Our landscape is

© By Rex A E Hunt
Originally an oral presentation at West End Uniting Church, Brisbane, Qld, Australia: August 2005

Revised and expanded: November 2005 & November 2006.


our hills are not silent but shout tall
Our rivers sing their own song to southern seas...  (Best 2005).

How can we sing in a strange land... when the Spring festival of new life called Easter 'down under', comes in Autumn, the season of little deaths when leaves turn gold, fall, and the grass has turned from green to brown?  Or when the warmth of Christmas is not from some domestic fire in an iron grate, but from the sun high overhead - 38 degrees celsius (102 degrees fahrenheit) and rising?

Shaping a distinctive Australian theology is a recurring problem for us in Australia generally, and for those of us who have the communication task of shaping the ‘Sunday morning’ worship experience, specifically.  Especially when we are invited, if not expected to, follow a Lectionary and liturgical year shaped in the main by natural European/northern hemisphere seasons, as well as it "reflecting an ancient cosmology that is no longer credible" (Shuck 2005).

How to face this contextual problem constructively has exercised my imagination and hopefully, my liturgies,1 for many years now.  And some of the ways I have attempted to respond to this situation is through the study of narrative communication, progressive theology2/biblical criticism, and the use of contemporary language which is both story and image based rather than propositional.

For a brief time then, let me explore this just a little, in non-academic terms.  But before I do I need to make a few disclaimers.

Even 'down under' it is not as simple as it sounds.  For the past six years we have been living in Canberra ACT, a cool to cold climate, where our national fore fathers and mothers were keen to replicate the English/European country side.  So the thousands of imported trees do indeed change their colours in some glorious autumn seasons, and after a cold snap or two, lose their leaves by the millions.  But not every tree.  Not the native eucalyptus!

And while there is frost and sometimes light snow, there is no general closing down of the land.  I am assured by others, among them Cheryl Maddocks the Gardening writer with Good Weekend, that species of flora continue to flower during winter and, in fact, such a season is an opportune time to plant many native plants.  So our Canberra spring, for instance, is not the land celebrating life from a winter induced death, but rather the beginning of an intensification of colour.

Similarly, it is said that Canberra boasts four distinctive seasons.  But that may not be the case in other parts of this same country called Australia.  Australian poet Les Murray highlights this when he suggests:
"In (some) parts of the continent it can often seem that the seasons comprise essentially summer and non-summer. A reign of heat, flies, snakes, beach culture and burgeoning growth is followed by a cooler time in which the discomforts disappear and both beachgoing and burgeoning tail off. And there is that bit of sniffling cold in the middle" (Quoted in Ranson 1992).

And then there are the wild cards of drought, bush fire3 and flood - upheavals that can happen at any time “affecting and altering any of the seasons” (Ranson 1992).

So whatever I say, must be reinterpreted and reconstructed.  And as you reinterpret my hope is you will seek to acquire a real understanding and experience of this country's life - in all its endless variation.

With that off my chest I guess it might now be appropriate to offer the fragments of my thesis:
• only when our liturgies have about them the flavour of story can we expect them to have the resonance we would like them to have;
• the challenge of our liturgies is to retell our personal experiences in the light of our Australian experience of the natural seasons, and
• our preaching should be intellectually and theologically honest - keeping what we know and what we believe, together - delivered in conversational or ordinary language.

While preaching will be mentioned, this paper is primarily concerned with liturgy or the shaping of the ‘Sunday morning experience’, always acknowledging of course that preaching is also part of the liturgical ‘happening’.


Liturgy as story
Liturgy is an oral/aural celebration of life (Vogt 1927), the whole of life, where we gather the folks, break the bread and tell the stories (Shea 1978:8) .  Indeed it is one of the ways we make sense of the world around us.

It is not about the past, but real life in the present, immersed in and surrounded by, an ever present sense of the sacred, many call God.  It is also about co-operative participation (Wieman 1929) rather than crowd participation or pseudo-togetherness. Where people are given the respect to be actors rather than just reactors.

Liturgy shaped by story attempts to take seriously the fact we live in a culture which is dominated by television... and television lives on story and image.

So in all this it is important that those who share in the liturgical experience are able to see and hear their experiences, even though they may not be able to put those experiences into their own words.  Our worship liturgies need to be both sensitive and intelligent, resonating with something within (experience of the world, memories, etc.), bringing that experience to 'the surface', and reshaping/transforming our sensitivities and feelings about that experience and/or those memories (Vogt 1927).

