When is worship?
Worship at Red River is typically at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings, and worship at Grace is typically at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings.
Occasionally, we have worship at other times, as in our Joint Outdoor Service (August), Harvest Festivals (November), and Easter (Red River has worship at 8:30 a.m.). We also have Wednesday night services during Lent and occasionally at other times during the year, especially during the summer. Please check our schedule on the home page to make sure that this Sunday is at our typical times!
How do we worship?
We worship using a traditional liturgy that involves corporate Confession and Forgiveness, a variety of liturgical music and hymns, scripture readings, a creed, prayers, and sometimes communion. Occasionally, we offer different modes of worship using a fusion of ancient and modern music, and we also have Sundays where kids and youth take on leadership roles. You can expect to find worship often the same and, yet, often nuanced in different ways and incorporating different segments of our church community. We believe in praising God in a variety of ways, including music, and proclamation, and the sacraments, and prayer.
We typically serve communion (Eucharist) on 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. We recognize that there are a variety of beliefs around communion and some would prefer we offer it at every service (and some would prefer we offer it rarely). For this reason Pastor Frank is available after every service to serve any who wish to partake in the bread and the wine on Sundays when that option was not offered during the course of worship.
Why do we worship the way that we do?
We believe that in worship we come together as Christ's church to celebrate the resurrection each week. We do this recognizing that in our daily lives we have all sorts of experiences--good and bad--that we bring with us on Sunday morning (or whenever it is that we get together). So we begin worship with a time of corporate confession and forgiveness where we admit that we have not lived up to the perfect standards we are held to as reflections of God, but that, in spite of our imperfection, we are forgiven for all the wrongs we have committed and all the things we have failed to do. From here we turn to proclamation: first in music and then in word. We ground worship in God's word, both in the scripture spoken by the lector and the pastor and in the music and liturgy that is scriptural through and through. The sermon is a reflection on those scriptural words and themes specific to the day.
Often we confess our faith with the Apostles' Creed. This is a way of professing the beliefs handed down to us from the church over generations. It is not required to believe every word of the Apostles' Creed to worship with or to be a good Christian for that matter, but we say it each week--sometimes in belief, sometimes in disbelief--because it has been handed down to us as beliefs of the church and we honor those beliefs, even as we acknowledge that no two individuals ever believe exactly the same things.
We take offering on Sunday mornings as a way of supporting our ministries. This offering can be designated to local, regional, or general funds. This impacts how our councils designate our yearly benevolence.
On communion Sundays we partake in the mystery of the bread and the wine becoming Christ's body and blood. We commune all believers, though we typically do first communion classes with younger children so they can have some understanding of what it is we are doing. Nevertheless, we believe that nobody can truly understand the mystery of what happens in communion and so factors like age and whether a person has been baptized are secondary to their desire to reach for the bread and the wine that is given them.
Where do our Sunday morning readings come from?
We use the narrative lectionary, which is a set of readings that follows the course of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation over the course of the year. Each week begins with a Psalm that has some of the themes for the day's readings, then we read from scripture specific to the day. This helps us build connections across the biblical narrative while still staying true to the church year. In the fall we start in Genesis and read through the Old Testament, first with the stories of the Pentateuch, the history of Israel, the wisdom literature and writings, and finally the prophets before we launch into the Gospels for the Christmas story. This year, following Christmas, we will read the Gospel of Matthew into the new year up through to Easter. Following Easter we end the year with the Pauline letters and finally with Revelation. To help you along the way we have a few tools to make sense of scripture. In your bulletin you will receive a bulletin insert entitled “Sharing God’s Story at Home.” This is a tool to aid you in processing scripture between Sundays. The readings Monday-Wednesday help reflect on today’s readings and Thursday-Saturday look forward to next Sunday. It is our hope that you learn something from the readings and that this format allows you to delve into scripture unlike ever before.
What kind of music can I expect?
We sing a lot of hymns, but we also incorporate other music into worship befitting the gifts of our community. The music we sing together is typically chosen by members of our worship and music committee from a list of favorite hymns and other music that was the response of a survey of the congregation. The hymn of the day is chosen by Pastor Frank so that it relates specifically to the readings and themes of the day. Special music is dependent on individuals willing to share their musical talents. We are blessed with very many talented musicians who share with us their music during offering or during communion distribution. At Grace we have a choir that sings on many Sundays, and at both Grace and Red River we are regularly accompanied by the brass (once a month at Red River and twice a month at Grace). Other music include handbells (both adult and children's groups), Sunday School and Confirmation Choirs, and Reeds of Faith (a youth group of saxophonists and clarinets that accompany hymns at Grace from time to time). We also have VBS programs and Christmas programs, as well as the talents of several music teachers from Kittson Central who accompany, play the organ, and provide special music as well.