Norberg brings together her knowledge of pastoral care, psychology, and liturgical tradition to propose something new – the personal liturgy that bridges the gap between faith and therapy.
Norberg understands the question asked by many Christians engaged in counseling, therapy, and 12-step groups: How can the church honor the individual’s profound experience of struggle and change? Is there any way to connect one’s unique and maybe not-so-holy journey with church tradition? Yes, she answers. The personal liturgy is a brilliant way to integrate the sacred struggles of inner work with the rituals of corporate worship. The resulting services for healing and wholeness are intimate, honest, and deeply transformative.
Norberg’s image of God as a compassionate healer is borne out in her theology of the “ad hoc church” – the congregation of close friends who participate with the celebrant in the personal liturgy. These services are faith in action – celebrants bury real hatchets, break forth from actual bondage, and pour gallons of cleansing waters. Norberg details over two dozen personal liturgies she has designed and led, honoring such events as finding one’s true vocation, recovering from illness, giving up false hopes, and receiving one’s first set of car keys.
Gathered Together is a wise, creative work that will prompt pastors to try new healing ministries and laypersons to ask more boldly for the needed bridge between personal journey and church life.
- pastoral counselors, clergy, and spiritual directors who work with faith-based healing and wholeness