Dear friends, in response to what I have been feeling over the last several months and some of the feedback from our gathering last week on worship, we have made some changes to our weekly order of worship. This is an order I am very comfortable with. I believe it will give us the best opportunity to fulfill the goals for worship that are stated below.
These goals come from many years of experience and input from members of our church.The different elements of worship are in the bold type.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Steve Nofel
Goals for Worship.
Give all praise and honor, glory and power to God. We offer ourselves to God and are equipped to serve God’s service in the world.
In worship, we realize and celebrate together that Jesus Christ is with us in a unique and special way, and the Holy Spirit is in our midst transforming and empowering us.
In worship we Hear the Word in Scripture, Receive the Word in Sacrament, Discover the Word in the church and each other, and are Sent to follow the Word into the world.
We call God by name, invoke God’s presence, beseech God in prayer, and stand before God in silence. Our goal is bow before God, lift hands and voices in praise. Focus our hearts, souls, strength, and minds, to give praise and adoration to God.
God has provided a rhythm of seasons which orders life and the church’s worship. The Church Year is normally patterned after the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It also includes the ever-sustaining gift of the Holy Spirit.
The church year begins with Advent, a season to recollect the hope of the coming of Christ, and to look forward to the Lord’s coming again. The colors for Advent are purple or blue.
Christmas Season – a celebration of the birth of Christ. White
Lent – a season of spiritual discipline and preparation, beginning with Ash Wednesday, anticipating the celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ. Purple
Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) – a time of remembrance and proclamation of the atoning suffering and death of Jesus Christ. Red
Easter – the day of the Lord’s resurrection and the season of rejoicing which commemorates his ministry until his Ascension, and continues through Pentecost. White
Pentecost Season – the celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. Red
Following Pentecost Sunday, he Church has the option of moving into Ordinary Time. This is usually a focus on the earthly ministry of Jesus. This is a Green season.
We will stay in Pentecost Season for the next several months and decorate our sanctuary with Red. We need to invite, remember and celebrate the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives and in the life of our church.
Order of Worship – Listed on one side of Sunday handout
Prayer Corner Staffed
Specific people praying specifically and intentionally for our worshipers and our congregation throughout the service.
The people gather in response to God’s call, offering praise in words of scripture, prayer, and song. As we gather, we informally greet one another as members of the household of faith. The opening Scripture and music should helps us focus our attention on God and God’s kingdom.
Scripture / Welcome
What We Bring Before the Lord Today: Full of Quiet Moments
- News about the church and each other
- Our Needs – What are we asking God for this day
- Thoughts, Feelings, Emotions
- Joys to share
- Concerns for which we need intercession
- Confession / Pardon / Healing
On Prayer During Worship
We fulfill our calling to be “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts.” We are to uphold, pray for, intercede with God for each other, and lift each other up to God.
We try to seek to be open to the creativity of the Holy Spirit, who guides the church in worship which is orderly yet spontaneous, always open to the newness of God’s future while staying true to our basic beliefs.
Prayer is at the heart of worship. In prayer, through the Holy Spirit, we seek and find God. We call God by name, remember God’s gracious acts, and offer ourselves to God.
Our worship prayer takes many forms. In adoration we praise God for who God is. In thanksgiving we express gratitude for what God has done. In confession we acknowledge repentance for what we as individuals and as a people have done or left undone. In supplication we plead for ourselves and the gathered community. In intercession we plead for others, on behalf of others, and for the whole world. In self-dedication we offer ourselves to the purpose and glory of God.
Passing of the Peace
The people are invited to share signs of our constant forgiveness and the peace of Christ. In sharing the peace, we express the reconciliation, unity, and love that come only from God, and we open ourselves to the power of God’s love to heal our brokenness and make us agents of that love in the world.
The people sing praise to God which tells of God’s greatness, majesty, love, and goodness. Praise is the joyful response to the incomparable gift of God in Jesus Christ, and so is dominant in Christian worship. God is praised in song, for the gift of God’s grace brings joy.
Song is a response which engages the whole self in prayer. It is our greatest hope that song will unite us in common prayer. It is hoped song gives expression to what we are feeling as a worshiping people.
The Word – Scriptures are read and their message is proclaimed.
Time with the Young Disciples
Prayer of Illumination
This prayer seeks the illumination of the Holy Spirit and calls upon God to make us receptive to the life-giving Word, which comes to us through the scripture.
Response to the Word
In response to God’s love in Jesus Christ we offer God our lives, our gifts, our abilities, and our material goods for God’s service.
Other acts of self-dedication may be made. These include an act to discipleship, an opportunity to renew personal commitment to Christ through confession of faith.
The sacraments are a response to the Word proclaimed.
Self-Offering of our Lives and our Gifts
The offering of material goods in worship expresses thanksgiving to God, the giver of life and all goods. It affirms our commitment to be good stewards of all creation; our responsibility to share the Word; care for people; and provide resources to share God’s gifts with in the world.
Instrumental Music, Musicians receive elements before playing
Prayer after Communion
SENDING – The people are sent forth with God’s blessing to serve.