During a recent assessment in my congregation, members were asked to nametheir motivation for attending. The two primary answers that emerged were: (1)Intellectual / Spiritual Stimulation, and (2) a sense of Community. I suspect that theanswers coming out of other congregations are similar. The first three of my SevenPossible Purposes come out of this assessment.Returning to the hypothetical task of imagining the Sunday morning experience, Iwould suggest that for each of my possible purposes we look at models and effectivestrategies. In the following chart, I try to list some of the effective ways the particular purpose has been achieved. I do not hold that my Seven Possible Purposes constitutean exclusive list of reasons to gather and this same analysis may be used with other possible purposes.
Seven Possible PurposesModels
Intellectual StimulationCollege Courses / SeminarsJournalismBriefing or ReportsDocumentariesDebatesSpiritual Stimulation or GroundingMeditation RetreatSpiritual DirectionSun CeremonyA Sense of CommunityBarn RaisingWeddingsRitualCatholic MassChanging of the Guard at the Tomb of theUnknown Soldier Chalice lightingFuneralDevotionPilgrimageCloistered LifeLeadership in JusticeMakingHabitat for Humanity (work parties)Political RallySit-Ins and Teach-InsEntertainmentTheater DanceSongStarting with this, albeit arbitrary, list of purposes it is reasonable to strategize themost effective way to achieve the purpose. The following chart lists some of themethods that have been used to achieve the stated purposes. Some, but not all of themethods are suggested by traditional models above.2