Why do people go to church? The obvious answer is that we go to church to worship God. Yet, we also go to church for each other. Liturgical worship is something that we do together, as a community of faith. Although anyone can worship God in private, Christian worship is essentially something that we do together. Our private prayer is an expression of who we are as beloved children of God; our public worship expresses who we are as the body of Christ.
With Pastor Beverly Berry’s retirement I have taken on the clergy oversight of the areas of worship and pastoral care. It is my joy to work with those who serve God by participating in leading worship. In our four very distinct services on Sunday mornings we exercise their baptismal gifts of ministry in varied ways. As it has often been said, worship is not a spectator sport, rather it is something in which we are all invited to participate.
There is not one right way to worship God, there are many expressions of Christian worship. We as Episcopalians have agreed upon our unique way to worship, and are unified with American Episcopalians through the liturgies found in the Book of Common Prayer.
Here at the Church of the Good Samaritan we worship God in our own style. It is through the work of God’s people who give of themselves that we have four distinct services of Holy Communion each week. Someone new to the chalice ministry team once commented before the services that they had no idea that there were so many people involved in bringing together our Sunday services. Acolytes, altar guild, greeters, prayer ministers, lay Eucharistic ministers, singers, flower guild, lay readers, clergy, instrumentalists, audio and visual technicians, ushers, lay Eucharistic visitors, and others work together in the unity of our God so that we as the body of Christ can come here week by week to be fed and forgiven, to pray and to give praise, to learn and to teach, and to grow in our love for God and neighbor.
I want to thank the army of parishioners who give of themselves so that each Sunday we can worship God in spirit and in truth. We could not do it with out you. I would also like to extend an invitation to those who are not yet involved one of these vital ministries. Reach out to staff, lay leaders or clergy to find out how to serve God by serving our worshiping community.
The term "liturgy" literally means "work of the people." The early Christians adopted the word to describe their principal act of worship, Holy Communion. This liturgy is how we praise and worship our risen savior Jesus through word and sacrament, through prayer and song, through preaching and serving. It is also God's ministry or service to us; God speaks to us and moves in our hearts when we worship.