Wisdom and Worship

On October 30 and November 6, the Worship Renewal Team led two congregational discernment exercises. In total, around one hundred people from the both the 11am and 5pm worshipping communities participated in these exercises. At each event, we studied a series of proverbs, or “wisdom sayings” on worship that have been gathered by the World Communion on Reformed Churches, and spent time discerning in small groups what areas of wisdom Knox is faithfully living out, and in what areas God may be calling us to grow in wisdom.  It was beautiful to see members of the congregations listen and discern together with a spirit of love and unity. It is clear that God has blessed us, and is continuing to guide us into the future as we discern where He may be calling us to grow in our wisdom in the are of worship.

When the many proverbs that were highlighted at the two events are viewed together, there are multiple themes that come through as values in worship that we share as a church family. These themes will serve as guideposts for the Worship Renewal Team throughout this process of worship renewal. Below are some of the themes that were emphasized at both events.

 

Wisdom for Worship 

Blessed is the congregation that insists that believers gather first because God has already blessed them. 

Wise is the congregation that celebrates worship as an embodied reality – worshiping joyfully, and gratefully receiving the gifts God ordains for our use, the book, water, bread, and wine, and also the gifts of faithful songs and artworks from other centuries and cultures. 

Wise is the community who celebrates baptism joyfully, and remembers that baptism is a means of grace and encouragement to live out our vows of covenant faithfulness.

Blessed is the congregation that gratefully remembers God’s creating and redeeming work in Jesus Christ, knowing his presence in the breaking of bread.

Wise is the church that seeks to be “in” but not “of” the world, resisting aspects of the culture that compromise the integrity of the gospel, and eagerly engaging its culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ, who comes to each culture, but is not bound by any culture. 

Blessed is the congregation that prays not only for its own needs, but for the needs of the world that God so loves.

Wise are congregations that invite and challenge believers of all ages and abilities into diverse forms of worship – offering prayers of praise and petition, singing psalms, and expressing the full range of human experience through spoken, sung, silent, danced, dramatized, and visualized means. 

Wise is the congregation that welcomes, affirms, cares for, includes, and engages people of all ages, genders, and abilities for full, active participation in communal worship. 

Wise is the community that calls, trains, affirms and responds to those gifted for leadership in all genders, races, and abilities, providing formative training and mentorship for them in the theology and practices of worship.

Wise is the church who clearly teaches believers and newcomers of all ages about the meanings of all worship practices. 

 

What’s Next?

Congregational Survey: Share your thoughts on worship!

The Worship Renewal Team would love to hear your thoughts on worship, so as part of the next step in the process of worship renewal, were are conducting a survey on worship at Knox. Please take a few moments to fill out this survey.   If you have questions regarding the survey, please e-mail sue@knoxtoronto.org. Thank you for your participation in the worship renewal process at Knox!

Here is the link:

https://form.jotform.com/63143783536965

Hard copies of the survey will be available by the church office and in the Narthex on Sunday. Please leave the completed hard copy survey in Sue Schaafsma’s mailbox in the church office.

Visiting Churches: The Worship Renewal Team is visiting a variety of churches in the city to learn from their wisdom and ways of welcome and worship. Look for future blogposts and articles in the reader as we reflect on what we are learning from our brothers and sisters around the city!

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