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- Worship and Children's Ministry Pastor
Julie DoerksenWorship and Children's Ministry Pastor
In October 2018, I visited the abbey of the Taize community in southern France, where for a week I attended 3 prayer services a day, sitting on the floor (not always comfortably), singing simple, repetitive songs, and trying to quiet my mind and pray during extended periods of silence. I was drawn in by the surrounding art, candles and the beauty of many voices joining together in a multitude of languages through spoken and sung prayer. What was so notable about this experience was how my body, mind, and heart were engaged and transformed through worship.
“Mumford and sons” sing:
In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life
awake my soul… awake my soul… awake my soul…
For you were made to meet your maker.
I think this is the essence of life spent in the worship of God. We need constant re-orientation to having Christ be the place where our life and love are invested. At our core, we yearn to experience that awakening, the quickening of the spirit to respond to God around us and before us and in us. We can respond through the arts and through action – and our response should change us. When we meet God in this place, we are transformed and our vision made new; we are re-oriented to have God’s light shine through us wherever we are.
At River East Church, I have the privilege of working with many creative and faithful people in shaping our worship. I also guide our children’s Sunday morning encounter with God, where we explore what it means to follow Jesus’ words to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” I am married to Paul, a theology professor at Canadian Mennonite University, and have 3 young adult daughters.