At Anchor, you can expect us to follow the teachings of the Scriptures concerning worship. The Gospel is the content of our worship. The four-fold Scriptural pattern is the construct of our worship. The context of our worship, or the heart language, is to embrace our heritage of hymn singing while allowing space for newer music expressions that are theologically sound. We share the Lord’s Supper frequently, believing the most fulsome expression of Christian worship is covenant renewal with the Word and the Sign serving as the twin peaks.
Most Sundays we have a brief welcome, an organ introit or prelude, followed by a Scriptural call to worship from the Psalms. We then sing a great hymn of the faith. After a pastoral prayer, an Old Testament or Epistle reading is shared. Another hymn is sung in response. After our offertory prayer, the offering is shared, including an offering of music, typically by Claire Vance, our organist/pianist. After the Gospel reading, a sacred song is offered by the choir, an ensemble, a small group or soloist. The sermon follows with a response time, and often, the Lord’s Supper. We sing a hymn in response. Then, we are sent forth with a Scriptural benediction, renewed in our covenant and sent forth to be faithful witnesses for Christ.
In many churches, a two-fold pattern of singing (which is referred to as “the worship,”), and a teaching time, make up the entirety of the service. While this is much like a synagogue service, we prefer to follow the Temple pattern, where both Word and Sign (sacrifice) could be practiced in keeping with covenant renewal. This is the fulsome worship that the New Testament Church experienced as they gathered, dedicated themselves to the Apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and the prayers (Acts 2:42). Verses 43-47 reveal that they went forth to live their faith in powerful ways, and as many as were being saved were added to the Church. That is our desire as well, all to the glory of God.