Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

September 2004: Slow

[this service was inspired in part by the idea of the three mile an hour god from theologian kosuke koyama]

Set up:

Set the room up with two screens in the middle back to back – project speed on one side and slow on the other.
do visual stuff from arkaos for speed side
do visual stuff through mixer for slow side
have two mac classics, one for each side of the screen with slow and speed on

Before the service:

Give out tickets for the fast track that lets people in early/quickly – make it slow for others.
Have a rev counter type thing that runs from flat out to flat out – invite people to answer one or two questions - how do you live your life? how do you want to live your life? – and place a post it note or sticker on according to their answer


1 Preparation:


[Play track from logical progression with sample from ferris bueller’s day off (life moves pretty fast....)]

[invite people to take watches off/turn phones off]

the service is entitled slow, but you can't talk about slow without considering its opposite
it's not as simple as saying slow is good and fast is bad:
slow is bad when you're waiting for an ambulance
but good when you're waiting for the dentist

[explain 'fast' and 'slow' ends of room]

take a few moments to consider your feelings about fast and slow

are you a fast person or a slow person?
do you want to slow down or speed up?
is your life already fast or slow?
are you in a fast place or a slow place - spiritually, mentally, physically?
do you want to be in a fast place or a slower place?
how fast or slow do you want to get there?

do you seek slow love and fast food? or vice versa?
is work too fast and travel too slow? or vice versa?
are you a contemplative trapped inside a commuter?
if the motorway is empty do you slow down or speed up?
is your computer too slow or too fast?

opening prayer:

to those who creep towards the kingdom
god says welcome
to those who rush towards the kingdom
god says welcome
to all of you, however you come, in speed and sloth,
god says welcome
to the door and the arms that are always open wide

Slow down

adbusters reading of guy who stands still
prayer of st hilda community
video of jar being shaken and settling with words to encourage people to slow down (taken from cd rom accompanying tune in chill out)
play 'hey man slow down' radiohead

Group discussion on contemplative vs commuter:

Questions along lines of
Is slow good? Is fast bad? If you're in an accident, you want the ambulance
to come as quickly as possible. When else is speed good?
We work quicker so we can work fewer hours - but do we?"
are you naturally more a commuter or a contemplative? martha or a mary?

slow confession with reflective piece on time
visual of industrious hand written clock


Song: My heart is restless
Song: The Lord is compassionate and gracious

2. The Word


Bible passages/readings on either side of the room re slow and fast

Slow meditation

if we slow down... accompanying a video slow moment that no longer seems to be online - it was a brilliant combination.

3. Response


Make Jesus prayer cords – use to pray – use animated iconostasis and jesus prayer tack from tune in chill out

Concluding ritual

Take boiled or soft sweets depending on whether you are feeling the call/need to go slow or fast

slow blessing written by anna

God the creator, who rested on the seventh day after the work was done, show you how to balance the slow and the fast, the work and the rest.

God the redeemer, who lived his life at walking pace, strengthen you to go slow when the world is going fast.

God the sustainer, who came at Pentecost like a rushing wind, give you hope in the day when there will be freedom from the limitations of time.

Go into a world of speed and live at God’s pace.


slow mac classics

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