If I may suggest a word picture: worship which is arranged by an Order of Service would be drawn as a brick wall, with the parts of the service being the bricks, one on top of the other.  You must have the first brick before you put the second brick in place, and so on.  On the other hand, worship which is shaped by narrative would be like a road map, weaving its way across the countryside, taking in tourist sites and towns here, passing through various other roads there.

If liturgy is not about the past, but real life in the present, as I have suggested, then the language of the liturgy (and preaching) should be accessible by people living in that real and present life.

Gone, thank goodness, are the days when people were prepared to put up with "theobabble" (Windross 2001) - that "peculiar language much loved by some preachers, consisting of theological words strung together in the hope they might add up to something meaningful" (Windross 2001, www.tcpc.com).

Within the Australian context, such language will more than likely be ordinary everyday, “earthy and horizontal” (Tacey 2000) rather than exalted and technical or specialised. And such language will nurture folk to sense the presentness and embodiment of the sacred/God in the rich diversity and variety of life in this dynamic and unfolding world - and not is some ‘world to come'.

It will also be inclusive, progressive, and respectful of the intelligence of its hearers.

Story and image should intentionally shape the language in all our liturgies, but especially in our liturgies celebrating community, the sacrament of Holy Communion.  So, I am of the opinion (along with Australian author and liturgist Bruce Prewer) that if the season of the year is the Australian summer, then our liturgical language should play with such images as: "God of the lingering sunset and early dawn... of the hot north wind and the cool water bag". Likewise if the season is winter this too could reflected in appropriate Australian images: "God of mystery, wind and storm... of brisk winter mornings, frosted back lawns, of warm socks, coats and gloves".

Thus, I am suggesting that:
(i) traditional theological and liturgical language conditioned by the specialist rather than by the storyteller, can colonialise in many hidden ways, and
(ii) all our speaking and thinking of God/sacred presupposes a “constructive imaginative activity” (Kaufman 2004:121).

Colour and the arts
Colour can be used in many different ways.  The easiest is through the use of banners, quilts, tapestries and drapes.  The use of the contemporary liturgical colours - red, white, green, purple/blue - is also a simple way of indicating a mood change or that something different is happening.  But 'what' is happening?

Learning from our natural environment... when we lived in Ballarat in Central Victoria, the season from mid-August on was always exciting. The days were starting to get longer.  There was a rescinding of greyness and dampness. In response, the local wattles - yellow or gold - started to bloom along the country road sides as if to herald a new dawn.  Theirs was a burst of growth, a galvanising into action after winter's inactivity. 

So David Ranson asks:
"Could there be a more appropriate time... to celebrate that Christ is risen? When... tiredness is transformed into relief, when greenness once again infiltrates the land..." (Ranson 1992).

Changing the season and place... In Central West NSW from mid-November on, the grasses are changing colour for a second time.  A sense of change comes over the landscape.  The bush has begun to dry out and the smell of drying earth and blossom fills our nostrils with bursts of Jacaranda purple.  The season of Advent is beginning to celebrate.

As in nature so too in our liturgical use of colour.  As a liturgist I have always worn coloured stoles with a light-coloured alb, even when black ‘Geneva’ gowns and academic hoods we all the go in the Presbyterianism which nurtured me.  The particular 'mono' stoles I usually wear were made for me by my wife.  We chose non-ecclesiastical material - contemporary Aboriginal desert designs - with no religious symbolism, as one way of contributing to the developing process of an Australian spirituality, graphically.

Similarly, when The Uniting Church of St James in Canberra ACT rededicated its Church Centre after some property redevelopment in October 2005, two imaginative pieces of artwork were presented to the congregation.

The first was a tapestry called ‘A place at the table’, based on Australian artist Margaret Ackland’s painting of the same name, which depicts an inclusive presentation of Holy Communion.  Ackland’s arresting image of a crowded table of urgent faces, was the design chosen in 1991 by the Uniting Church Commission on Women and Men, Last Supper Project, as part of the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Decade of the Churches in Solidarity with Women.  The “affirmation that lies at the heart of this version of the Last Supper is one of inclusion.  This is the community of women and men, young and old, who bear in the form of their ordinary humanity the reality of being the body of Christ” (Fisher & Wood 1993).  It now hangs in the Foyer at St James as a symbol of that inclusive welcome.

