How We Worship
Worship at Columbia United Church of Christ centers around God's Wisdom as revealed in the prophetic traditions of the Hebrew people; the ministry of Jesus Christ and his apostles; and the movement of the Holy Spirit, inspiring people of faith in all time and space, including today's modern era.
The worship atmosphere at CUCC is casual, liturgical, scriptural, inclusive, expressive and Spirit-filled. Our round sanctuary creates a unique worship dynamic, helping all who gather feel included in the service. The worshiping community enjoys meeting and greeting one another, sharing our joys and sorrows and joining together in communal worship.
Children and youth are an integral part of our worship gathering. We provide activity bags for children to utilize during the service at the discretion of their parents and our Children's Time is one of the focal points of each service. Though we understand that parents are often embarrassed when their children speak or cry during worship, to us it is joyful noise. Our faith tells us that Jesus would agree (Matthew 19:14). We provide a nursery with a professional child care attendant for children in kindergarten or younger that parents may utilize during the worship service if they choose.
Music is an important part of our worship. We have several vocal choirs, bell choirs and other instrumental groups. Often we have soloists playing string, brass, or percussion instruments; or praising God in song. All are welcome to join in our music ministry.
Casual, Liturgical, Scriptural, Inclusive, Expressive and Spirit-Filled
Casual: Some choose to wear suits, ties and/or dresses; but most of the congregation wears "business casual" attire to worship. Some come in jeans and t-shirts. We focus more on our hearts are than we do on our clothing.
Liturgical: Our worship is structured around a specific liturgy, common to many Protestant churches. We gather, we praise, we humbly acknowledge our shortcomings asking and receiving God's forgiveness, we hear God's word in Scripture and Sermon, we pray, we give back to God and we depart, commissioned to serve. Our sung responses, hymns and anthems reflect this liturgical style. We tend to follow the Revised Common Lectionary, but deviate from it sometimes for theme-based sermons and special events.
Inclusive: Our worship is intentionally inclusive of all God's People, regardless of race, age, color, ethnicity, level of ability, sexual orientation or gender identity, economic status, nationality or citizenship We celebrate God's diverse family in all its forms. We strive to reflect this faithful inclusiveness in our hymn and anthem selections, our worship themes and celebrations. We include many voices in worship, utilizing lay worship leaders, mission speakers, singers, dancers, instrumentalists and dramatic readers from the congregation and community. Our youth participate as worship leaders often.
Scriptural: Our worship is centered around God's Word (Wisdom) revealed to us through the Holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments. We do not approach the Bible from a mere literal understanding but seek to delve deeper into the true meaning and Wisdom behind the words; investigating the socio-political context of the scriptures, the imagery intended as the scriptures were presented, and Wisdom God's Word holds for us today.
Expressive: We feel that we are all blessed children of God, and we strive to be blessings in God's world. Our Worship expresses this feeling of blessedness. We often laugh, clap, cry or cheer in worship to express our faith in a myriad of ways. Through this expression, we join together as one family of faith, celebrating God's presence in our midst.
Spirit-filled: We believe that God is Still Speaking to us; and we strive to listen to that Holy Spirit movement in our midst. Worship at CUCC is Spirit-driven; and often that Spirit-filled movement leads us down new and exciting paths. Worship is not structured around human agendas at Columbia United Church of Christ, but around how God's Spirit is inspiring our lives.