Exigencies of family life meant I went to an evening service with one of our children. First time, for me I think, at an evening service in this particular church.
The sermon, incidentally, was very good. But here I want to talk about the service as a service.
First up, there was a band. Very good. Well led by a young man with verve, passion, ability-to-lead-with-voice-and-guitar, and, quite noticeable, discipline. By the latter I mean that some songs could have gone for longer with more repeats. The atmosphere (including lots of keen young people) could have induced a form of emotionalism from the song leader. But no. I noticed that everything went according to a clear, but unobtrusive order, including finishing on time.
Second up, there was an outstanding service leader. Blessed by a lovely voice, served well by a good sound system, and with an easygoing confidence in what he was doing.
What about content? I went to this service with no particular expectation of content beyond songs and sermon ... a lot of evening services in parishes work in this way (i.e. in the few that have them anymore), more formal structured services having been held earlier in the day. But this service proved to be an excellent blend of band-led worship, sermon and other things.
Other things? We began with a short reading from a psalm. The reading from Scripture, though but one reading, did not stint on length. What I initially thought was to be one short informal "follow up" prayer to the sermon turned out to be a well formed intercessory prayer, largely based on one of the intercessory forms found in NZPB. At the conclusion of the service was an appropriate closing reading from Scripture. Oh, and part way into the service, even though it was not a eucharist, there was opportunity to share peace with one another.
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