I am Dr. Christopher Montgomery, O.S.L. I hold degrees in music, theology, and liturgy from Baptist, Reformed, and Anglican institutions. I am a member of a religious order dedicated to sacramental spirituality and liturgical scholarship, and an ordained minister in the Mennonite Church, the progressive wing of Anabaptism in the United States. I am ecumenical, theologically liberal, and generous in my approach to understanding God and faith. For 15 years I was a pastor in evangelical and Anabaptist congregations. Now, I am a writer and scholar-practitioner in Christian worship living in South Dakota.
I believe that worship is a craft that requires apprenticing and skill. It comes to be after sustained, imaginative engagement at the hands of skilled artisans, led by Jesus. The assembly, as it exists in a variety of contexts, is a diverse group with diverse gifting and abilities. All who gather in the assembly for worship are its artisans. The work of worship planners, ministers, and celebrants is to encourage and empower the assembly to engage deeply with the mystery of God, to be drawn fully into the whole story of God, and to imagine the world as it should be. Then, the assembly is apprenticed by Jesus in its particular skills and trades so that the work of worship, and the liturgy beyond the liturgy, begins to take shape.