One of the things we prize at Hope Central is the diversity of voices in our morning and evening services. Different people stand up, come to the front, and
- read the welcome statement
- lead the singing
- pray the Psalm
- read the preaching scripture, usually a selection of a Gospel
- lead the prayers of the people
- preach a sermon
- give an offering testimony
- serve as celebrant at the communion table
- serve as con-celebrant at the communion table
- serve the bowl
- serve the chalice
- serve the bread
Vanesa leads our singing and Courtney and I serve in two or three of those capacities. For the rest, we find someone to participate in the morning service, and then again in the evening. Often we’re recruiting 8 or 9 people each service, or 16 or 17 people. Some people like to participate and some folks feel waylaid as they walk into church, to fill in all those roles. Some people who like to participate like to put the date of their participation on their calendar, thing about what they’ll say. Some folks are happy to be called on as they walk in the door. Some folks serve all the time and other folks think there’s no space for themselves.
Given all this, we’re going to try a new thing (or an old thing for some us) during our services, to try to find a middle way. We’re going to experiment with asking one person to be the liturgist at the service – one in the morning and one in the evening. The liturgist will do these things: pray the Psalm, read the Gospel, give the offering testimony, and serve either the chalice or the bowl at the communion table.
The Welcome will be read by whoever would like to do it – this is often a thing that new folks can do easily and somewhat comfortably. Serving the chalice or the bowl at communion will be another way to serve for whomever would like to do it. The prayers of the people and communion will very often be led by Courtney or me.
Courtney will offer some encouragement and instruction about how to be a liturgist. Please won’t you let her know if you’d like to serve in this way?
We don’t know where the kinks will be, but we’ll learn – because we are a learning congregation. We know the glory will be in the serving. We’ll ask you after we’ve done it a while how you like it, eh?