A Consuming Passion.. A cry against consumerism

Liturgy from The Other Late Late Service August 1996

In this service we created a space to be confronted by and to respond to consumerism. In a moment of TOLLS history we made a “Cash Cow” which we had build to destroy during the service. This has been one of the more memorable liturgies over the life and times of the TOLLS community… Every now and then during a conversation someone would say something like “did we end up throwing out the cash cow?” and one of us would go hunting for it’s remains hoping that we could use it again…

I wish that I took photos back then…

Most of the music with lyrics during this service were played from the Sticky Music Late Late Service CDs.

Before the service a ‘cash cow’ was made out of a small drum, a can and plastic water pipe for legs, all sprayed with gold.

Before 9pm: People arrive and go into Hope Hall, and the consumer gallery

At 9pm: 10 People let into worship area. (”Up” ambient music.)


Welcome Rant. ” This is not a youth event etc…. enjoy the music etc” Tonight’s theme is “consuming passion… a cry against consumerism”

The cash cow is carried in and placed on second table

Invitation to song and dance

Song: “Shine your Light� from Music From The Late Late Service 3

Proclamation: God has given us a lot of good things. Here are some of them. Let’s celebrate all of this now.

Dance music and Thank You slides are projected to the walls.

Proclamation: God has given us so many good things- all we need.

Proclamation: Consumerism is God’s provision gone feral, gone cancerous, gone greed!!!!!

Song: ” Shake This” by Blenderhead

Consumer poems (during the reading play ambient music)

Why the rich need the poor. ( by Steve Turner)

If you want to keep
going up in the world
you need someone
to stand on.

The God Letters ( by Steve Turner)

The Lord God says:
‘Share your bread
with the hungry,
bring the homeless poor
into your house,
cover the naked.’
Dear Lord God,
We have got
new carpets,
so this will
not be possible.

Poor ( by Steve Turner)

I thought I was poor.
I mean,
nowhere left
to stack the videos.
Then I realised,
there are people
in the world
who don’t even have shelves.

The Cash Cow (part 1)

We re going to have a time to think about consumerism and our relationship with God.

We’ve asked a few people to give their own thoughts before we invite you to break into small groups of about 5(where you are sitting) to spend 5 minutes discussing the issues raised by this conversation and the service so far.

At the end of the group discussion one member from your group will be invited to write a couple of things that summarise your discussion on the “cash cow”. (Need One Texta)

On the slide projector:

Statements about consumerism and God (words projected on slides in silence)

Instant Discussion.

At the end of the ambient track, a group of 4 (primed) people go to the centre of the room and have a discussion about consumerism, while everybody listens. About 3-5 minutes.

Break into groups and discuss issues raised by the poems and the conversation .

We are coming to the end of this time now. In a minute we would like one member from each group to come and write a couple of the most important things you have discussed on the ‘cash cow’.

Reading: Ezekiel 18: 5-9.

Suppose there is a truly good man who always does what is fair and right . He refuses to eat meat sacrificed to foreign gods at local shrines or to worship Isreal’s idols. He doesn’t have sex with someone else’s wife or with a woman having her monthly period. He never cheats or robs anyone and always returns anything taken as security for a loan; he gives food and clothes to the poor and doesn’t charge interest when lending money. He refuses to do anything evil; he is fair to everyone and faithfully obeys my laws and teachings. This man is good, and I promise he will live.

Prayers of Confession. During the prayer someone takes a long piece of wire and twists and bends it.

We have bought things we don’t really need.
This has hurt you, hurt others and hurt ourselves.
We have been more mesmerised by T.V advertisements than excited by your
promises of provision.
This has hurt you, hurt others and hurt ourselves.
We have tended to like other people for what they’ve got rather than for
who they are.
This has hurt you, hurt others and hurt ourselves.
We have been thirstier for the milk from the teats of the cash cow than
your love for us.
This has hurt you, hurt others and hurt ourselves.
We have worshipped other gods,
buildings rather than people
work rather than relationships
knowledge rather than love
political correctness rather than compassion
comfort and security rather than faith and risk
This has hurt you, hurt others and hurt ourselves.
We grieve for wholeness and are sorry for these sins.
Forgive us for twisted attitudes, values and action.


Someone straightens the wire that has been bent�

Song: “We love you more than these”

The beating of the ‘Cash Cow’

We invite you to demonstrate your rejection of the focus of consumerism and the god of capital by destroying the ‘cash cow’ out there . If you would like to make this demonstration please come to the centre and make one blow with the hammer.


The communion focussed on two perspectives…
- God’s provision for us (in communion)
- God’s offer of forgiveness to us through communion

During the communion play the song: “Bread of Heaven”

Notices and Prayers

In a moment we want to pray for ourselves and others. So we want to hear
about what we’re doing. (This is another way of saying ” it’s time for

Let us pray for the needs of those around us: our families, our
communities, our country and our world.

Pray where you are.

Slides of newspaper headlines.

Struggling On….

We have recognised God’s goodness in providing everything we need as a gift. We have cried out to God about the way human greed has twisted and abused these gifts. Our own relationship with God has been distorted. At worst Consumerism has become our god.

We have heard God’s call of compassion and accepted God’s forgiveness, symbolised by consumerism. We accepted God’s forgiveness, symbolised by communion. Now God calls us on to challenge consumerism in our daily lives. He calls us to struggle for wholeness, for ourselves and others.

Song: “Got to Struggle”

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