Come As You Are
You are invited to come as you are to our services, and we strive to make all comfortable through acts of hospitality and care. All Christians, as God’s people, are called to Christ’s ministry; and are also called to participate in the public worship service, or liturgy, that takes place every Sunday. (The word liturgy means: public and working practices). This same liturgy is also God’s ministry or service to God’s people. It is a reciprocal service – we both give and receive.
Worshipping with your Child: Children are always welcome to worship at St. Andrew’s at any service. Some children may find it difficult at first to adjust to the amount of sitting still that is required during the service. We are fortunate that in our Box pews, there is room to move around and busy themselves with coloring activities. At the back of the church, there are weekly coloring sheets based on the Bible lesson of the day and of course crayons. Encourage your child to watch the youth acolytes, ushers and readers. Teach him/her the Lord’s Prayer and talk about the take-home lesson sheet. Sunday school and Fellowship gatherings help our children and youth understand more about church and feel a part of their faith community.
The four basic parts of our Sunday liturgy are Gathering, Word, Sacrament and Dismissal. The Gathering usually begins with the congregation singing a hymn or lifting their voices in acclamation. It reminds us of God’s gathering of God’s people in Jesus Christ, symbolized in the calling of his disciples. The liturgy then moves to the Word, or the reading of Holy Scripture. In a typical service, four passages are read from chapters of the Holy Bible. These readings follow the Revised Common Lectionary which is arranged on a three-year cycle.
In the next part of the liturgy, called Sacrament, we share the bread and wine in the “Communion” or “Eucharist.” (Means thanksgiving). Before this happens, the story is once again retold in the prayer, which reminds us about God’s work in the creation. This “core” of our liturgical service helps us to remember our own history and theology as a people. But, more crucially, it prepares us for the moment when Christ becomes present for us, in a mysterious and yet tangible way.
The Dismissal is more than just a convenient way to get the congregation up from their pews and out the door. During the Dismissal we ask God to “send us out to do the work you have given us to do.” We leave with a mission of public service and a call to serve God by serving others. To this we say, “Thanks be to God.”