Sundays at 8:45a.m.
You may have heard about The Crossing experience at St. Philip, and many of you have participated in The Crossing. The Crossing team would like to introduce to you how the contemporary service came to be, what makes it different, and what makes it similar to traditional worship at St. Philip.
In 2011 we brought together a group of our members to explore a new worship opportunity for St. Philip. We worked together for many months to create a contemporary worship experience that includes the core areas of worship that are integral to us as Lutherans and consistent with our liturgy, including Gathering, Word, Sacrament and Sending. This may seem familiar to you, and it should be, because this is how our traditional service flows as well.
We identified the following 11 key elements that should be included in each Crossing worship experience: Eucharist / communion; scripture reading; message / sermon; music; children’s connection / message; offering; passing the peace / exchanging God’s love; confession and forgiveness; common faith expression; prayer; sending / blessing. Again, these should be familiar. The order, emphasis or method for how these key elements are represented may change depending on the specific service, but each are included. However, the manner in which you experience these in a Crossing worship may be different than you have experienced before.
The music at The Crossing is typically different from our traditional worship. However, you may recognize some of the songs from radio, retreats, and older hymns with new settings. The worship music often includes drums, guitars, a keyboard and singers. But you will find the music is not overly loud. The intention is for the worshippers’ voices to be heard and for the congregation to experience the sense of community that is brought together through music. There are different musical expressions for different types of Crossing services. For example, there is acoustic, rock(y), contemplative, and bluegrass gospel, among others. We have chosen to use projection instead of bulletins to enhance the flexibility of the worship experience. The words for the songs and readings are projected onto a large screen near the front. Video may also be used during the service. As The Crossing moves into the sanctuary, we will be exploring ways to ensure that all those gathered for worship can fully participate in the experience. You may also find the sanctuary space set up differently for our Crossing worship. These aspects also enable worship to be more casual. You will probably find some “jeans for Jesus” people, some flip-flop wearers, and some who wear shorts. We want people to be able to “come as they are” and feel comfortable, which means we also welcome people in suits and ties, and dresses and hats. It is not about what you wear, but that you are present and ready to worship God with joy.
One of the goals for The Crossing is for us to worship in new and different ways. This is not just about music, the order of worship, the way the space is configured, or how the key elements are experienced. This is about feeling the Spirit move in us new ways. We want this worship experience to be available to our current members who are seeking new ways to worship, as well as a means of reaching out into the world beyond our current members to invite others into our church and our community. I would like to recognize the members of The Crossing Task Force and those who have been an active part of our worship team thus far: Allen Hewett, Laura Carlson, Don Helmey, Sonja Noykos, Kathy Blum, Brian Kindl, Lois Knauff, Allison Weinzapfel, Heather Kindl, Carol Woodyard, Greg Scarborough and others who have helped us sing, setup and plan. We also want to expand this team, so we invite anyone interested in serving on The Crossing Team in any capacity, to talk to one of our team members. As we worship together in The Crossing, may God’s Spirit fill all of us with grace for each other, and fill our Sanctuary with God’s presence and love. In faith, hope and love, Jim Bell