What is worship at Greystone?
Many have said that corporate worship is the most central work of the church—from the intentional experience of being in God’s presence as a community, we are more able to serve God in all aspects of our lives, both individually and corporately.
Worship services at Greystone are times for our community to gather, to experience the revelation and mystery of God, to praise and give thanks to God, to listen to and offer our selves in service to God. In worship…
- We celebrate the acts of God as Creator, incarnate Christ, and Holy Spirit
- We encounter and experience God through dialogue—acts of worship that include words, songs, prayers, scripture, creative arts and proclamation
- We are awed by the mystery and holiness of God, and are humbled to quiet reflection, listening for God’s words for our lives
- We respond in faith, departing to serve—to be the hands and feet of God’s love in our world as a community of faith
- We share the peace with each other, having experienced the presence of God individually and corporately.
When do we worship at Greystone?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our traditions around worship have changed. The first Sunday of the month, we worship outdoors and in person. The service is live-streamed to our YouTube channel. Every other Sunday of the month, in person worship is in the Sanctuary at 10:00am. Masks and social distancing are required for all in person worship services. Weekly worship services are also available online via our YouTube channel and website beginning at 8:30am each Sunday. All worship services are approximately one hour and are similar in style, order, and substance. We typically celebrate Communion during worship on the first Sunday of each month.
There are other special worship services scheduled throughout the church year to observe or celebrate special times in the church calendar (e.g., Ash Wednesday in Lent, Maundy Thursday in Holy Week, an Advent Service of Hope and Remembrance, Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, etc.).
How do we describe worship at Greystone?
Many people use different words to describe worship. Often, those words are confused with the style or type of music, which is only one aspect of worship.
Some would describe our worship as eclectic. The service order looks liturgical in nature, and there are elements that are both traditional and contemporary. We use music from a wide diversity of styles.
Rather than blended or emergent, we describe our worship from a convergent lens. We are diverse in our religious backgrounds and traditions and have converged at Greystone in this time and place. Our worship is CONTEXTUAL—utilizing the varied gifts and traditions of our people to create worship that is situated in context and is both fresh and familiar.
What do we value in worship at Greystone?
The best description of worship lies in what we value in worship:
INCLUSIVITY—Described by recent attendees as “open-armedness”, every one is welcomed and invited to participate in worship. Every individual has value and something to offer. We experience a sense of community in our worship.
TIMELY and TIMELESS—At the intersection of today’s headlines and life’s concerns with the wisdom of scripture and faith is our worship that seeks to be both relevant and respectful of time-honored traditions, seeking God’s word for this time and this place.
PARTICIPATORY—Liturgy really means “work of the people”, and we take that literally in our worship. God is the audience of our worship, and we are all the worshippers. Our worship leaders are young and old, male and female, clergy and laity—the work of ALL the people.
CELEBRATION of the Gospel—Each time we worship, we celebrate the gospel of God’s love and experience the mercy of God’s grace.
AUTHENTICITY—True to our human nature, we respect the wide range of emotions we share in worship: We express adoration, praise and joy in worship while often experiencing the struggles of concern, grief, sorrow, confusion and doubt. Meeting God in worship humbly and honestly means that we confront those conflicting emotions as a community of faith. Worship can be both joyful and contemplative.
CREATIVE EXCELLENCE—Music and creative arts are vehicles that help us express our worship and that enhance the community of our worship. We seek to incorporate elements of worship that allow us to speak clearly and expressively to God and that invite God to speak to us.
FREEDOM—The historic Baptist principle—priesthood of the believer—is evident in our worship where every member is a minister and free to approach God in truth and love. We listen for God’s word to us in scripture, in prayer, and in proclamation. We celebrate the freedom of the pulpit, being both challenged and encouraged by the proclamation of God’s word.
MYSTERY and CHALLENGE—The acts of worship bring us in dialogue with God. Often, the act of worship makes us aware of the awe and mystery of God. Many times, the act of worship can challenge and stretch us as we live out our faith in community. And that’s OK!
What does worship look like at Greystone?
We observe and celebrate the seasons of the church year in communion with the worldwide church
We utilize the Revised Common Lectionary to guide our scriptural focus and thematic development of each week’s worship.
While the worship order seems pretty traditional or even liturgical, we allow for creativity and flexibility to be authentic contextually
There is warmth of the community engaging in worship together—enthusiastically lifting songs, prayers, and other acts of worship to God
We employ a wide diversity of musical styles and genres
- Some weeks we sing mainly traditional church hymns; other times we employ classical music for more formal worship experiences or beloved gospel songs for more heartfelt moments. Contemporary Christian songs (of your generation, whatever that is!) are often used as fresh and personal expressions of worship. There are times we join in worship to play and sing familiar songs all with a bluegrass feel, or gospel fervor. Instrumental offerings may employ a modern jazz feel.
- The key to all of these different genres of music, style of arrangements, presented by various groups using a vast array of instruments is not variety for novelty’s sake. Rather, such variety points to our worship, which is CONTEXTUAL, and that means our music should reflect that authenticity to express our deepest worship.
What do you mean by a wide diversity of musical styles and genres in worship?
Types of music:
- From traditional hymns to classical music to gospel songs to contemporary Christian music to folk songs to modern compositions
Gamut of styles:
- From traditional church sounds to classical to contemporary praise to folk-like to bluegrass to Celtic to modern jazz
- Congregational songs, choral anthems, solos, arrangements for small ensembles, praise groups, piano/organ, hand bells and other instruments, to name a few
Sung or played by:
- The congregation, our children’s choirs, youth choir, adult choir, small ensembles, soloists, hand bells, and other instruments
- Piano and/or organ, hand bell choir, solo instruments (like violin or saxophone or flutes or penny whistles), instrumental accompaniment (acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, electric bass, drum set, Irish field drum, contemporary beat boxes, etc), even a larger orchestral accompaniment (strings, winds, brass, percussion)… or sometimes, a song is sung just simply a capella
In summary, why limit our worship to one or two means of expression, when we experience and need to express such a broad range of emotions in worship? Our worship is CONTEXTUAL, and that means our music should reflect that authenticity to express our deepest worship.
What should you expect when you worship with us at Greystone?
Typical worship elements—that you see in most churches. We sing, pray, read responsively, greet each other in love, share the peace, read scripture, listen for God’s word proclaimed in sermons, have opportunities for response, engage in silent reflection, partake in communion, and share the gifts of the congregation to help lead us in worship.
Inclusiveness and Participation—Worship is not an audience sport at Greystone; you are invited individually and corporately to engage in worship directed towards God. You will often hear the staff ministers thank worshippers with the phrase: “Your attendance and participation enhances our worship.” That’s true! Our worship is significantly more alive with everyone’s participation.
Guests are not “singled out”—Rather, we hope you feel welcomed, greeted, respected and included. You are an important and valued part of our worship team. Thank you for being part of our congregational worship.
What you wear is a non-issue—What should you wear? Clothes would be nice! Seriously, you will find everything from youth in jeans/shorts to slacks/shirts and dressier suits for both men and women. Mostly, dress is “business casual”, if we have to describe it. We do not focus on what we wear, but on the gifts and expressions of faith we bring to the community to engage in worship.