Worship With Us
Sundays @ 10:30 a.m. CST
Arc of Worship
Our goal is to engage the Arc of Worship with imagination, innovation, beauty, and love.
“Worship is the ‘imagination station’ that incubates our loves and longings.” (Smith, 85)
Through the arc of worship, God invites Christians to participate in His grand story of redemption. Every Sunday, worship reminds us of how God interacts with us and the world. As we gather, we are reminded that God graciously initiates relationship with us, inviting us to confess sins and receive grace. The church then participates in God’s story by listening and responding, communing and giving thanks. Finally, God invites the church to live out our part of His glorious story as a sent people, a people on mission with Jesus.
“The drama of redemption told in the Scriptures is enacted in worship in a way that makes it ‘sticky.’ Study and memorization are important, but there is a unique, imagination-forming power in communal, repeated, and poetic cadences of historic Christian worship.” (You Are What You Love, Smith, 84)
“Christian worship doesn’t just teach us how to think; it teaches us how to love, and it does so by inviting us into the biblical story and implanting that story into our bones.” (Smith, 85)
Call to Worship
Worship “unfolds with a call to worship, reminding us that God is the gracious initiator here, echoing our being called into existence by the Creator…. A church that begins with a call to worship has already received word from the God who is active in worship and wants us there. This framing of Christian worship is countercultural, displacing the priority of self and desire to have the world available on our terms.” (Smith, 96)
“Having been called to God’s holy presence and greeted by his grace, we become aware of his holiness and our sinfulness and thus are led into a time of confession—a communal practice whereby we come face-to-face with our sins of both commission and omission, with our disordered desires and our complicity in unjust systems. What is lost when we remove this chapter from so many gatherings that purport Christian worship? We lose an important, counterformative aspect of the gospel that pushes back on secular liturgies. The practice of confession is a crucial discipline for reforming our lives.” (Smith, 97)
Word of Grace
“There is never a moment of confession that isn’t immediately met with the announcement of the good news of forgiveness and absolution. The good news of forgiveness is its own countercultural (and hence counterformative) practice that pushes back on the hopelessness and despair of a consumer gospel that can offer only goods and services, not true peace.” (Smith, 97)
Children’s Moment (purposeful inclusion of children)
“The unique spiritual benefits of all ages worshiping together are lost when segmented populations worship exclusively; among these spiritual benefits are a deep sense of belonging and the blessing of participating in the spiritual journey of those across the age spectrum.” (Intergenerational Christian Formation, Allen and Ross, 195)
Reading and Preaching of Scripture
“This includes hearing the announcement of his law or will for our lives, which is not a burdensome yoke we try to “keep” in order to earn our salvation – we’ve already been reminded that we are forgiven. We listen as we hear God’s Word proclaimed, another opportunity for us to make the biblical story our story, to see ourselves as characters in the drama of redemption.” (Smith, 97)
The Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer, in addition to other prayers, is an acknowledgment that all true prayer is a gift from the Spirit. To pray a universal prayer at the end of the prayers of the people is to again unite the body in a formative experience – highlighting the truth that all, not just the pastor, are empowered and instructed to pray.
Confessional Statements such as The Apostles’ Creed
These responsive statements offer active declarations of what the church believes, a counter to the current culture that does not acknowledge universal truth. It is a privilege and gift to freely speak our confessional statements.
- “What the Creed means is that we trust God, that we are willing to stake our lives on God, just as a child jumping off a ledge stakes her life on her father.” (The Apostles Creed, Justo L. González, 11)
- “The naming of God as Father both affirmed the power and authority of God and limited the power and authority of earthly fathers-in ancient Rome, of the paterfamilias. It even had subversive overtones, questioning or at least limiting and relativizing the authority of those whom the existing social order had placed above many confessing the faith. I may be a slave or a wife ordered to be submissive to the head of my household with a very different – and much more powerful – head. (González, 16)
- “No wonder, then, that the Creed was not taught to believers until they had proven their faithfulness and commitment over a long period and were ready to be baptized! At this point, they had to decide whether they would confess this Almighty Father – even though this may prove costly in actual life, perhaps even provoking the wrath of those who had ‘fatherly’ authority over them.” (González, 16)
“This culminates in our communing with God and with one another. We are invited to sit down for supper with the Creator of the universe.” (Smith, 98)
We also give thanks through the act of giving, the offering. This is an act of “resistance” to the consumerism of the world. (Sabbath as Resistance, Brueggemann, 21)
The definition of eucharist is the act of giving thanks, thanksgiving. Each week, we offer thanks through a prayer of thanksgiving. Each month we participate in the Lord’s Supper, the eucharist.
- “To bring the sacrifice of thanksgiving means to sacrifice our understanding of what is beneficial and thank God for everything because He is benevolent. A sacrifice of thanks lays down our perspective and raises hands in praise – always. A sacrifice is, by definition, not an easy thing – but it is a sacred thing. There it is: We give thanks to God not because of how we feel but because of who he is.” (One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp, 24)
Allen, Holly Catterton and Christine Lawton Ross. Intergenerational Christian Formation: Bringing the Whole Church Together in Ministry, Community and Worship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2012.
Brueggemann, Walter. Sabbath As Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2014.
González, Justo L. The Apostles’ Creed for Today. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007.
Smith, James K. A. You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Brazos Press, 2016.
Voskamp, Ann. One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2012.
Benediction and Sending
“The sending at the end of worship service is a replay of the original commissioning of humanity as God’s image bearers because in Christ – and in the practice of worship – we can finally be the humans we were made to be. So we are sent out in inhabit that sanctuary of God’s creation as living, breathing “images” of God…. Thus worship concludes with a benediction that is both a blessing and a charge to go, but to go in and with the presence of the Son, who will never leave us or forsake us – to go in peace and serve the Lord.” (Smith, 98-99)