Sometimes in our culture, people seem to expect church to be like a theater performance to entertain us or a spa to make us feel better or a seer to make decisions in our life that are too hard for us to make.
And while worship can, at times be entertaining, healing, and informative, we are not at the center of worship, God is. At Bethesda we want worship to be like nothing else we do in our week. We hope when we walk into church we are uplifted spiritually and pulled out of our culture’s tendency to self-centeredness, deeply moved and called to share in God’s mission to love and serve in all that we do. In worship all of our differences fade, and we become one as we share in singing God’s praises and as we partake in a sacred meal of bread and wine that becomes the body and blood of Christ.
Worship at Bethesda is formal but need not be stiff. While many people prefer to wear their “Sunday finest” for church, others prefer to dress more casually. As God loves all, Bethesda welcomes all.
Bethesda’s worship follows a structure that may take a few weeks to learn for someone unfamiliar with the Episcopal Church. The structure enables us to be participants in a celebration, not spectators at an event. All are encouraged to join in however they are comfortable.
Further, many parishioners serve in particular roles that are described in the pages in this section. Some ministries might well speak to some individuals reading these pages and lead them to inquire about sharing in ministry.
Finally, links to more reading about worship in the Episcopal Church are offered below. The single greatest delight of Bethesda’s parish life is to share in the praise and worship of the God who loves us all.
- Here is a series of pages from the Episcopal Church's web site explaining the basic elements of our worship and sacramental life.
- Anglicans Online provides some wonderful introductory resources, not only about worship, but also about Anglicanism in general. This page offers some thoughts about worship; the site is worth browsing.
- The Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer can be found here.
- Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church, offers rich resources for daily prayer and meditation, including an online daily meditation written by diverse members of the Church, as well as daily Morning and Evening Prayer that can be customized to follow the various options in the Book of Common Prayer.
- To find the readings for Sundays or weekdays coming up, the Lectionary Page provides them in the translation Bethesda uses in worship.
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