Friday, July 20, 2012

A word about the General Confession and where it is located in the liturgy

Those who worship with us at Holy Trinity, North Augusta have probably noticed that our Sunday liturgies place the General Confession in one of two places.  There is significance to each location:

A.      The Confession placed at the very beginning of the service: (Book of Common Prayer 1979 refers to this as the “Penitential Rite”)   Each Sunday in procession we ceremonially move into God’s presence and are called to worship with Opening Acclamations.  This is followed with the Collect for Purity, acknowledging to God “all hearts are open” and from Him “no secrets are hid.”   We ask God to “cleanse our hearts” so that we can indeed approach Him in true worship.    Part of our cleansing is to confess those things “done and left undone” in our lives over the week; therefore, the General Confession becomes very appropriate at this point.  The Priest pronounces that God does indeed forgive us and considers us cleansed.  We move on joyfully and unencumbered into worship with the singing of the Gloria or another Song of Praise.

B.     The Confession placed after the Readings, Sermon and Prayers of the People:  At this point in the liturgy we have heard God speaking to us in the readings, sermon and prayers.  These things often prepare us for true confession and convict us of those things “done and left undone.”  The General Confession, therefore, also serves us very well at this point in the liturgy.  Furthermore, this immediately precedes our expression of reconciliation with our neighbor in the Passing of the Peace and our expression of union with God in Holy Communion, both for which confession is a key component.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Vision for Vestry Leadership at Holy Trinity?

At our last vestry meeting, this vision was offered for the ministry of the vestry at Holy Trinity:

·         Not just business managers and parish administrators, but spiritual leaders.

·         Focused on letting God shape our church… calling on God … waiting on the Lord.

·         Focused not just on programs and buildings, but on people and growing their relationship, knowledge, obedience and service to the Lord.

o   Calling people to a balanced (Benedictine) spirituality of being, knowing and doing the things of the Kingdom… a balanced and holistic spirituality involving all of life.

o   Promoting God’s purpose for the church (which in the example given by Christ in the Gospels are two things…proclamation and healing [healing being both redemption from the brokenness of this world and transformation into wholeness and holiness]).

·         Fostering an environment in this church family where transformation, health and wholeness can happen.

·         Projecting a parish vision that we are people with a mission and purpose…          

o   That our mission is God’s mission locally and globally and that we exist for that purpose.

o   That we are to be a congregation focused outwardly in both proclamation and service.

o   That our invitation is to “Come and See.”

·         Building on the strengths of this congregation.

·         Delegating ministries and tasks… involving people, raising up new and anointed leaders.

·         Leading by word and example toward sacrificial giving of time, talent and resources for the growing of the Kingdom of God in this place.