The second was a large two metre square quilt - over 6,400 separate coloured pieces of material, crafted into a sanctuary backdrop, called ‘Heart of Matter’ - based on the theology of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.  Of the design internationally renowned quilter Margaret Rolfe, who designed and made the quilt, says:

The Cross at the centre represents Jesus, the source of the Christian faith, who revealed that God is Love. The Cross also symbolises the fact love can come at a cost... I  tried to use many different small pieces of fabric within each band of colour, representing the diversity of life, including, of course, the diversity of people. We are all different, but we all have a place.

Both these pieces of art compliment the new sanctuary furniture – Table, Ambo and Font – handmade from Tasmanian Blackwood and Queensland Silver Ash, with the fount a hollowed eucalypt burl.

Colour is important in worship, especially in churches where the dominant colours are plain cream or an uninteresting brown.  John Calvin and his puritan followers have a lot to answer for in that regard!

We believe what we sing.  Hymns are religious artefacts created to allow us to speak of our experience of the sacred.  They are also historical artefacts.

A hymn is not written to be sung once but rather a hundred times (Bell 2000)To become part of the familiar, often-used tradition of a living religion.  But that is also reason why it is very important to sing new songs/hymns and appropriate ones at that, because those same hymns weren't written to be sung for a hundred years! Our perceptions and experience of the sacred, change.  And so too should what we say and sing.

The person who has taught me a lot about hymn singing is John Bell from the Iona Community.  He rightly points out, I reckon, that we are in danger of developing a 'sloppy relationship with Jesus’ unless we can be honest in our theological imagining.

For our age and time, many of the contemporary hymns by Shirley Murray and Bill Wallace (NZ) and Andrew Pratt (GtB) for example, enable a fuller theological expression and experience.  Three resources which appeal to me are: Alleluia Aotearoa and Faith forever singing - both coming from a New Zealand landscape, and Andrew Pratt’s fine collection called Whatever name or creed.  While general landscape and/or ecological examples from two other resources yet to be explored more fully, can be found in Singing the living tradition and Singing the journey - both out of the Unitarian/Universalist tradition in the USA.

Some hymn fragments with which I resonate, follows:
O river mother, spirit of creation,
flowing so freely since the dawn of time,
source of all life and onward propagation,
summer’s bright warmth and winter’s frozen rime. Andrew Pratt (Unpublished)

Sing to the God of change,
chaos, and fine design;
hallow the ordered forms
filled with the life divine.
In God the universe is one
and sings the hymn which God first sung! William Wallace

The spring has come,
let all the church be part of it!
The world has changed,
and God is at the heart of it!
New light, new day,
new colour after winter grey.
New light, new day,
the spring has come,
let all the church be part of it!  Shirley Murray

Creeds, Affirmations, Celebrations
Traditionally, at least it was in my nurturing experiences, a creed was said in worship services.  In my youth that was the Apostles’ Creed each week with a change each quarter when Holy Communion was celebrated.  Then it was the Nicene Creed.

However, that experience is now not common, except perhaps for among the ‘prayer book’ churches.  (And that may be an overstatement).  So the question should be asked: is there a need for such now?

Creeds, like hymns, are religious and historical artefacts.  They may link us to the ‘great tradition’ but they also mark thinking at a particular time.  That is, they also draw boundaries, as was the experience which came out of Nicea, for instance.  However when a proposal from the steering committee of the Westar Leaders Seminar (now called Literacy and Liturgy Seminar) suggested its initial project be the writing of a new creed, a clear difference of opinion was expressed by the membership.  Sometimes this difference was expressed in terms of scholarship verses practitioners.  Other times it was plain indifference: who would use such a creed!

A brief look at denominational worship resources often finds that such committees have gathered together different expression, called an Affirmation. The United Church of Canada’s “God is with us” and the Uniting Church in Australia’s “We are a pilgrim people” are two such examples.  I am sure there are others.

In my own liturgical writing I never use the traditional Creeds, sometimes a contemporary Affirmation, but most likely I use what is being called a Celebration of Faith - such as those written by Australian liturgist Dorothy McRae-McMahon. 

Two such responsive Celebrations (adapted by me) follow:
(i) In desert and bushland, mountain and water,
we see the signs that God is with us.
All In grass that grows through cities
of concrete and brick, we see the signs that God is with us.

