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Special Services

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Ash Wednesday Service - Feb 17, 2010 - click here

Christmas Eve Service Dec 24, 2009 - click here

"Maundy Thursday Tenebrae and Communion" preached on April 13, 2006

This service follows the story told in Mark 14 and consists of narrative portions put into the mouths of the various characters in the story, in addition to the Bible readings.  Candles are extinguished at seven points during the service (tenebrae).  Part I of the service takes place in the sanctuary and recounts Jesus’ preparation for the feast of the Passover, and his institution of the Lord’s Supper, as he shared that meal with his disciples.  Everyone is asked to gather around the table for the communion and to dip their bread in a common cup.  Part II of the service remembers Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and takes place in the Narthex of the church with Taizé music played throughout.  Part III of the service recalls Jesus’ appearance before the Sanhedrin and Peter’s denial.  It takes place back in the sanctuary, which has now been stripped of all decoration, and the communion elements put away.  The service ends with a meditative selection by the choir and the congregation departing in darkness and silence.  The narrative portions of this service were written by Karla Wübbenhorst and Fitz Bharath.

For the scripture reading and full sermon text - click here  

Good Friday Service of the Nails preached on April 14, 2006

This service follows the story told in Mark 15 of Jesus’ crucifixion and death, and consists of prayers in which we confess the sins of the principal characters in the crucifixion drama, together with the Bible readings from Mark, from Isaiah 52-53 and from Psalm 22.  When the narrative reaches the point where Christ is hanging on the cross, the congregation is invited to write prayers of confession on pieces of paper and come forward to nail them to a six foot cross at the front of the sanctuary.  This service includes 4 hymns and a sung meditation, and concludes with a prayer of thanksgiving to the Crucified.  The idea for this service was suggested by the Reverends Richard and Charlene Fairchild whose Good Friday service, “The Nails of the Cross” can be seen at http://www.rockies.net/~spirit/sermons/b-gdfr-su.php.

For the scripture reading and full sermon text - click here  

Easter Son-rise service preached on April 16, 2006 

The meditation in this service concerns God’s creation of a new day for us with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  When Jesus arose, it was not a cancellation or re-writing of the death that had befallen him.  Rather it was the creation of a world in which death had lost its sting and the grave had lost its victory.  The early Christians began to worship on Sunday, the weekly celebration of the resurrection, whereas Jews hallowed the seventh day, because Christians understood Sunday to be an eighth day of creation.  They were also baptized in an eight-sided building to signify that baptism was one’s supernatural birth into this eighth day, where God’s redemption of the cosmos had begun.  On Easter morning Mary comes to the tomb in her grief and leaves in joy and wonder at Christ’s resurrection.  This is the first-fruit, the first joy, but the latter realization is that we all belong to this new creation by baptism, and we shall all share in a resurrection victory like his. 

For the scripture reading and full sermon text - click here

Easter Worship 10.30am - preached on April 16, 2006 

This Easter sermon ponders the reality of resurrection.  Because God really raised Christ in the flesh we can never make the resurrection a metaphor, nor can we make the kind of life it seals upon us an indefinite sort of ideal.  The resurrection is concerned with results, the vindication of God’s beloved son and the establishment of all his words and deeds; the delivery of God’s promises.  The resurrection also expects and enables tangible transformation of life within us – a definite difference in the way that we live – actual fruit-bearing.  The resurrection is God’s ideals worked into history’s facts.  The sermon quotes the wonderful poem, “Seven Stanzas for Easter” by John Updike.

For the scripture reading and full sermon text - click here

The Song of Mark - presented on May 15, 2006

This service takes the form of a cantata.  The complete gospel of Mark is reprised in the music of Marty Haugen’s Song of Mark, and in the narrative summaries of the gospel.  Some of the normal service elements such as the prayers, the offering and the benediction are included at appropriate points in the gospel-story.  Marty Haugen’s Song of Mark is a longer work, sometimes performed with a fully costumed cast and a children’s choir.  Organist Carolyn Milke has sensitively condensed Haugen’s work and worked with the Westminster-St. Paul’s choir and 8 soloists there from, who played the various roles, to present this version of the Song of Mark.  The narrative portions were composed by Karla Wubbenhorst and read by Doug Peebles.     

For the scripture reading and full sermon text - click here