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In a busy suburban church, those with introverted personalities may easily be marginalized or overlooked. This project set out to create a new kind of welcome for both introverts and extroverts through a weekly contemplative worship service. Celebrating the Lord’s Supper amid stillness and quiet presented a stark contrast to the prevailing culture of the congregation, which is usually sociable and boisterous. It recognized the increasing diversity of the community and invited leaders and participants to practice hospitality more deeply. It also taught a new kind of Christian practice that is essential for a congregation engaged in local mission.
This doctoral project includes the short history of the congregation with its increasingly diverse context and explores the general definition, needs and character of introverts and extroverts. A theological and biblical argument is made for greater inclusion and for the use of contemplative spirituality as a way to welcome introverts more fully. A full liturgy for the Eucharist in a contemplative style is also included.
This project not only widened the welcome at Trafalgar Presbyterian Church; it also created a new rhythm of action and contemplation. Once introverts were heard and accommodated, their needs and preferences turned out to be a gift to extroverts as well. Contemplative spirituality, previously unexplored, has begun to nourish a tired and missional congregation.
Doctor of Ministry
Worship, Contemplation, Introverts, Eucharist
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O'Brien, Kristine, "Quiet as Church Mice: Offering Welcome through Contemplative Worship" (2017). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 279.