When we gather for a worship service at Disciples United Community Church (DUCC), we don’t expect the same kind of service that we had last time. We don’t want to fall into familiar patterns that encourage us to go through the motions week after week without being awake to, intentional of, and inspired by what we experience and how it speaks to us. This doesn’t mean that we seek complete changes from service to service just for the sake of change. Rather, we invite and are open to new experiences and ideas, and that helps push us in our spiritual growth.
Worship services are just one of the ways we interact with our still-speaking God. While we don’t offer “traditional” worship services each week, you can find a worship service at DUCC once or more per month. And, like DUCC’s theologies, worship is anything but traditional. While other churches may disguise the same beliefs, theologies, and messages in different styles of worship (as with praise bands or multimedia presentations), you’ll find a progressive Christian message at DUCC.
You are invited to join us for a worship service. Most will be located at the Lancaster Friends Meeting House on a Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. Check the calendar to find our current schedule.
What to expect at a worship service
Worship services at DUCC are highly participatory and inclusive. That means that you’ll find language that includes all persons (and doesn’t always refer to God as male) and messages that apply to the world (not just a “chosen few”). We lift up the gifts of our congregants, and questions, input, and discussion from the congregation are invited. We draw upon ancient and contemporary resources, including literature, music, art, and dance, to include in our worship. There is always more that we can learn from.
Our worship services usually contain a common flow in this order:
- Preparing for God’s word—We open our services with practices that help settle and focus us for why we gathered. It’s not uncommon for us to include a call to worship, a prayer, and a song here.
- Listening to God’s word—This part of the service encourages us to think, to feel, to experience, and above all, to listen. We are open for how God still speaks in our lives today. We may offer a reading from the Bible or other texts, a spoken reflection or message, a discussion, or an interactive art or media experience.
- Responding to God’s word—After we have received God’s word, we respond. Our services may include a song, prayer, and offering here. However, we always include communion as part of our response. The open table has always been central to DUCC as a ritual, symbol, and sacrament of how we commune with others in our church and around the world as Jesus modeled for us almost 2,000 years ago.
- Going forth—We conclude our service with a blessing to go forth into the world. We are called to act in ways that extend God’s extravagant, subversive hospitality to all.
Holy communion and the open table
At the Last Supper with his disciples, Jesus shared bread and wine, and charged that they continue to do so in his memory. We continue this tradition weekly at DUCC as for us, it is central to our calling. It is a very real way that we can provide God’s invitation, hospitality, and love for all who commune. Our table is open, meaning that there are no requirements to partake; each person in attendance is invited to the table.
During a worship service, we usually sit in a circle around the communion table, as it symbolizes the center of our lives together. When it is time for the communion meal, we approach the table, pass the bread to one another, followed by the cup. (We offer a gluten-free option, and our cup contains grape juice, so that all may participate.) Though all are invited to participate, it is a personal choice. People may decline to receive the bread and cup, and instead, they will receive a blessing.