Worship in Gratitude

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.

His love endures forever.  ~Psalm 136:1 (NIV)

We talk about worshiping in gratitude because we are so grateful to God for all things.  For loving us, forgiving us, and for bringing us together so we can worship him.   Gratitude is a way of life and definitely the way to worship.  

Our primary worship gathering is on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m.  All are welcome to join in rejoicing in the love of Jesus for all of God's creation.  We are what is called a liturgical church, so there is a pattern to our worship.  At first, to some, the pattern may be a little different than they are used to.  We include a lot of scripture in our worship because the word of God is important, and hearing and learning about it helps us have a better relationship with him and helps us become better people as we apply his wisdom to life today.  

We sing.  Some Sundays we sing songs that are centuries old and remind us of how God has been with us through the ages.  Other Sundays, we sing more contemporary songs.  We pray together for the world and one another and those who are oppressed, and we believe it gives God joy to hear many voices praying.  The people here don't put on airs, so neither does our worship.  We love God, and we want him to know it.

We have one service together. People wear what they feel most comfortable wearing, so don't worry about it. We are fairly certain that God does not care, either. The service is about 50 minutes long. When we are done, most of us gather together in a social hall where there is coffee and usually something very tasty to eat. We really enjoy sitting around together and talking. And eating. But some people don't always stay, and that's okay too.

About Our Worship and What We Do

During the Year

Our worship service has two parts. The Word of God during which we read scripture, hear a short message and pray for the people of the community and the world (and maybe for a better message next time!). The other part is what is commonly called "communion" through which we have more prayer and then share the bread and wine of Jesus together.  

The Episcopal Church follows a cyclic church year, and we use names and colors to help describe the various parts of the year.  It is all based on the life of Jesus Christ. It begins with what we call Advent, a period of time before Christmas so we can consider what life was like before he came to earth and look forward to the day the world was given this wonderful gift. The color for Advent is blue or purple. Christmas lasts 12 days (the color is white). The Epiphany which lasts six weeks and is signified by the use of green, follows Christmas. It is a season during which we celebrate that Jesus came to earth for all people and that he is always available to everyone.

Then Lent begins, and that is a time during which we consider whether or not we are living according to God's will and Jesus' summation of the commandments to love God with all our heart, mind and soul and to love our neighbor as ourself. The color for Lent is purple. We call the week preceding Easter Holy Week, and during it, we consider Jesus' sacrifice for us, the actions of the disciples during this time, and how we do not live up to our potential as God's children. The first day of this week, Palm Sunday, is a day on which we celebrate Jesus' triumphant ride into Jerusalem and then experience through a reading, the passion of Jesus Christ as he was unfairly "tried," went on his torturous walk to Calvary and was ultimately crucified. The color for this week is red. Easter, the day of his resurrection and the following Sundays of Easter are a time of great celebration in the church. Christ is risen, and we are his forever. The color is white. 

That season ends with Pentecost, the day on which the Holy Spirit came into the lives of Jesus' followers and then into all our lives. While the day of Pentecost is red (representing the tongues as of fire of the Holy Spirit), the season of Pentecost is green. It is often called ordinary time, and we use the season to especially recognize Jesus as our teacher as we continue to study his word, and as we seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.   

When this season is over, we begin again. There are lots of celebrations, feast days and acknowledgements in between, but this is an overview.