It was Archbishop William Temple who said 'Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by his holiness; the nourishment of mind with his truth; the purifying of imagination by his beauty; the opening of the heart to his love; the surrender of will to his purpose- and all this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for the self-centredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.
These are some of the things we seek to capture each time we meet on a Sunday, morning and evening. St John͛s is one church with multiple congregations with meetings at St Faith͛s and Riverside sites as well as St John͛s.
At St John͛s at 10.30 all the church family meet together in the adoration of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To this end our praises are enhanced by our music group with a mix of worship songs, traditional and modern. After the children and young people have left for their various groups, we continue to allow our time to be shaped by the Gospel itself as we seek our heavenly Father͛s forgiveness , pay close attention to the reading of the Bible and encounter God as his Word is opened up to us in preaching. There is also the privilege of engaging with God in prayer which is led by a member of the congregation.
As well as gathering around God͛s Word, once a month we gather around the Lord͛s Table for Holy Communion. This is when we look back with gratitude for God͛s sacrificial gift of his Son, look forward to his return and look up to his throne from which he reigns in heaven.
We also spend time with each other, taking the opportunity to meet with one another after the main act of worship and encouraging each other on in our Christian walk.
We also have special ͚Family Services͛ which are more relaxed and informal catering for all the age ranges in church as we remain together throughout the service.
At 6.30 pm we meet again but still with the same aim of ͚building up͛ in the faith. Here, the services while being more informal with a larger student attendance, nonetheless seek excellence in music, preaching and prayers.
Please pray that in all that we do we will seek to be God honouring, Christ focused and Spirit shaped with the Word of God being central to our worship. Pray that everyone would be committed to using their God-given gifts for the building up of God͛s people and reaching out to others.