Imagination. Because God Is Always Doing Something New
Last Wednesday we had our first Fourth Wednesday Worship. Young and old, members of Hope and guests, had a chance to come together and worship as a united whole. The service was divided into five “movements” as we followed God’s story from creation to new creation. It was a beautiful evening filled with art, preaching, music, scripture, and spoken word. It is amazing how God uses what we offer and magnifies our offerings for the sake of his kingdom. There were many separate individuals who contributed to the evening, from the community meal beforehand to setting up the sanctuary to the preachers and speakers. We were able to see 1 Corinthians 12 in action, “There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.”
A Crossover Event
As we are creating a crossover community moved by Jesus toward one another, we can easily think of outreach events like the summer’s Sundaes on Wednesdays or Community Barbeque as obvious crossover events. But each time we gather for worship is a crossover moment. Jesus is moving towards us and moving us towards one another. Our worship is an integral part of the calling that God has for Hope Church. Our Fourth Wednesday services are another chance for us to embody our crossover identity. These are times when we first and foremost come to worship God — to give God praise and receive from God, to reorient ourselves to the Good News in the midst of a hectic week. Our goal is that the services also reflect the many gifts of our congregation. Young and Old, artistic or not, we hope to make these services spaces where the wide range of Hope’s gifted members can offer themselves in worship for God’s sake and the good of the community. We partner together because we can do more for the kingdom together.
Imagination: Because God is Always Doing a New Thing
Worship perhaps the essence of what it means to be the church: we gather for worship on Sundays and go out during the week to witness to God’s work in our lives, which is in itself an act of worship. But why do we need another worship service? Isn’t Sunday morning enough?
When we gather on Sunday morning, we come because we have been moved by Jesus. We come because we have committed to our community and need each other to be together in worship. We are formed to be disciples when we do this week after week. It is not glamorous, but more often than not, the Holy Spirit is at work in the long, slow, repeated actions of our lives.
But God is always moving, and we sensed that the time might be right for a monthly service where the whole church can gather for worship. This is not instead of our weekly discipline of coming together for worship. Our Wednesday night services are a special time when we can set aside expectations and listen for what God’s Spirit is up to (as we also do Sunday mornings!). We are eager to see what God continues to do through these services in the future.
Our next Fourth Wednesday worship service is on October 22, where we will explore Abraham and the legacy of faith. You are invited to come and worship. God just might be doing a new thing in your life, too.
by Hilary Ritchie