Worship, Prayer & Spirituality Ministry
The Worship, Prayer and Spirituality ministry is the consistory’s agent for fulfilling the Book of Church Order’s instructions that it “provide services of worship and other activities and organizations in the church’s life for the spiritual benefit and growth of Christ’s people.” Well, that sounds perfunctory. We are a lively group, in reality, and the liveliness erupts from the conviction that worship services and components that are done well are good for us, and are the most honorable way to offer our praise to God. In short, we care deeply about worship, from the picky details to the grand expressions that unite us with the Creator, Spirit, and Son who summon us to praise and prayer.
It is thrilling to hear responses from the congregation to worship, from spontaneous laughter to spoken comments that note appreciation for music, art, liturgical movement, a particular hymn, or the cohesiveness of worship. We also deliberate over comments that may indicate that an aspect of worship was not helpful. We watch for distractions; we also attend to ways that the ebb and flow of people’s needs and spiritual expressions may necessitate something different from what we’ve done before.
WPS collaborates with the Sacristy Guild, which coordinates many details of our worship environment. We interact with the choirs, organists, other musicians, artists, and pastors in planning for seasons and special services. Several members of the Worship, Prayer, and Spirituality Ministry serve as our link to consistory, and help us coordinate worship leadership as well as the celebration of sacraments. Most recently, we requested that an Art Committee oversee the collection of art held by Hope Church, and assist with installments.
In addition to fulfilling the BCO, we are guided by the Directory for Worship in the RCA, which tells us this: “Because worship deals with reality, it has structure, for we are called by God to praise him, acknowledge our sin, experience grace, and go forth to live in gratitude. As God encounters us in many ways, so there may be variety in the response of worship, but because it serves as a corporate model for Christian life, it also has structure and sequence.” (see: https://www.rca.org/ resources/directory-worship)
The particular structures at Hope Church that focus our worship are the pulpit, table, font, organ…and the whole sanctuary, of course. The structure of our worship is also a way to focus our worship.
You are welcome to enervate our liveliness by continuing to help us to know what has served you well, and what you observe may need to be changed.
~Cindi Veldheer DeYoung, Worship, Prayer & Spirituality Chair