A young woman who grew up in Newton and visiting from out of town this past Sunday approached me after worship saying, "I wish I could take this [worship service] to back home with me!"
A growing group of more than fifty people regular help make Sunday mornings a highlight of our week. They contribute to worship on Sunday mornings as readers, greeters, musicians, visual artists, hospitality hosts, speakers, tech support, and more.
The primary activity of a church is worship. Our primary gathering for worship is 10a on Sundays. Other communities meet differently - different times, places, styles of music, etc. Some even forgo the words "worship" and "church" in order to be freed from unnecessary expectations. It all matters and nothing is wasted.
The way we are worshipping as First Baptist Church in Newton is not the only way, nor is it the best way. It is simply "our way."
Our goal is to create an opportunity, a space, where friends and strangers can be awakened to see things as they really are. To see things as they are is to see with the eyes of God, the eyes of "love without measure", the eyes of Jesus.
To this end we sing, pray, listen, share stories, read the Bible, and much more. Moreover, we seek to do these things in a way that is both honest and empathic, both available and vulnerable, both active and contemplative.
Our "way" evolves. There are similarities from week to week, but there are different people in the room each week. In this sense, no two Sundays are the same. In this sense, simply showing up is a valuable contribution.
One might ask, "How do you worship?" or "What is your service like?"
Perhaps a better question would be, "How are you worshipping?" or "What is your serving like?"
This way of asking the question emphasizes action and the holistic nature of worship as something that is expressed on a Sunday morning, but lived throughout the week.
If you would like to be alerted of opportunities to contribute by reading, greeting, or providing food to our "worshipping", send an email to info[at]fbcnewton[dot]org. You will be notified via "Planning Center" of how and when you can join in.
What about you? How do you enjoy "worshipping?" What is your "serving" like these days? Add your comments below.