Summer Worship at ACC
This past Sunday, July 7, we switched to a summer worship schedule with only one service at 10:30AM. Please remember the time change as you make your Sunday morning plans. We plan to return to our regular two-service schedule on Sunday, September 8.
The summer worship services will sometimes follow the style and structure of our 9:30 liturgical service and at other times follow that of the 11:15 contemporary service.
For those who may not be familiar with both of our worship services this will be a great opportunity to meet members of our church you may not know and to experience worship in a slightly different style than you are accustomed to. I encourage all of us to embrace this opportunity with joy.
For some Christians, altering their worship style can be awkward and sometimes even distressing. But for most of us, learning to worship God in a new way can be very beneficial.
The primary reason worshiping in new ways helps us is that it gives us a chance to place the desires and preferences of others ahead of our own. What I find unfamiliar in worship may be very meaningful to my brother or sister. The act of deferring to their needs, rather than insisting on meeting my own, allows me to grow in Christlikeness. (See Phil. 2:1-11.)
Another reason exploring new worship styles is beneficial is because it can expand our vision of the greatness of our God and of his kingdom. One of the most valuable experiences in my life as a believer was the opportunity I had, in my early 20’s, to live in another country for a couple of years. I was forced to worship every Sunday with Christians of a different culture. I often did not understand why they did the things they did in church. In my immaturity, I initially reacted with pride and anger toward a style of worship that I found unfamiliar. But I eventually found my passion for God enlarging as my brothers and sisters taught me to praise him in ways I never had before. Since that time, I have grown to appreciate the wide variety of approaches to worship that can be found among different Christian traditions.
What may help you this summer is to know that, though our two worship services may seem different in style, the substance of the services is essentially the same. Both our early and late service are built around Word and Sacrament. They include the same basic elements of worship found in all Reformed churches: the reading of Scripture; songs of praise; prayer; confession of sin; affirmations of faith; preaching; the Lord’s Table; and giving our offerings.
The great confidence we have in approaching God in worship is that, when we practice these simple means of grace, he promises to meet with us and to make his goodness known. I look forward to the ways God will meet with us as we worship him this summer.