Sunday Worship - 10:00am
It’s always a little weird to try out a new church. This section is meant to give you a feel for what to expect when you come to a Redemption Church service. The first thing you’ll notice is that we are a pretty average sized church. There are usually around 200 people here each week. We feel very fortunate to be this size right now. It’s big enough to where you don’t feel awkward, like everyone’s looking at you. But it’s small enough to be able to get to know everybody over time. We have tons of young families - young kids are a big part of our mission. Here is some more information about the way we worship.
When we worship together on Sundays, our collective effort goes into creating space for people to encounter God and each other. We work extra hard to try and create an environment conducive to these sorts of connections. We believe that authentic worship can involve all of the senses, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. We often experiment with all of the senses if for no other reason than to remind ourselves we are not simply rational beings, but we encounter God holistically as human beings. Thus we attempt to pay as much attention to the soul and the body as we do to the mind.
Everything we include in our services is there for a reason. Even the way we set up the room has symbolic significance to us. The chairs are arranged in a half circle so that we always can see each other as we worship. This reminds us that we are connected to one another and that our faith is not meant to be merely private. The band sits in chairs with their backs to the audience so that when the congregation stands to sing, one hardly sees the musicians. This helps to guard against the “big show” mentality. Instead, our focus is on the cross and the communion bread and cup, which are the center of our worship. When the pastor or speaker talks, they do so not from a stage, but from ground level, signifying that pastors aren’t super-Christians, but they are a genuine part of our community; the one’s we've chosen as a church to lead us and to give their lives, vocationally, to the service of the church; like first among equals. Generally, the message time also includes feedback time or opportunities for people in the congregation to share their thoughts as well. This reminds us that the gospel is not merely information to be transferred, but something we encounter together. Instead of exalting the worship time or the message, we try to make communion the pinnacle of the worship time together. It is the last thing we do together before our benediction. The benediction reminds us that we do not gather just for self-enhancement, but we are sent out into the world as salt and light in order to participate in the mission of God, as God puts the world back together again.
Music is a big deal in our culture. Everyone has their favorite songs, songwriters and musicians they love to listen to. The music at redemption reflects our belief that you shouldn't have to disengage from the things you enjoy just to come to church. You will generally find a band at our Sunday services leading the singing—playing songs that glorify God and stimulate our imagination. This is intentionally done so that those who come can already feel a sort of connection to the music from the very start. This isn't to say we don't include ancient forms of music—hardly a Sunday goes by that we don't sing some of the great hymns of the church. We just do them more like Wilco might do them than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!
Communion is a sacrament or a means of Grace whereby the people of God can experience the reality of Christ Jesus. The practice of communion is an ancient practice, instituted by Jesus in the last supper and having been practiced as the center of Christian worship from the very beginning of the early church. In our commitment to maintain continuity with the ancient church, we keep communion the center of worship at Redemption as well. You don't have to be a member to partake with us. Our hope is that every person who is trying to follow Jesus will feel welcomed in communion. We practice “intinction” which is where we come up row by row and each person takes the bread and dips it into the cup, then eats it. This is meant to inspire a sense of mystery and reverence at how the Body and Blood of Christ provides grace for the whole person. No one should ever feel like they have to take part in communion. If you are not ready yet or just don't feel comfortable participating we encourage you to use the time for quiet reflection.
One of the most important gifts a human being can ever receive is the ability to see themselves in the story of God—to embrace the reality that God is with us and that we've been invited to participate in a life with God through Jesus Christ. Each week we tell and re-tell the story of God in the hope that we can all begin to see our place in that story. We encounter the scripture together, we read it out loud, we talk about what it might have meant to those who wrote or received it as well as what it can mean to us right here and now in our lives. All of this is directed not so much at 'educating' ourselves about what they Bible says. Rather, our intention is to collectively reflect upon and discover what it means to follow Jesus and then to actually attempt to do it!
Money is such a great indicator of where the heart is. Jesus knew this which is why he talked about it often. At Redemption we are trying to learn how to follow Jesus in every aspect of our lives and this includes our finances. We try to never approach money in a coercive fashion, but we are careful to offer a chance to worship God through contributing to the church as a part of our worship service each and every week. To our guest, we usually invite them to participate if they wish, but to never feel like they are obligated to give. Our hope is that every gift offered to God during the Sunday service will come from grateful hearts who give as an act of worship.
Some people see the atrium before and after the service as a buffer between the car and the service. At Redemption we see this time as a vital life-blood of our community. It is not uncommon for people to linger for an hour or so enjoying each other's company. Our atrium is set up to help people engage in relationships...don't just hustle in and out of the service. Grab some coffee and a donut, browse the bookstore, and make some new friends. Folks with nametags are there to help you navigate the facility and to answer any questions you might have. Our hope is that the atrium will be the place where you become connected to others in our community for the first time and where many rich conversations can happen over the course of time.