What We Do At Our Sunday Morning Service
Our Sunday Service - What We Do and What It Means
Sundays have traditionally been the day of the week Christians set aside to worship, learn and share life together as a family of Jesus followers.
St Marys and St Bartholomews are no different. Each Sunday we gather as part of the Anglican Churches of New Zealand and by doing so we seek to worship God and learn from Him. To do this, each Sunday morning meeting has a number of components that are common among churches throughout New Zealand and around the world.
The following paragraphs are brief descriptions of each of these components and why they are important to us
Variations of our morning services and their components can be found in the New Zealand Anglican Prayer Book
Assemble the people... Deut. 31:12
While many modern church buildings don't have a bell, services held in older churches, like ours, have the unique 'gift' of being able to proclaim to the neighbourhood that 'church' is about to start.
Out bell is rung 15 minutes before the start of each service as a friendly reminder that if you're still in your dressing gown it's time to get moving. We ring the bell again at the beginning of the service at 10am.
'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' Gal 5:14
At then beginning of each service we welcome everyone attending.
The bottom line is that everyone is welcome at our church. Our aim is to reflect and share the love that Jesus has for everyone, no matter what your circumstances are or your lifestyle is. Jesus came to love, and save, the last, the lost and the least as well as those of us who think we've got it all together.
You shall worship the Lord your God... Luke 4:8
Worship is the Christians every day attitude toward God but traditionally worship on Sundays means singing. We sing songs ranging from the classic old hymns through to more contemporary songs. Not every song will be to everyones taste but it's the attitude and gratitude toward God that matters most.
The exceptions for singing would be Evening Prayer, and our 8.00 am First Sunday Said Service where we don't sing because it is a 'said service' in the 1662 format - old English. Thee, thou, thy.
If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins... 1 John 1:9
....and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Rom 10:10
Our time of confession is two-fold. It is a time when we can silently reflect upon the week and ask Gods forgiveness for areas in our lives where we have fallen short. And it is also a time when we affirm our faith. One way we do this is by reciting the 'Nicene Creed', an ancient statement of faith written by Christian leaders in 381CE
Teaching / Sermon
Lead me in your truth and teach me. Psalm 25:5
Learning the ways of Jesus and how to live out our lives as followers of Jesus is vital to the Christian life. Every Sunday service includes a message (sermon), approx 15 minutes in length, designed to encourage and challenge us.
On most Sundays the speakers come from within our church with occassional guest appearances from priests associated with St Johns in Feilding.
Continue steadfastly in prayer... Col 4:2
Prayer is vital in the life of the church. Each service includes a time when we thank God and pray for the needs of our families, our community, our country and the world. At the end of each service we also give an opportunity to anyone who would like prayer for a specific need.
Tithes and Offering
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor 9:7
Each Sunday we have the opportunity to give financially to the church as well as food items to go to the local foodbank. There is no compulsion to give and any offering to the church should always be done from a grateful heart.
...Do this in remembrance of me. Luke 22:19
Communion is the special time during each service when we remember Jesus sacrifice for us on the cross and his resurrection three days later. By partaking of the bread and wine/juice we are remembering what He did for us so that we might be set free from the power of sin in our lives.
Where important things happening in the church are made known.
Morning Tea / Fellowship
And they devoted themselves to...fellowship Acts 2:42
Meet, Greet, Eat and Laugh! Pretty much sums it up.
So now you know what and why we do what we do. Some people see us as a closed society. We can't go in there. They don't want us there..
Nothing could be further from the truth. We are open about what we do. Open about who we represent. Open about what we believe.
We welcome anyone and everyone that walks in through the doors of our church.