Home > Uncategorized > As a Community of Faith…WE WORSHIP

As a Community of Faith…WE WORSHIP

This week’s blog reflection is on WORSHIP!  One of the phrases I incorporated from ministry in Aotearoa New Zealand was Bishop Tom Brown’s description of the Diocese of Wellington…As people of faith, we worship, we proclaim, we teach, we serve, we care!  I amended the phrase upon reflection and added…we witness!

Week after week, As a Community of Faith, we WORSHIP…offering our praise in Common Prayer to God…in the name of the Risen Christ and as always…in the power of the Holy Spirit.

I would like to focus first on the opportunities we have to worship weekly at St. Luke’s.  On Saturday evening at 5 p.m., you can be part of a more intimate community in a more contemporary setting…using Liturgical Material authorized by General Convention entitled Enriching Our Worship.  Some Saturdays we have 5 or 6 people…some Saturdays we have 25 to 30 people.  The setting allows for a more intentional conversation with one Lesson…typically the Gospel text.  If you come for worship at this time, you’ll be invited sometimes to read a lesson or lead us in the Prayers of the People.  Dress is casual including the Presider and at least three times a month, I play the guitar at the 5 p.m. Service.

On Sunday morning, we have two services.  The 8 o’clock Service is a spoken service using the Contemporary texts from The Book of Common Prayer 1979 except during the summer months when we use material from Enriching Our Worship. On average, we have about 30 people at the early service and depending upon the preacher, you may be asked to participate in a more communal reflection on the Scripture texts for the day.

The Second Service (10 a.m. during the School Year, 9:30 during the summer) always has a musical component as part of our worship.  We have just concluded a more than year long search for a Director of Music and are pleased that Mrs. Rosalie Alcoser has accepted our invitation to serve as our Director of Music and Organist.  She began on Sunday, 4 September!  During the School Year, members of the Chancel (Adult) Choir offer their many gifts in support of our Common Prayer.  Those in our choir strive to offer their best in singing which enhances our assembly’s desire to sing.  On occasion, a dedicated group of Bell Ringers add their gifts to our experience of worship.  We have been especially blessed during our recent search that Kit Vreeman and Margee Lichty came forward to rekindle an interest and offering in our Hand Bell Choir!  For several years, we were blessed with a group of Choristers, comprised primarily of Middle School Students under the direction of Jo-Anne Larson.  For a number of reasons, the Chorister Choir did not continue during the Search Process but we are considering the possibility of beginning a Chorister Choir again.  If you love to sing, I encourage you to contact Rosalie Alcoser and make plans to come for Choir Rehearsal, which happens every Thursday evening beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Our choir is a wonderful group of people who would welcome new voices to add to their beautiful sound!  If you would like to learn how to ring Hand Bells, please contact Rosalie Alcoser and Kit Vreeman and they will incorporate you into this growing ministry!

There are a host of others who offer their gifts as part of our Common Prayer and Worship…week after week.  We are blessed with some very dedicated women who serve under the leadership of Laurie Bale as members of the Altar Guild.  These selfless women serve on teams to prepare our worship spaces every weekend and also when there is a Funeral or Wedding or other special service.  This ministry is open to men as well and I would like to invite you to consider participating in this ministry.  We also have people who, week after week, bake the bread which is used for our Services of Holy Communion.  If you would like to participate in this ministry, please contact Laurie Bale.

There are a number of Liturgical Ministries which enhance our worship.  A few years ago, we introduced the ministry of Verger, a person who serves as a Master of Ceremony throughout the service.  Charlotte Clugston was the first person I asked to consider being trained as a Verger.  Charlotte has served St. Luke’s for so many years, particularly in guiding and training our Acolytes.  What would we do with her!  Clayton Arndt and Jay Bryant also serve as Vergers at St. Luke’s!  We are so blessed with dedicated young people who from the 4th grade, begin service as Acolytes at St. Luke’s.  They serve throughout the Program years as Torch Bearers…then moving after two years to Crucifer…then onto Master Server.  I encourage any young person who is old enough, to consider this important ministry of service.

Week after week, our worship is supported by the ministry of Lectors, people who read at least one of the Scripture Lessons each Sunday and lead us as our Intercessor in the Prayers of the People.  You do not have to vest, that is, were a robe to serve as a Lector and I invite you to consider this important ministry of proclaiming the scripture.  Trish Braga, who serves as the Chairperson for our Worship Committee, is responsible for training and scheduling our Lectors and Lay Eucharistic Ministers.  At every service of Holy Communion, we are blessed with persons who assist in the distribution of the consecrated bread and consecrated wine.  Most Sundays, our Lay Eucharistic Ministers vest and process in with the other Liturgical Ministers.  If you are interested in serving as a Lay Eucharistic Minister, please contact Trish Braga and we can arrange for your training.

Welcoming people among us is such an important ministry…and I believe as a community, we welcome people genuinely into our midst.  We need to enhance our GREETING MINISTRY by placing a greeter at both entrances who can serve to welcome and direct others.  Ivy Akogyeram is one of the best examples of this important ministry of greeting.  Linda Pagnano along with her sons, have also served in this important ministry.  If you are interested in serving as a Greeter, please let Trish Braga know!  Once welcomed, it is also important to provide direction during our worship through the ministry of Ushering.  Our Ushers are a vital link to making our experience of worship flow…encouraging people as they arrive, handing them a Service Bulletin, directing them to our Accessible Bathrooms, asking a person or members of a family to bring up the elements of Bread and Wine to the Altar Table.  One needs to be engaging for this ministry and if you are interested in serving as an Usher at either Sunday Morning Service, please let Mike Lutz know

Finally, while not directly a part of our Worship Experience, over the last 7 years, we have developed a Lay Eucharistic Visiting Ministry that has become an essential part of our Pastoral Care at St. Luke’s.  Every other Sunday, trained Lay Eucharistic Visitors come forward after communion, receive both forms of consecrated bread and consecrated wine and are sent forth to share these gifts with those connected to the Community of St. Luke’s but unable to join us for worship.  This is an important connecting ministry that YOU can participate in on a rotating basis just like all the other opportunities for ministry!  If you would like to be trained for this ministry please contact Lynn Lutz or Barbara Solbrig.

One of the distinguishing aspects of worship for Episcopalians is that we recognize, affirm and welcome all persons to offer their gifts as part of our Common Prayer!  So once again, I encourage you to consider participating in one or more of these ministries which serve to enhance our worship!

Your comments and especially your participation are most welcomed!

Every blessing,

Doug

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