As a follow-up to my recent post on worship, I thought I would share this statement about the philosophy of worship at my own parish. It was written by my husband and is printed in the congregational newsletter every Sunday.
"Does Bethany offer contemporary worship? Does Bethany have traditional services? Worship at Bethany is both--and neither. Like many parishes, Bethany seeks to unite God's family in worship that rises above stylistic preferences.
Christian worship begins with the crucified Christ, who comes to us in Word and Sacrament. he brings to the people of God forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. We in turn extol these gifts with joyful thanksgiving and praise, proclaiming the story of God's love through His Word. This celebration is done in concert with the Church throughout the world, and finds its expression in the liturgy. Lutheran worship is therefore traditional in that it is part of the timeless culture of the Church, and contemporary in that it communicates the Gospel in ways that are appropriate to a given place and time. Since worship is the vocation of all bapitzed Christians, Lutheran liturgy calls for all individuals to do their parts, that faith may be increased among all who worship, and that Christ may be most strongly confessed before the world.
Providing worship that achieves these noble ends is the responsibility of any Christian congregation. Continuing in the the tradition of the evangelical Lutheran communion, the Divine Service at Bethany seeks therefore to involve all who gather in the name of the Lord in the proclaiming, confessing, singing, and praying of God's Word."