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.