We’re building a new Sunday evening worship service which will begin on Sunday, December 6, and continue every Sunday at 5:00pm.
Why are we doing this? You and I both know that we find ourselves in a different cultural world. While our current worship service at St. Jacob’s serves our present community very well, we know it isn’t the best fit for many others. We believe there is an opportunity to create a new kind of worship experience that people in Harrisonburg have not experienced before.
What will this service be like? Here are three concepts that express our vision:
- Ancient Tradition – Sunday Night Gathering is rooted in the ancient liturgical tradition of the Christian Church, following a pattern of Gathering-Word-Meal (Communion)-Sending. We are part of a living body of faith that traces its roots back to Jesus and his apostles. In other words, we’re not just making this up as we go. We’re connected to the rest of Christ’s Church.
- Current Thinking – We are innovating within the tradition. Sermons will begin with a short reflection from the pastor, but will mostly consist of guided discussion. We will be talking about our lives today and the most current issues facing our community and the global community. We will sing very new songs as well as some very old songs. Our pastor will play his role, but all will be invited into various ways to lead worship, as they feel called.
- Timeless Grace – As a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we are committed to a theology of God’s unconditional grace and love for all in Jesus Christ.
What about kids? All children are very welcome – wiggles, giggles, and all. There will be a play area set up in the rear of the worship space, although kids can actively participate in pretty much all of worship. It’s there though for when they need a break!
Is this “contemporary worship?” Not exactly. Like we say above, it’s rooted in the ancient tradition so we will use the traditional pattern of Lutheran worship, but with different kinds of prayers, songs, and a more discussion-based sermon. There will be Holy Communion every Sunday. We will sing some contemporary praise songs, but with an eye to make sure the words are faithful to our beliefs. We’ll also sing songs that are a thousand years old or more. There will be a great variety of music, with the highest priority placed on songs that are singable and help us all worship together.
You could help build something new. We are gathering a new group of individuals and families who will make this their own and shape it together. We know that considering something like this will take time, thought, and prayer, but we pray you might join us on Sunday, December 6, at 5:00pm.