This particular ministry target emphasizes two of our congregation’s core values: witness and life together. As we articulated in last month’s newsletter article, a core value answers the question, “Who are we?” Our congregation adopted three core values that are based on a description of the early Christian congregations in Acts 2:42-47. We decided that, consistent with the Christian Church throughout the ages, we are a people of witness, mercy, and life together. This is also consistent with the current mission and ministry emphasis of our Church body, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The witness core value states that “we are God’s redeemed people who bear witness to Jesus Christ.” The mercy core value states that “we are God’s redeemed people who show mercy and compassion to those who have need, especially physical needs.” The life together core value states that “we are God’s redeemed people who gather together around the life giving Word and Sacraments and have fellowship with one another.”
The Board of Lay Ministry has been tasked with the primary responsibility of formulating a plan of action regarding “the aesthetics of the Divine Service and the Sanctuary” ministry target. With this ministry target we are aiming to enhance our Sunday morning Worship Service and the sanctuary in which we gather to worship. The Sunday morning Divine Service and the sanctuary is the centerpiece of our life together as the people of God here at Atonement. The Divine Service is an expression of who we are as a people of witness and life together. The Pastor and the Lay Ministers will be considering together how we can more fully convey who we are through the aesthetics of our Worship and our Sanctuary.
Some ideas that we have already implemented are the adjustments to the communion distribution procedure to allow for a more continuous flow, the addition of a processional cross and acolytes, and introducing the chanting of various psalms by the choir on the first Sunday of the month. Some ideas that are "in the works" are new choir robes and the robing of lay ministers as they assist the pastor in distributing the Lord's Supper.
As we seek to be a Christ centered people that cares for the whole person with the good news of Jesus Christ, may we continue to gather together faithfully on Sunday morning to receive God’s eternal gifts and to encourage one another in the Faith. By gathering in this way we become empowered by God’s grace and his Spirit to carry out our vision as a congregation—to be a strong leader in our community in caring for its needs with the good news of Jesus Christ.