July 14 Summary – Worship
Led by Linda Lee
On Sunday, July 14th, as part of our “Way of Love” summer series, Linda Lee helped us explore the fourth practice, “Worship: Gather in community weekly to thank, praise, and dwell with God.” From the Way of Love Introduction, “When we worship, we gather with others before God. We hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, give thanks, confess, and offer the brokenness of the world to God. As we break bread, our eyes are opened to the presence of Christ. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are made one body, the body of Christ sent forth to live the Way of Love.” We ran out of time during the group meeting, so over the next week please fill out one of the “Small Group Participant” sheets for the practice of “Worship.” Then transfer your plan for “Worship” to the “Writing a Rule of Life Worksheet.”
We began with an opening prayer and Linda introduced the practice of “Worship” and how turning to God allows us to receive God’s love. We opened discussion by reflecting on last week’s work and what we got out of writing down our regular activities throughout the week. We then read Psalm 96:1-9 and John 4: 19-24 and discussed how those verses present “Worship.”
We then discussed some of the following discussion questions, followed by closing in prayer:
- What words would describe the best worship experience you remember?
- What words describe the worst worship experience you remember?
- Read the second verse of the hymn “I come with joy to meet my Lord”:
I come with Christians far and near
To find, as all are fed
The new community of love
In Christ’s communion bread
What does a “new community of love” mean to you? How has this community changed your life?
- Talk about a time you experienced God’s presence in a worship service.
- What is your favorite way to worship God outside of Church?
- Have you ever participated in worship leadership (like ushering, serving as an acolyte, reading, etc.)? How has that changed your perception of what it means to worship?
- What do you think it means to have the eyes of our faith opened? (From the Collect for the Third Sunday of Easter, also Luke 24:31)
- What prevents you from coming to worship with your community on a weekly basis? How can you remove some of those obstacles?
- What communal worship practices move you to encounter God and knit you into the body of Christ?
Some recommendations for “Worship”: Attend worship weekly, identify a way to be more fully present in worship (e.g., arriving early for a time of silence or to say a prayer of thanksgiving before worship), or pray for your worshipping community each day. (You also might list a practice you are already engaged in that gives life to you). The Episcopal Church has compiled more resources on “Worship” on their Way of Love website.