By Pastor Dennis Hendricksen
Mysterium began with a dream, or perhaps it was a vision. Very early in the morning on Sunday July 24, 2005 I found myself wide awake. Since I was about to lead two worship services later that day I knew I needed to get back to sleep. Waking up in the middle of the night is not a common occurrence for me, I wondered how I could settle my mind so I could fall back to sleep. I remembered a technique for such occasions that my wife told me she uses — she would pray, offering intercessions on behalf of all the people she could think of. By focussing her mind on prayer her thoughts would stop spinning around and soon she would be back asleep.
So I began to pray, thinking of all the people in my congregation and life that were struggling with various concerns, saying a silent prayer for each of them. After a while of this I began to drift off when suddenly, in my mind’s eye, was picture of a worship time, an image so completely formed that it startled me into full consciousness again. I remember thinking “this is some interesting stuff, I’ll have to remember it when I get up.” As I began to make a mental check list of all the things that were part of that vision I soon realised I had better get up right then and write it all down — there were simply too many details to trust I would remember everything later. So I got out of bed, went down to my office, fired up the computer and proceeded to type a page and a half of notes. With that accomplished I went back to bed, and fell fast asleep.
Later that day, when I went back to read what I had typed early in the morning I was amazed at how everything seemed to make sense and fit together. There were some elements that could be attributed to my worship experiences at places like the Qu’appelle House of Prayer, or various Youth Gatherings I’ve been part of, but much of what I had seen in my mind’s eye was unique. Over the next number of weeks I talked about these things with some creative and gifted people from my congregation. Their conversations affirmed in me the need to put this Mysterium worship experience together.
Through my reading and dialog with others I came to understand that Mysterium could be described as Emergent Worship — a new form of worship that blended ancient and future elements. This was made clear when I read Dan Kimball’s book Emerging Worship which described much of what I had come to believe Mysterium was to be. Since then I have read many books and explored many websites about experiential worship, incorporating the relevant learnings from these sources into the formation of Mysterium.
Right from the very beginning I knew that if Mysterium was to happen it would require a team of creative people working together. I put the word out, and was delighted by the enthusiastic response of people who are now part of the Mysterium Team. This group continues to explore how Mysterium can improve and expand. It is a process, it is a journey, it is an unfolding mystery.