Frog Orr-Ewing on Nostalgia as a Spiritual Gift

In all this business of branding and nostalgia, the question is whether it is relevant to today. How does one live in the present while seeking to turn back to the past?

How much nostalgia is too much nostalgia?

We found an answer on the blog Notes from the Lilypad of London vicar Frog Orr-Ewing of All Saints Church, Peckham. Orr-Ewing writes:

In Europe we seldom worship in church buildings we have built, and so often wade through old hymn books, newsletters written by people we do not know, and dusty bibles whose archaic language fails to resonate with the young people in our church. When is something old something good, when should we retain, and when should we discard?

Reading old hymn books or old devotional books can be like this, we can get the sing song cadences, even if the tune is not known to us, and a clear sense of churches and believers singing these songs in previous generations. For us in London, who often worship in churches planned, built and maintained for several generations before we are born, this seldom escapes us.

The reality? The old stuff isn’t satisfying on its own. It has to come out of a good place. It has to be real, and has to be relevant to the present.

While Orr-Ewing is speaking of Christianity, the larger point is that it any “discovery of the unchangeable” comes only from a pure intent.

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