Sunday Assembly: Sunday assembly is centered around our single worship service at 9:30 AM. Our worship service focuses on celebration, with music, ensembles, rotating liturgies, communion, children’s time, lessons, and a reflection on the lessons from scripture. Following coffee fellowship in the gathering space, we continue the morning with Sunday Learning Place, Adult Forum, and confirmation ministry.
Worship Style: Regardless of the music we use in worship, our Sunday morning celebrations follow the general flow of the Christian liturgical tradition: starting with an opening time to prepare our hearts in confession, a call to worship, or a remembrance of baptism. Song and prayer is followed by the reading of the lessons assigned for the day. After a sermon or reflection and silence, the response to the lessons is marked by the sharing of an ancient creed, offerings, and prayers. The Christian meal remembers the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. And then we take our leave with a time for benediction.
Since Easter of 2007, the congregation has been using Evangelical Lutheran Book of Worship to shape its worship and hymn singing. We have used all ten settings of the liturgy as well as additional worship resources.
Approaching the Bible: Music and hymns are chosen to reflect the themes developed in the lessons read from the Bible. As a member congregation of the ELCA, these are assigned each Sunday by the Revised Common Lectionary. The lectionary is a set of assigned readings used by many denominations, including Lutherans, for public reading each week during worship.
The cycle of readings repeats every three years. Each week in worship we read one lesson from the Hebrew Scriptures, one lesson from the letters of the New Testament, and one lesson from the Gospel stories of the life of Jesus. The lessons often follow a sequential pattern. For example, for several weeks we will read passages as we move through Matthew or Romans. Sometimes the lessons reflect the season of the church year such as Easter or Christmas. Often the lesson from the Hebrew Scripture and the lesson from the Gospel story of the life of Jesus have a similar theme. If you are interested in more about how the lessons are developed, check out the lectionary material at the Library of the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University.