A Life of Worship
Worship is something that everyone does all the time. It motivates every human action. God has made us in such a way that we are always worshiping, always seeking to glorify something or someone. As Christians, we live our whole lives in worship of the God who has loved us so well. Worship is something we do every day in the way we live; it's not just something we do one day a week.
One Day for Worship and Rest
However, gathering weekly to worship God with other believers is a foundational part of a life of worship. The Bible instructs us "not to give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing..." (Hebrews 10:24-25), because without other believers, we cannot fulfill the purpose for which we've been made. From the earliest times Christians have always gathered for worship on Sundays.
Ever Ancient, Ever New
At Good Shepherd, our worship on Sundays is patterned after the early practices of the Church and flows from the Biblical story of God's redemption plan for the world. Our worship service is God-centered, Bible-saturated, Spirit-filled, and Sacramental. As Anglican Christians, we use the patterns set down in the Book of Common Prayer.
When we gather to worship God, we are stepping outside our normal day-to-day existence. We are encountering Someone holy, Someone like no one else we've ever met. At Good Shepherd, we know worship is experience of the divine, and as such, is simply different than any other time of the week. In this sense, worship is an escape from the mundane of normal life.
Because we want to hear from God, our service is saturated with the Holy Scriptures. We read, sing, pray, and teach the Bible. In fact, if you showed up every Sunday at Good Shepherd for three years, you would hear the greater part of the Bible read aloud.
A Living, Communal Witness
The most counter-cultural thing a Christian can do is go to church each Sunday. This is true even in the American South, where church attendance used to be more normative (in fact, most American Christians only attend worship once a month). One of our hopes in worship is to be a witness to the world of God's love, truth, justice and beauty.
Active (NOT Passive)
The way we worship at Good Shepherd is participatory. There are no spectators here. Indeed, the word we use to describe our worship: "liturgy" means "the work of the people." That's why it is called a worship service because in it we all serve God. And not only do we serve God, but we also serve others: each member takes turns leading and serving in various ways on Sundays.
WHAT IS LITURGY?
We meet on Sundays, first and foremost to worship God and to join in with the constant celebration that is going in heaven. That is why everything we do in our worship services point us to God: He is the one who is worth all our attention. Our services are grounded in the early practices of the Church, in the things that Christians have always been about everywhere. We did not just make this up as we were going along, but we have learned from the wisdom of those who have gone before us, recognizing that God used many of the same practices in their lives to make them into extraordinary men and women of God.
Every family celebrates and remembers important dates: birthdays, anniversaries, deaths, graduations, etc. At Good Shepherd we structure our life as a church family around the story of Jesus Christ and his Church. This includes not just the content of sermons and teachings, but also the way we structure and order our annual calendar. Throughout the year we celebrate and remember the key events in the life of Jesus, as well as key events in the life of Christians throughout history.