How do worship and our mission as a church relate to one another?
In worship, we are welcomed. We are welcomed with music, prayers, confessions and absolutions. We are welcomed with water at baptisms and remembrances of baptisms. It turns out God welcomes us with these things that we recognize and cherish. God gathers us, who really have no reason to be a community, together as one people because of the one thing we all have in common: we’re all children of God.
Having been welcomed, we proclaim our sure and certain faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, by reading stories of the faith and responding to them with communal words in verse and song that have been passed down through the ages. We add to the story, demonstrating the power of its truth in our own time and place. This is the genesis of our missional work; this is where we learn why we do what we do.
Worship continues to bear missional responsibilities as we give and receive gifts. Having received all that we have from the hand of God, we return it to God, entrusting it to God to send it where it is needed. But, gosh, mission work is tiring! Bread and wine fortify us for the journey ahead and remind us that God’s grace overflows. We are brimmed for pouring.
Finally, the real work begins. In response to God’s great gifts given to us, we ourselves are sent to serve the needs of the communities in which we live, work, and play. Our movement out into the world is the continuation of the great commission Jesus gives to the disciples where he says, “Go and do likewise.”
Worship is part of our mission.
As one of our most public, regularly occurring actions as a community the way we practice worship at 10 Delp Road shapes us and the community around us. Let us hope that our worship life will continue to reflect God’s mission and vision for St. Peter’s in Lancaster and the world at large.