The Art of Disruption

Improvisation and the Book of Common Prayer

Paul Fromberg

Apr/2021, 176 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781640653696



As the Church considers prayer book revisions, discover new ways of bringing prayer to life.

In many liturgical churches, it seems that the prayer book confines—more than frees—the transformational potential of worship. Drawing on his experience at St. Gregory of Nyssa, Paul Fromberg encourages us to question the assumption that there is a “right way” and a “wrong way” of using prayer books. Instead, he encourages readers to pay attention to doing worship well and engaging worshippers’ desire to be transformed.

This book is for those who plan and lead worship, as well as those who are curious about the ways that worship is transformative in people’s experience. Additionally, fans of St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church will discover more about the ways in which this ground-breaking congregation has engaged the work of liturgical disruption and trusted in the transformative potential of the liturgy for more than forty years.

Read an excerpt

PAUL FROMBERG is rector of St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco and president of the Board of The Food Pantry there. He teaches at Church Divinity School of the Pacific and for the Diocese of Minnesota, and consults with congregations. He is a speaker and liturgist for the Wild Goose and Greenbelt Festivals and a contributor to liturgical materials for the Episcopal Church. Fromberg and his husband live in San Francisco.

“By including absolutely everybody in the collaboration and valuing process over product, we can cross boundaries and learn to welcome the experience of the stranger. In stories of dance, song, silence, in seeing ourselves in another, we become congregations as communities of practice, continually being formed for the work in the world: making more love manifest.”
—Ana Hernandez, musician, author, and activist

“Paul Fromberg’s prayers and studies draw him toward loving and innovative group action. Here he savors a thousand perceptive decisions by worship leadership, some discrete, more open, many fresh. If you long to know joy alive within our Christian Church tradition, read this book.”
—Rick Fabian, author, Signs of Life

“Paul Fromberg has given us an incredible gift. Deeply rooted in the tradition of the prayer book, yet sensitive to the human and cultural realities in which we celebrate our rites, this is an important book for those who preside, those who assist them, and for everyone who seeks a deeper connection with the rites that shape us. Highly recommended.”
—J. Neil Alexander, Professor of Liturgy and Quintard Professor of Theology in the School of Theology of the University of the South

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  • Worship
  • liturgy
  • preaching
  • Book of Common Prayer
  • improvisation

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