Acceptable Worship

 

“Let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe;

for indeed our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28)

 

 

 

Dear LOWC Family,

            For the past four months, the Board of Elders, the Pastors, and various groups of parishioners here at LOWC have been wrestling with the question of whether there might be a better way to structure our Sunday mornings to facilitate our worship of Almighty God.  And at its April meeting, the Board voted unanimously to implement a new experimental schedule this summer. (If it is an improvement we will continue it, if not we will revert to the present schedule – or consider further adjustments.)

            We recognize that change is always difficult, and we are asking the people of God to join us in giving this experiment our very best efforts and our prayerful support.  The Elders have asked me to share with all of you the reasons for making this change.

 

            The principal issues are these:

  • Having two services at the same time (9:45) stretches our resources and separates our members unnecessarily.
  • Neither the Senior Pastor nor the Music Director can attend all services.
  • There is insufficient time between the Blended and Contemporary services to change the set-ups needed for each.
  • Blended and Contemporary are both relatively small services in a large worship space.
  • We do want to maintain the three different worship styles that have developed here – Traditional, Blended and Contemporary – but we believe each of them can be better.
  • We do not want to ask more of our choir, praise teams, or technical support personnel.
  • We want to protect the ministry in the Germanna Apartments.
  • We want to make as few changes and disruptions as possible.

 

We also recognize that a true “Blended” service might include much more than we are usually able to offer in our present structure: choir and praise team(s), piano, keyboard and percussion (without being overwhelming), hymns and praise music, hymnals and overheads, drama, dramatic readings, dance, and video.  (Not all in every service!)  We have enjoyed this kind of a service occasionally on special occasions such as Mission Sunday and the celebration of Independence Day.

 

    We believe that a true “Blended” service can and should be the largest of our services, and to incorporate all the elements just mentioned the only suitable venue is the Worship Center.

    So, the decision is this: beginning August 12th, on an experimental basis, we will:

  • Replace our present four services with three, at 8:15, 9:30, and 11:00 a.m.
  • Begin the “Traditional” service at 8:15 in the Sanctuary, and enrich it with praise music, sometimes at the Offertory, and after the sermon.
  • Develop a true “Blended” service at 9:30 in the Worship Center, looking to incorporate choir andpraise team(s), etc. as described above. (Some members who presently attend the 9:45 Traditional service may decide they prefer to attend the 8:15 service in the Sanctuary.)
  • Keep the “Contemporary” service in its present time and place. The extra 15 minutes between “Blended” and “Contemporary”  will facilitate the set-up for the latter service.

 

I believe the Lord is giving us an opportunity to grow wonderfully in our experience of knowing and worshipping him, and I ask you to join me in praying for his blessing on our Sunday mornings this summer.

 

 

My love to you in him,

John W. Howe