In Spring Garden, we believe that communal worship is when God’s people gather together as a particular community for ENGAGEMENT in ROOTED and COMMUNAL worship, giving glory to God and witnessing to His Kingdom.
We believe that communal worship should be participatory and holistically engaging, and so we seek to creatively cultivate ways to invite the community to participate in holistic worship. Much of this is imagined and created the Creative Team and other artists in the community
- Engaging through participation, not simply through passive observation
- Engaging the fullness of our humanity (mind, body, soul, spirit, emotions) and senses (seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling)
We believe that communal worship should be rooted in Christ, Scripture and the history and traditions of the Church, and so the movements and elements of our gathered worship draw on and stem from these
- In Christ
- Ultimately, all of our worship, both personally and communally, has God at its centre as He has revealed Himself through Christ by the Spirit.
- In Scripture
- Scripture and its interpretation in the community is one of God’s primary means by which He has revealed, and continues to reveal, Himself by the Spirit.
- In history and Christian tradition
- God has continued revealing Himself by the Spirit in the centuries since the Scriptures were formed and so we seek to ground ourselves in and continue the story of God’s work and revelation through the Church, its traditions and spirituality.
To see the what these movements look like for us, please scroll down to "Movements and Elements of Communal Worship @SGC"
We believe it is important that communal worship is lifting the voice of our particular community, and so we value our gathered worship being led by and coming out of the people of the community. On an average communion Sunday there are 27 Spring Gardeners involved in facilitating our worship, and usually no more than 2 of those are “professional” Pastors!
- Our particular people
- Communal worship is the lifting of the voices of the diverse particular people who make up the community, authentically bringing who we are into the gathered congregation.
- Our particular history
- Our voice in worship is in the context of our shared history as Spring Garden Church, as Canadian Baptists, as part of the Church Catholic (worldwide and welcoming) around the world and throughout history.
- Our particular time and space
- Our gathered worship is in the shared context of our location at Spring Garden and Kenneth Avenues in 2015 in a post-Christendom and post-modern culture.
To see the various ways people of the faith community help facilitate and lead communal worship, scroll down to "The People Who Facilitate and Lead"
Why Intergenerational Worship?
Intergenerational worship is a way in which we come together as the family of God to worship. It is not just about having children and youth in worship. Intergenerational worship is about the whole family of God worshipping together. It is not a family worship, it is not a youth worship. It is a worship that includes all ages and stages of life.
Intergenerational worship is a way in which we proclaim together that Jesus is Lord. It is a way of emphasizing the importance of community. This is why, on a quarterly basis, we gather as the community of God. It might not be a time when you yourself will get a lot out of worship but that’s okay. This time together is not about you. It is about our relational God who call us to be in relationship with Him and others. It is about who we say we are. It is a way of participating in the body of Christ. It is a way of saying that we need each other. Children and youth are not the only ones that need to experience intergenerational worship; adults, singles, and seniors need it just as much.
We value it. We think it’s important. And because it is important, even though it can be hard or draining, it is worth it. Intergenerational worship can be a great opportunity to practice discipleship. It is a way of dying to our propensity to be self-centred and can be a way to worship selflessly. So we invite you to come and participate with us and with the triune God who invites us to be one with him.
God’s continuing self-revelation is not age-specific. Your children may experience a relationship with God long before they can articulate it,” says Steve Burger, director of children and family ministries in the Evangelical Covenant Church’s Christian formation department.
“The phrase ‘all generations’ appears 91 times in the Bible. God does not form our character all at once or all by himself. Nor does he expect us to unilaterally form our own character. God acts on us through others. Interaction among generations is necessary for forming faith and character. Each age learns from another,” Vanderwell says.
- Huyser-Honig, By: Joan. "Calvin Huyser-Honig, By: Joan. "Calvin College." All Ages Needed for Intergenerational Worship. June 11, 2007. Accessed April 17, 2018. https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/all-ages-needed-for-intergenerational-worship/.
- Huyser-Honig, By: Joan. "Calvin College." All Ages Needed for Intergenerational Worship. June 11, 2007. Accessed April 17, 2018. https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/all-ages-needed-for-intergenerational-worship/.
THE PEOPLE WHO FACILITATE AND LEAD
- Worship bands
- Musicians who are part of the community and committed to their team on an ongoing basis
- Worship Band Leaders and Planners
- Musicians with gifts of leadership both musical and spiritual who plan and lead worship through music, speaking, prayer and scripture.
- Creative team
- A team of artists who imagine and create art that helps draw us in and engage us in holistic worship
- Artists who are part of our community who share their artistry with us
- Communion preparation and cleanup
- Individuals who bake bread, and prepare the bread and cups for when we gather around the Lord ’s Table, and who also clean up afterwards.
- Prayers of the People leaders
- People who lead us in prayers of intercession for our community, city, country and the world.
- People who help facilitate our worship through offering our resources to God and who are available to help people in need.
- People who are committed to helping us to be a welcoming community when we gather on Sunday mornings
- Scripture readers
- People who read God’s scriptures to us in the gathered community
- Children and Youth blessing
- Those who lead blessing the children and youth before they go to discipleship ministries designed for them.
- Sound and Projection
- People with technical and listening skills who facilitate the ability for the community to participate in worship through running sound and screen projection.
- Song writers
- Musicians within the community who write songs that help us lift our voice in worship
MOVEMENTS AND ELEMENTS OF COMMUNAL WORSHIP @SGC
Every Sunday the journey of our communal worship flows through four main movements and is made up of many different elements that weave together as one.
Elements that can be found in any of the movements of worship
- Scripture (particularly from the Psalms and Gospels)
- Spiritual exercises (practices and disciplines, many ancient, of listening to God)
1st Movement: Gathering Together
- Welcome and Invitation to gather
- Often through music, prayer and spoken word we are gathered together, coming as we are and turning our selves towards God.
- Expressing our admiration and love of God for who He is, what He has done and what He is doing.
- Confession of Sin and Assurance of Forgiveness
- When we confess through Jesus our sin, rebellion and ways we have lived out our brokenness, He is faithful to forgive us, and so we proclaim that forgiveness through Christ over God’s people.
- Passing the Peace
- Having received the Peace of Christ through forgiveness, we pass the Peace of Christ to those around us
- Jesus’s disciples are called to proclaim their participation in His death and resurrection through the sacrament of Baptism
2nd Movement: Uniting at the Table
- Receiving and participating in the body and blood of our Lord as a family gathered around the table
- Caring and Sharing Offering
- Caring for those in financial need as a thankful response to God’s care for us
3rd Movement: The Story We Share
- Child dedications
- Dedicating a child to God and the commitment of the family and the whole community to support them, raising them in the love, knowledge and community of God.
- Blessing the Children and Youth
- Blessing them as they go to their areas of discipleship
- Our Stories
- Testimonies of what God is doing in and through us
- Prayers of the People
- Lifting our community, city, country and the world to God in prayer
- Scripture Reading
- Hearing the passage that is preached on read aloud
- Interpreting the scriptures in the community
- Responding to God
- Responding to how God by His Spirit has challenged and/or encouraged us
- Offering ourselves and our resources to God as a thankful response
4th Movement: Scattering into the World
- Committing ourselves to live out God’s character, in His strength, by His Spirit, for His Glory
- This is often done through music and/or prayer
- Information and opportunities for loving God, loving each other, sharing God’s story and showing God’s care.
- A blessing over the community as we go into the world living for God’s Kingdom
- Time of Fellowship in the Lounge
- A continuation of what it means to be a worshipping community