Friday, September 01, 2006

Come, Let Us Worship!

Gathering together in worship is what makes my heart sing. And to do so at Shell Ridge causes my heart to sing all the more! This is why I was truly delighted when the Council asked me to take on a larger role in planning worship and providing spiritual growth opportunities at Shell Ridge over the next year.

One of the most common questions I’m asked when folks find out I’m a Baptist studying liturgy is: Why?! It’s a fair question! Many Baptists will be quick to tell you that we are nonliturgical. By this we mean we have a lot of freedom when it comes to worship. We don’t use prayer books. Our orders of worship are not set in stone. We tend to value extemporaneous prayer over written prayers. We can try new practices on for size and jettison old ones that don’t speak to us anymore.

This is precisely one of the big reasons why studying worship as a Baptist makes sense! With great freedom comes great responsibility. And Baptists truly have a great responsibility, indeed, to learn what we can about why we worship the way we do, what meanings we find in worship, how we come to know God in worship, and how worship affects the way we are as Christians in the world.

As you begin the new year at Shell Ridge the Worship Ministry Team invites you to consider joining us in planning worship throughout the year. We would love to have you join the team either for the entire year or for a short-term commitment to plan a special season or service. Also, if you have any interest in serving as worship leader please let Karen DeWeese or me know! The more people we have involved in the planning and leading of worship, the more organic (and fruitful!) our worshipping together will be.

Also, we are always interested to hear how you are experiencing worship, what you value about worshipping together, as well as if something isn’t working for you. We are eager to have the lines of communication open!

There are also plans in the works for an exciting and engaging year of Adult Sunday school and small group study opportunities. Any ideas or thoughts you may have about these occasions are more than welcome!

We are truly excited about the upcoming year at Shell Ridge. The Spirit of God is moving among us. May we open ourselves to God’s gentle fire!

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