I Was Co-founder of SOAR


Back in the 70’s, the evangelical world had still left almost all expressive worship to the charismatic arm of the church.  Over the years we’ve opened up a lot in more and more churches, though not all.Back then, our ministry pretty much toed the line—arms stayed down.But there were a few of us who felt constrained by that.  Maybe we were more emotional, or expressive, or even mystical.Doug and I, later joined by Marilyn and a few others, with some trepidation, decided to be a little bold.  Not too much, just a little.So we formed S.O.A.R.:  The Secret Order of Arm Raisers.When it was time for worship, we made sure we were in the back, as inconspicuous as possible.  Our gestures were pretty subdued at first—we didn’t want to draw attention to ourselves.Slowly our courage increased and we lifted our hands whenever a song said to—such freedom!  And then whenever we felt like it!Our worship engagement pretty much followed the suggestions from Tim Hawkins in this skit, though over a longer period of time.


Of course, worship is wide open now. SOAR has been defunct for at least two decades.  I worship as freely as I feel and desire.  Though I haven’t gotten into the jumping—I might fall or have an asthma attack.

Maybe it’s time for a new SOAR: Secret Order of Authentic Reformers, or Secret Order of Abolitionist Revisionists or Secret Order of Artistic Radicals….What about you?  What SOAR would you start?

C2013 Judy Douglass