Worship – Guiding Principles
Each Sunday Queanbeyan Uniting church meets to worship the God revealed to us in Jesus.
Our aim is to create worship experiences that encourage all people (faith seekers, the young in faith, those of mature faith) to hear the Gospel of Jesus in ways that transform their lives and thus enable a full participation in God’s transformation of all creation.
The worship we seek to provide at Queanbeyan Uniting Church each Sunday is designed to bring us, as disciples, closer to God, so that we grow to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.
As we build our relationship with God we come to learn:
- Who we are (the beloved of God, along with all creatures);
- Whose we are (God’s); and
- How we are to live (as children of God.)
When we create a service of worship, we do so listening to :
- The Spirit of God;
- Scripture and the teaching of Jesus;
- The traditions of the Church;
- The invitation of the Spirit of God, active and real in our day and time
As we do so, we consider the recipients of the message:
- The community of Queanbeyan Uniting Church; and
- The society within which the community lives.
The Spirit of God
We believe The Spirit is the ever-present reality of creativity and inspiration, always dynamic and free, always inviting us to new experiences of our faith.
Scripture and the teaching of Jesus
The Hebrew Scriptures present a dialogue between those who support the formal and formalised Temple-based worship and those who see it as a corrupt and corrupting aspect of the national life of Israel.
The Gospels tell us very little about Jesus participation in the worship life of the community (Israel) of which he was a citizen. The few references of Jesus in the Synagogues of his day tend to describe incidents in which he read from the Hebrew Scriptures and taught (Matthew 9:25; Luke 4:42-44). This seems to usually have resulted in him creating unrest and anger amongst those who supported the established system (Mark 3:1-6; 11:15-18; Luke 4:16-30). At other times Jesus is openly critical of those whose professions served the current system of worship (Matthew 23:1-36).
Jesus seems to have been quite critical of religion that is self serving and that reinforces differences as being bad or evil. Jesus saw faith and genuine worship where the “religion industry” could not see it. He called for worship to be in Spirit and Truth (John 4:21-24), i.e. of a quality that reflected the presence of the Reign of God. He indicated to the Samaritan woman that there would come a time when worship would not be linked with any particular place or building – neither Jerusalem, the Holy Mountain (nor our local church buildings?).
In the writings of the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 11:17-34; 14:1-40) and the Letter to the Hebrews (10:25) we see an emphasis on the gathering of the people as an expression of the new reality in Christ, the Reign of God. God was worshipped properly only when each member was included without prejudice or favour. This approach reflects the emphasis of the prophets Isaiah (58:6,7) and Micah (6:8) and demonstrates that for the early Church worship was primarily a corporate, communal activity rather than a private, personal, internal experience