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“Or” – the Board Game

board game“Or”, the board game, has simple rules. But can take a lifetime to master (sorry – “to mistress”).

The board consists of the parishes and ministry units of New Zealand Anglicanism, the Anglican Church of Or.

To move along the board one can only move to an adjoining square if both parishes used a same reading at the Sunday service. You throw dice to find where you start on the board, and again where you are to conclude, and then you find a route by adjoining parishes that use the same reading to get from starting point to the ending point. Can be played by one or more players. The phone app is being developed.

UPDATE: People are demanding their money back – they find the game impossible to play. They are lucky if they can find two adjoining parishes that use the same reading. The production of the app has been halted indefinitely.

Sunday June 2 parishes and ministry units used any of the following:

  • The internationally, ecumenically agreed Luke 7:1-10
  • Or Te Pouhere Sunday – A celebration of the Constitution of this Three-Tikanga (three cultural streams) Anglican Church (Maori; Pakeha; Polynesia) using John 15:9-17 or Matt 7:24-29 or Luke 6:46-49 or John 17:6-26 (not in any rotation – just pick the reading you like)
  • Or Sundayising Corpus Christi and using the Church of England’s John 6:51-58
  • Or Sundayising Corpus Christi and using the RC Luke 9:11-17
  • Or Following a series [Over some weeks starting at Mark 9 and then just stopping at another random spot, and now a series of themed sermons]
  • Or I can’t tell yet on the parish website what was used this Sunday, but the Day of Pentecost was celebrated with Mark 2:1-12
  • Or
  • I notice, yet again, that about a third of the parishes where I am looking online for what they read on Sunday do not have a website! Those that do have websites have encouraging up-to-date notices like “Christianity Explored is back for 2011”!!! [You know I may have a weird mind – but I seriously could not make this stuff up!]

I am not in favour of themed Sundays. I am committed to our ecumenically, internationally agreed three year lectionary.

If you want to celebrate AAW Sunday, Youth Sunday, Disabilities Awareness Sunday, Refugees Sunday, etc. do it with the agreed three year readings. If you cannot find a message about women, youth, disabilities, refugees – or cultural streams, in the set readings – you need better training and formation. Add it in the hymns and prayers. Do some of the set readings in Te Reo Maori, Fijian, Hindi, Samoan, Tongan,…

One (overseas) church, I saw on their website, was celebrating Youth Sunday. They did not depart from the set readings – they had a different young person preach at each of their four services.

How easy, if Three Tikanga was what you wanted to focus on, it would have been to preach from the gospel set for Sunday (Luke 7:1-10) about Jesus’ attitude to the variety of cultures in his land!

Those parishes and ministry units that systematically and obstinately break their verbal and signed vows to follow the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), and even complain of the way that the RCL is constructed – I have yet to see them produce anything that remotely approximates what the RCL gives us. One Anglican parish had as the Easter Day reading Acts 10:39-43. Another Anglican parish’s Easter Day reading was 1 Peter 3:18-22. Christmas Service: 2 Corinthians 8:9.

Many have now missed the start of Paul’s letter to the Galatians which internationally, ecumenically we are all reading for the next six weeks! What a loss for those who abandon our agreement and instead use theme readings that we read together at other times.

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7 Responses to “Or” – the Board Game

  1. Love it! But you haven’t factored in the pew sheet element – Sunday 2 June we (read me) ‘mistakenly’ printed and therefore read the RELATED readings while the vicar was expecting TE POUHERE readings. His sermon fit in any case but I agree that OR is a very confusing game to play.

    • A wonderful example, thanks Fi, of what happens regularly in the Anglican Church of Or. Visiting preachers, especially, are regularly arriving prepared with a sermon based on one reading only to find that the community is using another – even those that follow RCL regularly omit anything from 1-3 of the texts provided. The great skill of a preacher, of course, is to get from the biblical text to what s/he REALLY wants to preach on in one paragraph. NZ has great preachers 😉 Blessings.

  2. As this is about NZ it does not really concern me. I am sure much the same happens here particularly with the Diocese of Sydney. On other hand I have this nagging thought that relevance is more significant than following the rules, The Sunday was made for people etc. Most times this parish follows liturgical calendar but occasionally not. For instance on Sunday nearest May day we transferred Eucharist to this town’s old trades hall and used a Mayday mass from St.Nartin in the Fields, celebrated Conrad Noel and sang to Thaxted “Let streams of living justice flow down upon the earth.” As one of instigators some yearsago I suppose i would support it. And we had many more than our usual 10.30 Sunday.
    And to be honest many sermons I hear based on fixed liturgical readings are forced, irrelevant,boring

  3. I find it very difficult to pull myself away from the RCL texts. My experience has been that Lutherans here are pretty faithful in sticking to the RCL week after week. Many churches purchase pre-printed bulletins with the RCL readings on one side, the other blank for local service orders and announcements. In each of my three parishes I have re-intriduced the psalm (which is often cut out for a hymn) and I am looking to have us start chanting the psalms too.

    As I am called upon to provide brief devotions or to lead services in other settings throughout the week, I am more often than not, defaulting to the RCL appointed texts. I cannot help but live and work within the liturgical year and feel the rhythm of church seasons. Sharing the texts for the coming Sunday helps and me that those I meet with in committees meetings, services groups, in extended care homes to prepare for Sunday worship. They are the texts that I leave and breathe week in and week out, and they help us as a church to locate ourselves in time. Departing from the RCL would feel almost like removing every time piece and calendar from life and simply making each Sunday about whatever our fancy is that week. Being bound by a set of texts that are determined for us also means that scripture starts to shape us as we encounter so much more than our hobby horses or favourite passages or bible verses that support our chosen themes.

    In any case, the one time of year that we do depart from the RCL is for Reformation Sunday (the last Sunday in October), yet, as Lutherans, we do so more or less denominationally. I don’t know if it makes it right, but it is one of our particularities.

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