Greetings my siblings in Christ and friends of AUCE.
I am the Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay, and I serve as the Minister for Worship and Theology for the United Church of Christ as part of the Faith INFO (Education, Innovation and Formation) Ministry Team within the Justice and Local Church Ministries. In my role, I am responsible for resourcing the local church theologically and liturgically.
In this role, I serve as Writer and Editor of Sermon Seeds and Weekly Seeds. I curate Worship Ways. These are weekly resources based on the Revised Common Lectionary. I represent the United Church of Christ in ecumenical liturgical settings including the North American Academy of Liturgy and The Consultation on Common Texts. In addition, I am the Director of Worship for General Synod and plan and lead other denominational worship services. I am also available for conferences and associations who seek to equip their authorized ministers, lay leaders, and local churches in the areas of worship planning, sermon preparation, and theological reflection.
Currently, I am researching hybrid worship. Specifically, I focus on our language and practices that extend hospitality toward the person worshiping online versus onsite. Notice that I do not refer to those in the physical space where the service originates as in-person. People who access worship through technological means are still persons. Language matters and reflects our ecclesiology as well as our broader theology.
The reality of hybrid worship holds implications for faith formation. While the scope of my research is somewhat limited to hospitality, faith formation, like worship, is rooted in community. How does the diverse means of accessing community impact our ability and efforts to engage our community participants in worship and faith formation? During the intensity of the pandemic, much of our conversations centered on how to expand our use of online and other remote tools to broadcast and host remote gatherings. The why was defined for us by necessity. (At the same time, I acknowledge that many local churches were already employing these tools.) Moving forward, we are challenged to craft our gatherings with both the online and onsite participants in mind or to discern when hybrid is not a beneficial option and distinct approaches are necessary. This would seem to be particularly important for faith formation.
The last aspect of my role I will offer are two invitations. First of all, I am always eager to meet creators of worship related content. Please reach out to me if you do this work! From liturgists to composers to artists of many kinds, I’d like to know you are out there.
Finally, I have had some conversation about integrating faith formation resources with the worship resources we offer. I look forward to continuing that dialogue with AUCE.
Rev. Dr. Cheryl Lindsay serves the national setting of the United Church of Christ as the Minister for Worship and Theology on the Faith INFO Team. She may be reached at
email@example.com or by calling 216-736-2183.