By Pastor Peter Hanson
“We value worship as vital for our growth as the Body of Christ,
and seek ways to share in a variety of roles within the Body.”
At Christ the King, we place a high value on offering worship that engages us all as members of the Body of Christ. Such worship nourishes the mind, soul, and spirit. It is deeply rooted in our traditions, while speaking to the realities of life today. Worship constantly seeks a balance between reflecting the lived experiences of those who have assembled and stretching us to consider our larger community and the wider world. Sometimes this means learning an unfamiliar song, hearing from a new voice from the pulpit, or considering a different interpretation of a favorite Bible passage. At its best, worship is meant to bring comfort when we are troubled, as well as to trouble us when we get too comfortable.
The engagement of worship, though, does not simply go in one direction. Christ the King values folks being engaged in worship as members of the Body. Our worship is designed to emphasize broad participation, shared purpose, and the authentic practice of our Christian faith rather than getting too caught up in performance, perfection, or individual preferences. The congregation is not meant to be passive recipients or even attentive audience members, but active contributors to the worship itself. Similarly, worship is not something in which we engage for an hour or so a week, but can help form, inform, and transform us for ministry in the world throughout the week.
This past year has been a challenge for us as a worshipping community, as the COVID-19 Pandemic threw a monkey wrench into our patterns and practices of worship. We had to learn new ways of sharing the old, old story, and different methods of involvement. Engaging in worship has meant learning how to use new (and at times overwhelming!) platforms such as YouTube, Zoom, and Facebook Live. Worship planners and leaders have developed new skill sets, and figured out new tools. People “in the pews” have also adapted, figuring out how to print off bulletins, remembering to set aside bread and wine for communion. Some have been able to engage in our worship who may not have been able to before.
As we prepare to gather again for in-person worship beginning on Sunday, June 6th, may we be reminded of the value we place on engaging worship. May our worship in the living God help us engage, equip, and empower one another to be God’s hands and feet in the world around us.