Sunday, August 25, 2019

Informal Worship was a Success; But Discussion Afterwards Points to
Items which Need Fixing

SLI, AUG. 25, 2019 UPDATED -- The morning service was very different to that which we had grown accustomed. There was no printed Order of Worship, no use of organ nor piano, no hymns, no prelude or postlude, no printed prayers, just leaders we trusted to lead us into the presence of God. Doug Wilson and Paul Robinson did an excellent job of leadership and Paul's message was moving and inspirational.

There were several common themes that came up in the discussion this morning following the "informal" worship service. The Spiritual Life Committee wanted to hear particularly from worshipers who are not a part of the Committee. This is because the Committee must meet tomorrow morning to formulate a worship plan for next Season that will meet as many needs as possible while being open to welcoming others and new ideas.

The following are four common themes which kept coming up in different forms during the discussion this morning which followed Worship:

(1) An Order of Worship is essential; it doesn't have to be in detail, but at least a basic outline from which creative ways of doing acts of worship can emerge.

(2) Music is essential in Christian worship; hymns and praise songs express feelings responding to life experiences that are then nurtured by words of faith and hope. Even the prelude prepares the mind and heart to be in a state of preparation to become part of the community about to worship God. The postlude signals a joyous sound that makes it clear--time to head to fellowship time (or elsewhere if necessary).

(3) Part of the protestant experience is to expand on the sense of worship by developing a sense of need for one another--a real sense of family or community. Coffee hours and refreshments are more important for the opportunities of the strength we gain from others and knowing others than from a need for physical nourishment. Some choose to talk briefly about a sermon point to see how others might go about responding to the good news. People want a summer church experience, not a detached service of miscellaneous acts of worship developed and performed by a worship committee trying to fill the program requirements of other leadership.

(4) A paid chaplain is the best way to accomplish this sense of church, especially when illness or other needs develop and folks then know to whom they can go or call. A chaplain should not be seen as one who promotes any one denomination. "Chaplain" by its definition, particularly in campus ministry and in military ministry, must be inclusive in one's attitude and approach since they will encounter almost every conceivable representation of faith or non-faith while seeking to serve those in need. 

(5) One individual in referencing the survey question page distributed last Sunday, said that the option of having just three (3) services during a season would not be acceptable to her. Others shook their heads in agreement and other comments were received about weekly worship being vital in accomplishing the basic purposes of worship.

We plan to bring you a report from the Committee's work in the morning.

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