Meeting of the Church Council will be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
All are welcomed to attend!
We have received some questions in our box about worship and the way it is planned. As a way to respond to them all, here is a peek behind the scenes into worship planning, preparation, and operation!
At New Jerusalem, we have quite a few groups and individuals contributing to our worship services. There is the Worship and Music Committee, who receives feedback on previous worship services, picks the hymns for worship, and offers suggestions for upcoming worship experiences and liturgical seasons.
As part of Worship and Music, we have Quinette Brucker, our Organist and Music Director, who works with Eric Moser and the choir to choose anthems and other songs that they sing and offer to the glory of God during worship.
Then, we have the Altar Guild who help to set and prepare for Holy Communion as well as occasional Baptisms, confirmation, and first Holy Communion, as well as adorn the worship space with paraments, flowers, and banners which help to show and tell God’s story and ours.
What liturgy will we follow? Will we sing the Kyrie and/or Glory to God or Canticle of Praise? Will we plan to sing hymns during communion, or will we have quiet meditation? These questions and others are considered by Quinette and Pastor Lauren as they plan worship for the season of the liturgical year. Sometimes we will have a Kyrie (a song or call and response typically containing “Lord, have mercy”). Sometimes we will sing a canticle of praise. We may even sing both, or neither! The beauty of having rich resources of liturgy is that we can change up what we do often enough that we don’t get bored, but keep it consistent enough that we know what to expect and can find comfort and familiarity in the similarities. The expertise of our Office Administrator, Kathy Tyrell, gets added to this process in order to create the bulletins for worship, which are then folded by dedicated volunteers, including Doris Snyder.
It takes the work of Kathy Tyrell and Barbara Young to schedule the assistants in worship. We have ushers, lectors (they’re the ones who read the lessons), chalisters (they help serve communion), acolytes, and assisting ministers! Plus, our Council members serve as the Assistant to the Pastor and have a whole list of responsibilities before worship, like opening doors, turning on lights, turning off fans, and making sure we have enough volunteers for the other positions; as well as after worship, like closing doors, turning off lights, turning on fans, and checking out the cleanliness of the pews. They also help distribute communion and support the pastor before and during worship.
What else do we need for worship? You. We need the people. Liturgy, or the order we follow during worship, actually means “the work of the people”. Without the people, there is no worship.
Worship is the time that we are able to be honest about our struggles and shortcomings, receive forgiveness and grace, hear God’s Word, experience the resurrected Christ in bread and in cup, and give thanks and praise to the one who made it all; God. We need you to give voice to our prayers and petitions to God. We need you to make our worship and praise as authentic and true to who God has made this community to be.
Thank you to all who contribute and partake in our worship here at New Jerusalem. If you are feeling called to participate in new ways or in any of the ways spoken of here, please let Pastor Lauren or the people mentioned know. We welcome your participation and contributions!