The Sunday worship gathering is a vital part of the rhythm of discipleship at Lafayette. We gather to worship God on Sunday, the first day of the week.
When we gather —
We sing songs to praise God and in so doing, encourage one another.
- Our worship in song is simple. We sing a cappella (in the manner of the chapel) which means unaccompanied by instruments. While we might on occasion have a special presentation that includes some kind of instrumental music, we are an a cappella church. While we sometimes sing in unison and sometimes in four-part harmony, the simplicity is striking.
- Our worship in song is stylistically varied. We do not have separate traditional and contemporary gatherings. Our gatherings feature blended worship. That means some of the songs might be a genre or style I prefer while others are not. When we sing songs of a genre or style that are not my preference, I have opportunity to defer to the preferences of others. In doing so, I express my love for others who have different preferences than I have.
- Our worship leaders are stylistically varied. While the songs in most every gathering are blended, there is variety from week to week.
- Our worship is led by a praise team of gifted singers. The singing of the worship leader and the praise team are mixed and amplified during the gathering. The purpose is to give all those who gather the opportunity to sing, even if you are not the most gifted singer – much like singing along with the radio in the car. Whitney deSambourg works with our worship leaders in preparing the praise team to assist in our worship gatherings. Felicia Smith and Janet Huddleston assist through preparing music each week for both the praise team and those in the worship gathering who read music. Mike Brown and others regularly serve as worship leaders in our Sunday gatherings.
We talk to God in prayer.
- In most gatherings our shepherds offer pastoral prayers for the church.
- We often pray together, using the words of ancient prayers like the Psalms and the Lord’s Prayer or the Serenity Prayer and the Peace Prayer.
- Sometimes we have times of silence for prayer in our gatherings.
- Sometimes we are led in spontaneous prayer.
We remember Jesus in the sacred meal.
- Each week we join together in a sacred meal that is sometimes called communion, the Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, or the Lord’s Meal.
- The meal is a way for us to remember and proclaim Jesus.
- As we focus on Jesus, his body and blood, we are reminded how we are to live when we scatter throughout the week.
We feed on the Word.
- We worship God by opening our heart to Jesus, the Word of God as we read and apply the words of scripture.
- As we see God presented in scripture, we open our hearts to God. We ask God to shape and form us through the message of Jesus in scripture.
- Nourishing our souls on the Word in our gathering also prepares us for scattering through the week. When we have seen and worshiped God in our gathering, we can better reflect God in our scattering throughout the week.
We worship God with the first fruits and leftovers of our income.
- In scripture people worship God by giving of the first fruits of their income, that is a portion often described as a tithe (”tenth”) off the top of their income.
- In scripture people are also encouraged to use their leftover income to help the poor.
- In our gatherings we worship God with our first fruits. In doing so we express thanks to God, acknowledging that God is the giver of all good gifts. And in doing so we also express our trust in God. We give because we trust God will continue to provide. While the amounts of our gifts vary depending on our income, all are encouraged to give joyfully, proportionately, and regularly as praise to God.
- In our Bible classes we pass around a can to provide opportunity to give some cash or change from our leftovers to help the poor. Currently the money collected is being used to help poor widows in Africa.