More than a New Look for Williams Hall

by The Rev. Mary Vano on September 4, 2014
People who design churches will generally consider four essential areas to the task of Christian worship:
  1. A place for the people to gather – Not to state the obvious, but a worship space is, first and foremost, a place for people to gather in community.
  2. A place for baptism – Baptism is the entrance rite into the community, and takes a prominent place in our worship.
  3. A place for the Liturgy of the Word – One of the reasons we gather in worship is to hear the scripture read and interpreted in the sermon.
  4. A place for Holy Communion – Since Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples, the sharing of a holy meal has been a focus whenever Christians gather for worship.
These four areas are common to every Christian worship space.  Beyond the presence of these components however, one can find great variety in how these areas are designed: what they look like, where they are in relation to one another, and which areas receive the greatest emphasis.  When a worship space is designed well, it expresses the faith of the community that worships there.

Last week, our own worship space received a modest renovation with a big impact.  And the need behind this change came from an area that had been overlooked.  In addition to our gathering, and baptizing, and listening, and feasting – the people need a place to sing!

Across denominations and faith traditions, music is another essential component of worship.  In music, we reflect upon and internalize the wisdom of scripture.  In singing, we engage our bodies and minds more fully to the act of worship.  In listening, we encounter again the beauty of the holy.  When we sing together, we offer our voices, minds, and bodies to God, while building our community as we create an experience together.

For all these reasons, the choir and organ need to be positioned in such a way that they can effectively lead the congregation in our worship through music.  In our newly-renovated worship space, the choir, piano, and organ are now located where they can be both seen and heard.  When the choir leads us in singing, with people seated on all sides of the central altar, our voices will truly all come together each week in an act of praise to God.

If you haven’t yet seen the renovation, come and worship with us soon at St. Margaret’s.  Our worship space not only looks more beautiful and feels more intimate, it sounds really good too!  So, come and “make a joyful noise unto the Lord”!

Read more about our Celebrations:
On Connecting the Dots...
An Interview with Michaelene Miller