Presentation on theme: "Faith and Public Worship. Public Worship – What do we mean? Some commonalities: 1.Community involvement 2.Interaction with God 3.Music (Corporate sound."— Presentation transcript:
Faith and Public Worship
Public Worship – What do we mean? Some commonalities: 1.Community involvement 2.Interaction with God 3.Music (Corporate sound and/or voice) 4.Word (Scripture + Reflection) 5.Cultic response/act (baptism, Lords Supper) 6.Sacrifice 7.Experience of God together
Focus on Christian Worship - Heritage Where did Public worship start? Jewish experience – sacrifices in the temple. Synagogues (Babylonian exile) Acts The first 120 learning from the Apostles, breaking of the bread, meeting in homes. Seeing to the needs of the poor. (check also Acts ; ) Pauls letters to churches 1 Corinthians 11. Letters in Revelation to 7 churches – communities gather to worship and minister
Heritage Grows Evolution of fixed forms begins very early Pliny the Younger in 110 CE: – Meet before dawn – Sing a hymn to Christ as God – Swear an oath against Theft and Adultery. Justin Martyr in about 155 CE – Memoirs of Apostles words of prophets are read – Presider makes a speech – All stand for common prayers – The Kiss of Peace is shared along with wine and water – Portions sent to those absent By 250 much more formalised
Hebrews – keep on meeting together! The form only opens the possibilities
How we connect with God varies
How to connect with God through what we have. We can all go where we want – this is not a lesson in how to critique what we have! How we can experience Gods presence amid the public worship where we find ourselves?
What frames our worship? Time Gods action in history not timeless truths Liturgical times & seasons: Sabbath, holy days, seasons The day of worship – how is time organised? Related: How are we all dressed? Space We can worship anywhere but we always worship somewhere. How is our space built? What do we change & how often? How are people arranged? What appears in our space?
Look again at this sanctuary. Its use of time and space What is steadfast? What is movable? What symbols are present? – what message do they convey? Where is the focus for our attention? How have the worshipers wrestled with space? Other observations? Think about your own worship space.
Elements of Our Worship If you brought an outline of your worship service look at it now. Check the elements as we go. Prayer (see below) Celebration Confession and Renewal Praise Thanksgiving Learning (hearing/reading scripture & teaching) Fellowship (Intercession and Greeting) Mission (Offering, Notices, Intercession)
So what about now? [We] have therefore due occasion for worry over any decline in church attendance, for though religion does not consist solely of public worship, it does not survive long without some cult. The new wine of modern thought has burst the old bottles of organized religion, but the need is for new bottles, not for no bottles. The old forms of worship, the ancient rituals, are failing to satisfy modern needs. Public worship is ceasing to be attended not because public worship has become unnecessary but because the particular kinds of public worship which the churches offer are unattractive, inappropriate, and unsatisfying.
Christian Public Worship By T.L. Harris Published – 1928!
Making the most of the experience Centre yourself during the prelude/opening music – ask God to be with you/show you something – expect it. Use as many senses as possible Notice those around you – a word of encouragement, a smile. Pray over the announcements & ask God if there is a way you can be involved? Sing Lustily – unto God … …who rejoices in the voices God created!
Making still more of the experience Look and contemplate the décor (or lack of it). Enter the silences. Take notes during the sermon. Visualise what/who is being prayed for. Dont always read the prayers aloud. Let the words wash over you as others read (same for praise choruses, repeated litanies) During the postlude, reflect on what you have experienced or learned.
Group discussion – 10 min What helps me to connect with God in my worship experience? What in my worship context do I struggle with? – Can I gain some insight from other members of the group? Reconvene – any burning need to share?
For Next Time! Next Gathering – 21 October! Happy Thanksgiving! Attend worship this Sunday (or other day) mindful of what we have discussed – attend to what God reveals. Next Time: Faith and my private disciplines – What have I done in my personal life to aid my spiritual growth/walk with God? See ya!