The Session met Thursday night, May 17 to hear recommendations from the Worship Review Task Force. The Worship Review Task Force was formed last spring, growing out of our Discernment and Planning process. The group was tasked with continuing the examination of worship at WPC, focused particularly on number of services, locations, times and worship elements/ enhancements.
Their report to the Session includes the following thoughts on where we are now and where God is calling us:
Where we are now:
"Christian worship gives all glory and honor, praise and thanksgiving to the holy, triune God. We are gathered in worship to glorify the God who is present and active among us-particularly through the gifts of Word and Sacrament. We are sent out in service to glorify the same God who is present and active in the world." Book of Order, W-1.01
Westminster has a long tradition of being innovative and forward-thinking in its approach to worship. Historically, WPC led the way in worship practices, establishing contemporary services when they were rare and expanding in new and different ways to meet congregational needs.
The WRTF feels that worship at Westminster has become less innovative, engaging, and energetic - "vanilla." We sometimes achieve greatness, but worship does not live up to staff or congregation expectations. WRTF believes that now is the time for another step forward for our church. It is time to add sprinkles to our vanilla!
Where God is calling us:
The future of Westminster starts with worship - our "front door" to the church. Our pastors are ready and excited for change. As the WRTF has listened to God speaking through others and to us, they developed a vision for an exciting and challenging future.
The WRTF believes that worship at WPC should meet people where they are, while challenging them to think and act differently. It should be built on scripture and traditions of our Church with modern day application. It should accommodate our church as it is today, while inspiring it to future growth. Worship is one of our primary ways to welcome the seekers and renew the faithful. Our worship services should inspire and surprise. Worship should build strong relationships with God and each other, creating strong community amongst all WPC members.
We have planned a series of town hall meetings beginning this Sunday, May 20 and running through Sunday, June 3. These meetings are an opportunity for us to present the vision and recommendation for worship. It will also be a time for questions and conversation. The times and locations for those town hall meetings are listed below.
After listening to input from these town hall meetings and seeking Christ's leading, the Session is scheduled to meet again on Sunday, June 10 to make a decision on the Worship Review Task Force's recommendations. If those recommendations are approved, we will spend the Summer and Fall making preparations with plans to implement our new worship schedule and model in Advent of 2018 or January of 2019.
Worship is central to our life together as a church and to our mission to the world. I hope you will plan to join us at one of the town hall meetings to hear where we believe God is leading us.