Grace Presbyterian Church of Weed

Weed, California
2010

To engage in a process of learning and reflection on the use of music drama and art that will create intergenerational worship services for the congregation and other churches in the community who have been invited to learn with them.

Reflections

What We Did

  We utilized this grant to expand our use of visual and performing arts in order that more people would be involved in creating worship services with the intent that all generations could be more fully engaged in worshipping Jesus Christ.

  • We hired a new choir director who re-directed the course of the choir and brought in new members.
  • With help from a worship consultant, we compiled a list of the essential elements of worship in our services.  From there, our worship design team was able to plan worship enhancing features with music, drama, and performing arts.
  • We redesigned our worship space with the help of Betsy Halstead including a new placement of our video projector.
  • At a worship renewal workshop, William Dyrness brought insight regarding the reinstitution of the arts.    

Theological Reflections

  • Worship is not a human invention; rather it is a divine offering. 
  • God offers himself in a personal relationship, and we respond. 
  • Our challenge is to point our imaginations to God in Jesus Christ.
  • Images, songs, and vision honor God most when it all arises from Holy Scripture.
  • God’s initiation in Jesus Christ should be the focal point of worship from the call to worship to the benediction.
  • People need space to respond to the message in song and prayer.
  • Silence is an important part of worship and should not be hurried.
  • Community flows from our Triune God into our context and shapes us in a way that is seeking new indigenous expressions with each new day.
  • Worship that is bathed in prayer alongside God attentiveness, is worship that brings us into a more conscious awareness of God’s presence. 
  • Worship that is hurried, sadly, is ritualistic and dry. 
  • Worship that rests in the presence of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is blessed with fresh expressions of renewing life.
  • The use of visuals, which arise from careful biblical and theological reflection, engages us in ways that help us to live and experience life in Christ.

What We Learned

  • We need to scale down to the realistic capabilities of the congregation.
  • It is productive to have small teams who are set free to dream, create and plan. 
  • Build the teams, have fun, pray for God’s direction, and worship together.
  • Always remember the message revealed in Scripture and always point people to Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for the participation of your congregation and community. 
  • Do not be disappointed by small numbers. 
  • The people using their gifts in planning and shaping worship are way more than we had before!
  • We need to celebrate what God does along the way and do more of that “sort of thing"