2019 August

Dear Friends

Some of you may have taken part in the recent worship survey, which was organised by the Mission and Ministry Team in response to some conversation at a Formby Church Council. The object of the exercise was to get a snapshot of how people engaged with worship and the survey was very informative.

Feedback from the survey will properly be presented elsewhere, but I noted that corporate worship is a complex and demanding activity, and it is important regularly to remind ourselves of the reasons worship is organised in the way it is. Then I found the diagram above and wondered if it might be helpful to share with you all this representation of the seasons of the Christian year.

There is a tension, in the Methodist people, between worship that is free and spontaneous, and worship that is ordered by the Church. This can sometimes show itself in differing attitudes toward use of the Methodist Worship Book and the lectionary versus extemporary prayer and preaching as the ‘spirit’ moves. Both have their place, but the seasons of the Christian year are designed to ensure that the story of Jesus and the story of God’s people is remembered and reflected upon in all its breadth and depth – not just the bits we like or find most comforting. After all, the object of worship God, not us. Consequently, it is essential that we remind ourselves, week by week, month by month, of the wonderful things that God has done for us through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. For God is to be worshipped, not in any building or through any person, but in Spirit and in truth.

Wishing you every blessing

Sheryl