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Three Unique Worship Experiences by Chip Handrich

A Note From Chip

Most of you know that we have three worship services each Sunday morning, and you may be wondering what makes each service unique. We are working to create three distinctively different worship experiences. They are designed to remove barriers that people may have, particularly with music styles, so that more people may become part of our community. There is a common thread in all three services. The pastoral staff prepares all three thoughtfully and prayerfully. All three most often utilize the same liturgy, readings, teaching, and use lay leaders.

For many who connect in worship in a smaller and more intimate space, the 8:30 traditional service is relaxed and informal. It will soon be held in the newly renovated Tutt Chapel. Congregational singing is accompanied by the piano, and music for worship is generally offered as a solo, duet, or instrumental selection.

Our 9:45 service is more contemporary, and worship is expressed through modern praise songs led by acoustic guitar and percussion with words displayed on the screen. This service will also be held in the Tutt Chapel.

The 11:00 service is more formal. People from many Christian traditions find this style of worship, with the presence of an organ, a robed choir, and robed worship leaders, to be very meaningful. They tell us that they felt at home from the first time they worshipped with us. 

Polls conducted by the Barna Group (a respected research group) have shown that many in the twenty to thirty-year-old age group have a desire for a worship service that is more contemplative, liturgical, and formal. They want to see stained glass windows and worship in a space that looks like a traditional church.

Previously, we have robed for specific portions of the liturgical calendar, such as Advent and Holy Week. We will now robe through additional liturgical seasons as we seek to grow our impact in our larger community. Vestments are visual signs of an individual’s office or work. Judges in our civil courts wear black robes. Police officers, firefighters, and medical personnel all wear uniforms that tell us what they do. In the same way, robes identify those from the congregation who have been entrusted to lead in worship by reading the Word, litanies, leading in prayer, and singing in the choir. Robes are worn to de-emphasize what the person is wearing. 

At Second Baptist, we follow the church calendar because our allegiance is to a higher kingdom, the Kingdom of God. Beginning with Advent, through Christmastide, Epiphany, Lent, Eastertide, and Pentecost, there is an ebb and flow to this calendar. The period from Pentecost to Advent is referred to as “ordinary time” and is the longest season on the church calendar. Though the word “ordinary” has come to mean common or mundane, it comes from the word “ordinal,” or “counted time.”  We are counting the time to Advent. 

Each season has a corresponding color, which you might notice by the color of the stoles worn (green for growth during ordinary time) or the colors on the communion table. If you are interested in the symbolism of the different colors, check out this website:

We embrace the differences in preference and follow the higher Kingdom because more than anything we want others to find this place as a place to belong, believe, and become. 

Chip Handrich
Associate Pastor, Worship and Music

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