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Hallo again to all.

Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band CoverWe have just returned home, after a stressful week at our day jobs, from watching the film Avengers: Infinity War. This superhero romp brings together characters from throughout the Marvel Comics publishers' world  to fight against a 'big bad enemy'.  Some of these characters have appeared together in the past, for others, this was their first time together, creating a 'crossover' plot. Crossovers are nothing new. In 1978 teenage detectives Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys first worked together, and in 1987 the prehistoric Flintstones and Jetsons from the future met in Hanna-Barbara's the Jetsons Meet the Flintstones,* among many other times when beloved characters from different worlds have met.

This week has brought about talk of another sort of crossover: the musical works of the performer Beyoncé Knowles-Carter were brought into the context of a Eucharist at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, USA on 25 April. This occurred as part of a joint offering of  an urban ministry called The Vine (separate from the Cathedral's standard services) and San Francisco Theological Seminary's† 'Beyoncé and the Holy Bible' course.  The ecumenical service brought nearly one thousand people to the cathedral in this diverse city, drawing both support and skepticism.

Fifteen years ago the U2charist was first held, which became common in various parts of the Anglican world for nearly a decade. Though, a contrast by some commentators of the intentionality of the compositions has been made.

Religion is often part of our popular culture. Anglican clerics and liturgy in particular are often seen in books and television. It is more controversial, of course, when the reverse occurs. The 1992 film Sister Act looked at this phenomenon from a secular standpoint, while many others have decried the cheapening of our liturgy and praise of God.

Has your parish embraced any 'pop culture' influences? From Dr. Whocarists, to the singing of You Raise Me Up as a communion anthem, new religious verses to the late Leonard Cohen's ballad Hallelujah, and video clips shown during sermons, how have you witnessed popular culture in worship? Do you believe it was successful? Where do you believe to be the line between relevancy and shallowness? Write us a letter.

See you next week.

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All of us at Anglicans Online

29 April 2018

*For a more complete list of crossovers, see:
†Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church

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