by Pastors Troy Jacobson and Kirstin Tannas
Summer is just getting started and things are already starting to heat up here in Southern Maryland and at Good Sam. Some of our brothers and sisters from Good Sam have been organizing outings to the River Concert Series at St. Mary’s College with another outing planned for this Friday. This is a top-notch event that includes a diverse selection of world class music and world class cuisine offered by local food trucks. If you are someone who loves great music and great food, plan on joining the party this Friday the 9th or next Friday the 16th.
We also have great music here at Good Sam, and on June 20th, the first day of summer, we started a new approach to worship. Every other week throughout the summer we are alternating between two distinct worship experiences that highlight our gifted musicians. One week includes congregational singing of the ancient Christian liturgy as well as favorite hymns… all led by our many talented cantors and Music Director Sherri Fenwick. The following week’s music is led by our amazing house band Jericho Road Project (JRP) and includes selections of modern Christian music that can be heard on the radio and streaming on your favorite Christian feed.
Here is some faith-formation information about why we are offering these two distinct worship experiences:
As an ELCA congregation we value inclusion and diversity. This means we value the richness of God’s creation and offer a radical welcome to all people, appreciating our common humanity and our differences. As a focal point of our public witness to these values of inclusion and diversity, we are called by God to shape our worship life around inclusion and diversity. This is why we offer two distinct worship experiences.
One of the principles of growing a healthy congregation is inspiring worship. Research shows that this principle clearly distinguishes growing churches from non-growing ones. Since different people experience different forms of worship as inspiring, there is no right or wrong when it comes to various models of worship. What is most important is that what we are doing reflects who we are in our worship and does so in a way that is authentic and of high quality.
With all of this in the back of your mind, please pray about and consider joining one (or both!) of our worship planning sessions. These sessions are coming up, after worship, on Sunday July 18th and 25th. The sessions are scheduled to last no more than an hour and are designed to help us get focused on the content and flow of our worship. There will also be an opportunity to join in creating the worship experience through serving as part of the worship team.
God is doing powerful work through our congregation and our worship.
Thanks for taking time to read and we’ll see you soon.
Pastor Kirstin and Pastor Troy
1 Christian A. Schwarz, Color Your World with Natural Church Development, p.114.