Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thanksgiving at Year's End

Some souls think The Constructive Curmudgeon is, well, too curmudgeonly and not constructive enough. For that reason, let me recite some features of my church, Wellspring Anglican Church, that I appreciate and give thanks for.

1. I look forward to attending. This could not always be said, especially when I was "between churches."

2. The messages delivered by either of our two pastors are always biblical, passionate, and courageous. They sometimes even include interaction between preacher and congregation.

3. The liturgical structure is biblical, participatory, and edifying. One need not count on one aspect of the service to carry everything else. You will always be called to worship, worship, hear Scripture read, confess your sins, be assured of pardon, say the Lord's prayer, pray as a group ("Prayers of the people"), hear a sermon, receive communion, and receive a benediction. There is order and enthusiasm for that order--no dry, rote recitations here. Moreover, various symbols illustrate theological truths (but no icons). Actions illustrate as well, such as making the sign of the Cross when the Trinity is mentioned. I now do this.

4. The church is open to all manner of people. While we have many well educated folks, we also have people who have served time in jail, have come off the street, or who are not middle class. "Red and yellow, black and white" are represented, as are most age groups. There is no niche marketing, but a desire to draw in the neighborhood and beyond.

5. We also have a close connection to Africa, particularly Rwanda, since we are under several bishops there. Given my concerns for Africa, this is refreshing.

Thank you, Wellspring Anglican Church.


James Gordon said...

A blessing to my soul...thank you, Dr. Groothuis.

I look forward to teaching this Sunday on the gift of God's revelation in the Incarnation.

Daniel said...

I would also add that for me, the fact that people stick around after the service to visit is something I've never seen before. Even when churches are all about "community". There is true community, it is not artificial or "talked but not walked".

Mason said...

I know we certainly enjoyed our visit there this summer. Got to meet you, Doug, and the Lord in worship at the same time. What a treat. See you next time we are in Colorado.