The Church’s Time
In the basic pattern that has evolved since the 1st century BCE, the days and festivals of the church year revolve around Easter. The common point for Sunday and Easter, and the reason for their centrality, is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
In common with other denominations (Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Methodist) the Lutheran church follows a “liturgical” calendar, and a 3 year cycle of Scripture readings called the Revised Common Lectionary.
Each church year starts with the season of Advent – the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. The church year calendar takes us through the seasons of Epiphany and Lent to the celebration of Easter. Following the 7 weeks of the Easter season is the Day of Pentecost and then the long “ordinary time” of the church.
The seasons of the church year are heightened by colors, art, music and the Word. Advent begins with the blue of the night sky, followed by the white and gold of Christmas and the Epiphany. Then comes a few Sundays of green, and the 40 day Lenten season which is designated by purple.
Easter is ablaze with the colors of spring flowers and the white and gold paraments, which stay up during the 7 week season. Pentecost brings the color red for one Sunday as we celebrate the fire and light of the Holy Spirit coming to the apostles in Jerusalem. The long season after Pentecost is green, symbolic of life and growth. The green is broken up by white for All Saints Day and Christ the King Sunday, and then we come into another year with the Advent blues.
Sunday has traditionally been the way that most Christians have observed the 3rd commandment. Luther’s explanation in his Small Catechism stresses that this day “provides and preserves time for the proclamation of God’s gracious Gospel.” It is time, according to Luther to receive God’s Word in both audible and visible forms. Coming together each week around God’s gifts in worship renews both our communal and our personal lives.
Here at Faith the Sunday gathering is the principle worship of the community. We gather around the Word and the Sacrament of Holy Communion and everyone is welcome and included. Our core worship resource is Evangelical Lutheran Worship, published in 2006. The Lutheran church has a strong musical tradition, and within ELW are found many different settings for the liturgy, plus hymnody from all times and places.
The service music at Faith is accompanied by pipe organ and piano with percussion and guitar as appropriate. This congregation loves to sing!
In addition to the major festivals of the Christian year – Easter and Christmas, we observe other commemorations such as the Blessing of the Wheels (bikes, wheelchairs, skateboards) in September, and the Blessing of the Animals on St. Francis Sunday in October. On All Saints Day the whole community processes outside to the columbarium where many of own saints are resting, for prayers of thanksgiving. We also look forward to the annual visit of the Bishop of Myra (aka St. Nicholas) during the Advent season.
Members of Faith also gather on Wednesdays – we share a meal at 6pm (BBQ in Summer!) followed by singing evening prayer. Often Wednesday evenings incorporate other activities, such as art projects, or theater sports and games, but the two constants are the meal and evening prayer. From September through May the parish choir rehearses at 7:30pm on Wednesday evenings.
Hospitality at Faith
We believe that at the heart of the Christian story lies God’s inclusive welcome and love. Through the central teachings of the Gospel we are invited to participate in God’s realm where there is a place for everyone at the table.