The Writing Work of the People

Liturgical Writing as Spiritual, Theological, and Prophetic Work

Jill Y. Crainshaw

Aug/2021, 160 Pages, Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781640654013



Invites readers to use their own voices to enliven personal and collective worship.

What ideas, hopes, dreams, and laments do the words of worship stir in our hearts and minds? What images of God swirl up out of our communal prayers and hymns to shape what we believe and who we are as people of faith? We know that words can heal and draw us together, or words can hurt and divide. Christian communities proclaim and embody this wisdom each time we celebrate God’s Word made flesh in Jesus.

Words for worship that arise from worshiping communities themselves, that give voice to their particular laments and joys, hold an oft-overlooked power. These communal words are both shaped by and spiral out to speak to global concerns.

Leaders and worshipers in differing contexts write and speak in a wide variety of ways. As such, this book is for pastoral leaders, chaplains, and other ministers who imagine, craft, and offer worship words for each Sunday—and in the diversity of everyday moments.

JILL Y. CRAINSHAW is Professor of Worship and Liturgical Theology at Wake Forest University School of Divinity and serves as University Ombuds for both Wake Forest and the UNC School of the Arts. The author of many books and articles, including When I in Awesome Wonder: Liturgy Distilled from Everyday Life and They Spin with Their Hands: Women’s Ordination Rites: Renewing God’s Story with God’s People, she is also a published poet. Crainshaw is a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (US). She lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

“This book breathes with Abundant Life . . . . Crainshaw is unapologetic about the divine power of the biblical and liturgical words we inherit and invites the reader to consider if these sacred words are the seeds of our own speech and life.”—The Rev. Dr. Tricia Lyons, Senior Advisor to the Dean for Evangelism Formation, Virginia Theological Seminary

“Jill Crainshaw guides her readers through the centrality of words within the Word, the requirement of poetic space over literal definition for mystery, and the benefits of the spiritual exercise of writing words of prayer to draw us into the ongoing dynamic creativity of God.”—The Revd. Canon Lizette Larson-Miller, PhD, Canon Precentor, Diocese of Huron, Huron-Lawson Professor Huron at Western

“Part memoir, part teacher and guide, The Writing Work of the People is a necessary companion particularly to those of us who craft, curate, and lead words in worship.”—The Revd. Eileen Scully, PhD, Director of Faith, Worship, and Ministry, The Anglican Church of Canada

“Thank you, Jill Crainshaw, for these inspiring words and helpful, concrete exercises that teach and support those who write now, and those who will be writing long after we are gone.”—Rev. Taylor W. Burton Edwards, ELCA pastor and Chair, The Consultation on Common Texts

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