In the faces of people whom God so loves,
All we see the signs that God is with us.
In our brokenness,
there is the hope of wholeness.
All In our emptiness,
there is the hope of fullness.
In our deaths,
lies the hope of resurrection life.

This is the Word in Christ to us.
All The flame of the Holy Spirit
lives in this place and travels with us.    (Adapted/DMcRae-McMahon-eoj)

(ii) We celebrate a God, Source and Ground of Life
All who lives and speaks in sunsets,
in love-wrapped gifts, and fleeting butterflies.

We celebrate a Human One
All who honoured our humanness,
who climbed trees, skinned knees;
who laughed and cried, loved and wept,
bled and died.

We celebrate a Spirit,
All who mystically joins us
to people everywhere,
and incorporates us into the Christ of faith.

We celebrate a Church,
All seeking, however imperfectly,
to act justly, love mercy,
and walk humbly with our God.  (Adapted/DMcRae-McMahon-eoj)

Because there are echoes of the landscape and our common experiences, both celebrations invite a ‘spirituality’ reconnection with the world around us and to others - “earthy and horizontal” (Tacey 2000)  -  rather than a ‘belief’ assent.  And I reckon it is with the former rather than the latter that the current ‘grassroots progressive movement’ discovered and researched  by Hal Taussig (Taussig 2006), is moving.

Rumour has it that the classic pose for Australians is the 'squat'.  That body posture made famous around a billy on a camp fire of an evening, and when folks, mostly ‘grey nomads’ in 4x4 wheel drives, gather for conversation and stories.

And that does have power.  But those same Australians are also ‘hardwired’ to a digital culture - TV, computer, mobile phone, DVD - which invites multiple levels of engagement.  So for instance, those who preside or preach need to also be aware of the many ways we ‘communicate’ during worship, including the role gestures have in that process, especially when celebrating/presiding at Holy Communion.

That liturgy - Holy Communion - is about taking, blessing, breaking/pouring, giving.  Actions.  Community in the act of doing.  And see, taste, touch, smell, hear and move.  This requires a presider who is not only comfortable with the words, but with the 'dance' of those actions and senses as well.  "Mere reading of the (words) is boring and disembodied," writes Daniel Benedict (Benedict 2005/Lumicon web site).

Liturgy is more than a mind thing!  It is an engagement.

Continuing the conversation
By limiting ourselves to a cultural liturgical colonialism with mainly European origins, we can become stunted, as well as risk missing what actually 'is' (Ranson 1992).

To the first white settlers the New South Wales landscape seemed barren, uninhabited and desolate, because it lacked the plants and animals of Europe.  But for today's dwellers in Australia's outback as well as for the growing numbers who journey into it each year, the desert has a compelling fascination as a place vibrant with life.

If we only see the outback as a place of harsh, relentlessness... where early explorers faced despair, and animals die of thirst, the desert (in particular, or the landscape in general) will always be alien for our ‘Sunday morning’ experience.  And we will continue to homogenise our traditional lifeless images and miss seeing what actually 'is'

For as Denis Edwards said on a (TV) Compass program some years back:
"When the landscape is recognised as symbolic mediation of the healing and liberating of the Spirit then it becomes a place for encounter. Without recognition there is no human encounter and the landscape remains alien" (Quoted in Ranson 1992).

Similarly, the published work by retired Uniting Church minister Bruce Prewer over the past 30 years or so, and the current experimental liturgical work being done by South Australian Lutheran theologian Norman Habel on an inclusion into the Lectionary year of a Season of Creation4 (four Sundays in September), enables us all to touch nature with a new sensitivity and recognition of imagery and connection (although I reckon both need to do a lot more work on the theology!).  The themes covered in 2006 by Habel’s Season of Creation included: Planet Earth, Humanity, Sky and Mountain - in 2005 they were Forest, Land, Outback, and River.

And the quote which begins this paper, by poet and Anglican priest David Best, explores this recognition more poetically:
our hills are not
silent but
shout tall
our rivers sing
their own
song to southern seas
our birds have
no foreign language
our light has
its own brightness
our night
the black of homely black
our sun warms
our wind cleans
bodies which are colded here
and splendidly selfsoiled
our sweat waters the earth
and gives hearty growth,
filling our geography
with the art and dreams
which spill
from our being
and shapes our clay.

when will we learn
that imported wisdom
is a landscape
of little joy? (Best 2005:41).

