered into worship, it all began to seem perfectly fitting.

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We are offering a series of chancel dramas designed for the worship of all ages. They were produced at Grace Episcopal Church by its rector, 1973 – 1985, Joe Morris Doss




23 actors (could simply have the audience use imaginations for Potiphar, Potiphar’s Wife, Potiphar’s Chef, and the Pharaoh)        

2 females (if Potiphar’s wife is used)

5 non-gender specific

16 men (though certain of the roles with designated male names could be played by women) Read More…

Directed by Benh Zeitlin; Written by Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” may get lost amid the summer blockbusters although it is just as mythic as “Prometheus” and, like “Brave,” stars an incredibly strong girl, but it risks getting covered up by films of less subtlety and grace.

Hushpuppy lives with her father, Wink, in the part of the Louisiana delta known as The Bathtub. His love for his girl is tough, preparatory. He lives in his house; she lives in hers across the way — neither shack would be featured in Better Homes and Gardens. Wink rings a bell when dinner’s done, which means the chicken he killed and grilled is ready for them to devour down to the bones. Hushpuppy’s mother has been long gone. The girl talks to her mother, or to the abandoned athletic jersey draped over a chair, and she longs for her, calling “Mamma” into the wet horizon. On top of that loss, Wink is dying.

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Historically, theater began in the church, right there in the chancel, and there’s no reason not to bring it back. After all, what is the Eucharist but good drama, complete with props and costumes and dramatis personae and one heck of a story?

The play below, which was first presented in a national and ecumenical church drama contest in Dallas, Tex., (Yes, it won the award.) is effective ministry because it engages children with adults participating in the rites of Baptism and Holy Eucharist.

Following the script itself, read on for rationale and commentary for your inspiration, motivation and encouragement.

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