Ministry - Beaumont UMC

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Our Ministry:

Worshiping
Our worship in both its diversity and its unity is  an encounter with the living God through the risen Christ in the power  of the Holy Spirit. When the people of God gather, the Spirit is free to  move them to worship in diverse ways, according to their needs. We  rejoice that congregations of large and small membership, in different  regions, in different communities, of different racial and ethnic  composition, and with distinctive local traditions can each worship in a  style that enables the people to feel at home.

The Spirit is also the source of unity and truth. The  teachings of the Scripture give our worship a basic pattern that has  proved itself over the centuries, that gives The United Methodist Church  its sense of identity and links us to the universal Church. This  pattern goes back to worship as Jesus and his earliest disciples knew it  – services in the synagogue and Jewish family worship around the meal  table. It has been fleshed out by the experience and traditions of  Christian congregations for two thousand years.
                     
The Entrance and Proclamation and Response – often  called the Service of the Word or the Preaching Service – are a  Christian adaptation of the ancient synagogue service.
                     
The Thanksgiving and Communion, commonly called the  Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion, is a Christian adaptation of Jewish  worship at family meal tables – as Jesus and his disciples ate together  during his preaching and teaching ministry, as Jesus transformed it when  he instituted the Lord’s Supper on the night before his death, and as  his disciples experienced it in the breaking of bread with their risen  Lord (Luke 24:30-35; John 21:13).

After the Day of Pentecost, when the earliest  Christians went out preaching and teaching, they continued to take part  in synagogue worship wherever they went (Acts 9:2ff.,20; 13ff.,44ff.;  14:1;17:1ff.,17ff.; 18:4, 19, 26; 19:8; 22:19; 24:12; 26:11) and to  break bread as a holy meal in their own gatherings (Acts 2:42, 46).

As their preaching and teaching about Jesus led to a  break between church and synagogue, the Christians held an adapted  synagogue service and broke bread when they gathered on the first day of  the week. Such a combined service of word and Table is described in  Acts 20:7ff. This was apparently an accepted pattern by the time Luke  wrote the Emmaus account in Luke 24:13-35, which pictures the joining  together of a transformed synagogue service and a transformed holy meal  and indicates to readers that they can know the risen Christ in the  experience of Word and Table.

The Emmaus account can be used today in preaching  and teaching the Basic Pattern of Worship. As on the first day of the  week the two disciples were joined by the risen Christ, so in the power  of the Holy Spirit the risen and ascended Christ joins us when we  gather. As the disciples poured out to him their sorrow and in so doing  opened their hearts to what Jesus would say to them, so we pour out to  him whatever is on our hearts and thereby open ourselves to the Word. As  Jesus “opened the Scriptures” to them and caused their hearts to burn,  so we hear the Scriptures opened to us and out of the burning of our  hearts praise God. As they were faced with a decision and responded by  inviting Jesus to stay with them, we can do likewise. As they joined the  risen Christ around the table, so can we. As Jesus took, blessed,  broke, and gave the bread just as the disciples had seen him do three  days previously, so in the name of the risen Christ we do these four  actions with the bread and the cup. As he was “made known to them in the  breaking of the bread,” so the risen and ascended Christ can be made  known to us in Holy Communion. As he disappeared and sent the disciples  into the world with faith and joy, so he sends us forth into the world.  And as those disciples found Christ when they arrived at Jerusalem later  that evening, so we can find Christ with us wherever we go.

Since New Testament times, this Basic Pattern has  had a long history of development. At times this pattern has been  obscured and corrupted, and at times it has been recovered and renewed.  The Wesleyan revival continued this emphasis on Word and Table, taking  the gospel into the world by preaching and singing and by celebrating of  the holy meal. Today The United Methodist Church is reclaiming our  biblical and historical heritage, as we seek in this Basic Pattern to  worship God “in spirit and in truth.”

THE BASIC PATTERN OF WORSHIP
ENTRANCE
The people come together in the Lord’s name. There may be greetings, music and song, prayer and praise.
PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE
The Scriptures are opened to the people through the  reading of lessons, preaching, witnessing, music, or other arts and  media. Interspersed may be psalms, anthems, and hymns. Reponses to God’s  Word include acts of commitment and faith with offerings of concerns,  prayers, gifts, and service for the world and one another.
THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION
In services with Communion, the actions of Jesus in the Upper Room are reenacted:
Taking the bread and cup,
Giving thanks over the bread and cup,
Breaking the bread, and
Giving the bread and cup.
In services without communion, thanks are given for God’s mighty acts in Jesus Christ.
SENDING FORTH
The people are sent into ministry with the Lord’s blessing.”

Discipleship
The ministry of all Christians consists of privilege  and obligation. The privilege is a relationship with God that is deeply  spiritual. The obligation is to respond to God’s call to holy living in  the world. In the United Methodist tradition these two dimensions of  Christian discipleship are wholly interdependent.

Our Relationship with God: Privilege –  Christians experience growth and transition in their spiritual life  just as in their physical and emotional lives. While this growth is  always a work of grace, Spiritual growth is always a work of grace, it  does not occur uniformly. Spiritual growth in Christ is a dynamic  process marked by awakening, birth, growth, and maturation. This process  requires careful and intentional nurture for the disciple to reach  perfection in Christian life. There are stages of spiritual growth and  transition: Christian beginnings; Christian birth; Christian growth; and  Christian maturity. These require careful and intentional nurture for  the disciple to come to maturity in the Christian life and to engage  fully in the ministry of all Christians.

Our relationship with Christ in the World: Obligation  – The ministry of all Christians in the United Methodist tradition has  always been energized by deep religious experience, with emphasis on how  ministry relates our obligation to Jesus Christ. The early Methodists  developed a way of life that fostered reliability, and their methodical  discipleship is best expressed in the General Rules that John Wesley  first published in 1743.

 
1/30/2016
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