So, do we change our liturgical calendar or change our approach to our 'down under' natural seasons?  There are advocates of both positions.  A quick glance at some liturgical history shows there are already significant differences between Western and Eastern (Orthodox) dates and times as to when Easter is celebrated.  And cultural differences as to when and how Christmas/birth narratives are celebrated.  So maybe there exists a precedent for an Australian/southern hemisphere change!  I invite you to continue to ponder these issues some time.  In the meantime, let me offer the challenge of another.

The founder of the Westar Institute (better know through the Jesus Seminar), the late Robert Funk, in his editorial in the January/February 2005 issue of The Fourth R, issued this radical call to a group of scholars and associate church leaders:
"throw the old forms out and start over (again)... design a new Sunday Morning Experience from the ground up... new music, new liturgy, new scriptures, new ceremonies, new rites of passage" (Funk 2005:2).

The meaning I give to Funk’s call, is that the liturgical reformation needed must go beyond the “intellectual two-step” called “latitudinarianism” (Davidson Loehr)  - preserving one’s intellectual integrity by proclaiming belief beyond literalism, but continuing to use the anthropomorphic language/images of the traditional hymns, liturgy and creeds “in order to remain within the tradition” (Loehr 2000:8).  But as Loehr continues, “playing this game [still] compromises our integrity and our religion... [because] it is another example of keeping what we know and what we believe separated” (Loehr 2000:9).

And such a ‘separation’ doesn’t seem to fit the intellectual integrity and honesty which Funk’s passion and insight gave to both the Westar Institute and it’s love child, the Jesus Seminar!  Living with Funk’s suggestion will demand
“a visual imagination, creative use of space, a willingness to explore a variety of art forms, sensitive use of the whole body, and the ability to experiment with a whole new range of sounds and sights” (White 1976:136).

And to think White’s comment was made 30 years ago!

On a personal note: for the past 40 years I have seen myself on such a liturgical reformation journey as suggested by Funk.  It has not always been easy.  There is much ‘Sunday morning’ baggage that I reckon must be got rid of.  And many critics and hurdles along the way, not to mention the prospect of unemployment!  I do not have the intellectual prowess of Robert Funk, but I invite others who do to also consider taking that journey.

I suspect the agenda items that will shape such a journey will include:
(i) a spiritual vitality earthed in the Australian/New Zealand here and now,
(ii) non-anthropomorphic prayer5, hymns, and God-talk,
(iii) an insistence on church with intellectual/biblical integrity which dances with all the arts,
(iv) a broadening of the religious/biblical tradition to include extra-canonical6 and progressive contemporary reflections/readings7,
(v) community with/for the ‘exiled’ or ‘church alumni’,
(vi) peace, justice and ecological commitments,
(vii) meditation and use of centering silence,
(viii) a rediscovery of lament8.

And more I am sure.  Although to be honest, I wouldn’t include Pope Benedict’s latest wish to see the Mass/liturgy back in Latin, in my list.  However it does raise an interesting point: can mystery only be experienced/acknowledged when we don’t know or understand what is going on?  Some of the feedback I have received on my own liturgies is: because it is in ‘real’ language and images, the contents must be taken seriously rather than just glossed over.  And that takes energy and concentration.

Where some of the liturgical reformation/revolution is happening already, and it is, this change forms part of a ‘grassroots’ or individualist movement rather than an ‘institutional’ or prayer book initiative.  And in my opinion, is closer to Funk’s call than to, for example, Spong’s position.  Perhaps that has got to do with different understandings of the role of liturgy.  Those without set prayer/liturgical books understand liturgy differently from those who do (or are required to) follow set authorised scripts.  I know this remains a continuing and open-ended discussion with my Anglican/Episcopalian friends.

The task for now it seems to me, is to begin (where it needs to) or continue (where it is already in progress) to “reimagine, reconceive (and) reconstruct…” (Kaufman 2004:126) our Australian liturgical/’Sunday morning’ worship expressions.  And needed are metaphors and images and language drawn from the ways we understand ourselves and experience our particular ‘southern hemisphere’ part of the world,9 “pervaded as it is by glorious creativity” (Kaufman 2004:127).

1.  My personal web site can be found at:  <www.rexaehuntprogressive.com>
2.  Hal Taussig in his soon to be published book on Grassroots progressive christianity, indicates that a progressive theology (among other things) affirms intellectual analysis and emotional expression.
3.  In 1983 the bush fires which swept through Western Victoria started on Ash Wednesday.
4.  Norman Habel’s web site for Season of Creation is:  <www.seasonofcreation.com>  It contains liturgies, sermon notes and studies.
5.  Michael Morwood’s excellent book Praying a new story offers non-anthropomorphic prayers.
6.  See John Beverly Butcher’s book, An uncommon lectionary for lectionary readings which also offer extra-canonical readings.
7.  Many of the recent books published by Bruce Prewer are most suitable in this regard.
8.  Ian Bradley in his book Colonies of heaven. Celtic models for today’s church, is supportive of a three-phrase paradigm for worship: celebration, lament and hope.
9.  I wish to claim our task is more than just interpreting the given ‘orthodox’ biblical tradition, creedal statements or worship traditions (restate). It also requires us to be willing to think differently (rethink) now than in the past.

Some resources which have helped shape this article:
Alleluia Aotearoa. Hymns and songs for all churches. 1993. NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Bell, J. L.  2000. The singing thing. A case for congregational song. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Benedict, D.  2005. "Shouldn't presiding at the table be as good as preaching in the pulpit?" in Lumicon eNewsletter, July, 3-6, Web site.
Best, D. C.  2005. ...from under the bench. NZ: Wellington. Steele Roberts Ltd.
Faith forever singing. New Zealand hymns and songs for a new day.  2000.  NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Ferguson, G.; J. Chryssavgis. 1990. The desert is alive. Dimensions of Australian spirituality. VIC: Melbourne. JBCE.
Fisher, J; J. Wood.  (ed)  1993.  A place at the table. Women at the last supper.  VIC: Melbourne. JBCE.
Funk, R.  2005. "Editorial" in The Fourth R 18, 1, 2, 20.
Norman Habel  <www.seasonofcreation.com>
Kaler, A. K. 1990. "Liturgy as storytelling. An interview with Andrew Greeley" in Modern Liturgy 17, 4, 15-17.
Kaufman, G. D.  2004.  In the beginning... creativity. MN: Minneapolis. Fortress Press.
Loehr, Davidson. 2000. “Salvation by character: How UU’s can find the religious center” in Journal of Liberal Religion 1, 2, 1-14 (PDF).
Malone, P. (ed) 1999. Developing an Australian theology. NSW: Strathfield. St Pauls Publications.
Morwood, M.  2003.  Praying a new story. VIC: Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
McRae-McMahon, D. 1993.  Echoes of our journey. Liturgies of the people. VIC: Melbourne. JBCE.
Pratt, A.  Unpublished. “O river mother, spirit of creation”. From the author.
Prewer, B. D. 1983. Australian prayers.  SA: Adelaide. Open Book Publishers.
Ranson, D. 1992. "Fire in water. The liturgical cycle in the experience of South East Australian seasonal patterns" in Compass Theology Review 26. (Photocopy in private circulation).
Searle, M. 1981. Liturgy made simple. MN: Collegeville. Liturgical Press.
Shea, J. 1978. Stories of God. An unauthorized biography. Ill: Chicago. Thomas More Press.
Shuck, J.  2005.  "What to preach? The challenge of the Jesus Seminar to contemporary homiletics". Westar Institute. Santa Rosa. Photocopy. In private circulation from the author.
Singing the journey. A supplement of Singing the living tradition.  2005.  MA: Boston. UUA.
Singing the living tradition.  1993.  MA: Boston. UUA.
Tacey, D.  2000.  Reenchantment. The new Australian spirituality. NSW: Sydney. HarperCollins.
Taussig, H. 2006. A new spiritual home. Progressive christianity at the grass roots. CAL: Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press.
Vogt, V. O. 1927.  Modern worship. New Haven. Yale University Press.
Wallace, W. L.  2001. The mystery telling. Hymns and songs for the new millennium. NY: Kingston. Selah Publishing.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, J Morley. (ed). 1995.  Celebrating women. New edition. Gt. Britain: London. SPCK.
White, J. F. 1976. Christian worship in transition. TN: Nashville. Abingdon.
Wieman, H. N. 1929.  Methods of private religious living.  NY: New York. The Macmillan Co.
Windross, A.  2001.  "Why bother to go to church?" in The Newsletter, The Centre for Progressive Christianity, Web site.