Monday, October 12, 2009

Guest Post by Rev. David Moore on "Worship Committee"

My friend David Moore, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Greenbush, Rensselaer, NY, and the West End Presbyterian Church in Albany, NY, has produced a set of basic guidelines for the "Worship Committee" in the small churches he serves. The guidelines are very much worth sharing.

Session Team Guidelines - Worship

A. Purpose
The Worship team is to nurture the corporate worship life of the congregation through resourcing, education and planning. The Worship team is accountable to the Session and guided by the Directory for Worship of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
B. Membership and Term
The Worship team shall be made up of an elder serving on Session, the pastor, music director and other members and friends as available.
Worship team members covenant together to openly communicate, maintain confidentiality, accept assignments, meet deadlines, and indicate absences.
The term shall be for one year.
C. Meetings
The Worship team shall meet in January, March, May, September, and November or as necessary. The team will distribute a copy of its minutes to the next meeting of the Session.
D. Responsibilities
1. Resourcing
a. The Worship team will provide for the preaching of the Word, the sharing of the Sacraments, for music and special services.
b. The Worship team will arrange for the celebration of the Lord's Supper.
c. The Worship team will provide devotional material for worshipers.
d. The Worship team will review the Music Director's position description and evaluate performance, and review with the Music Director choral support for congregational singing, selection of hymns and choral pieces.
e. The Worship team will ensure the arrangement, ordering and maintenance of the worship space including the PA system and lighting.
2. Education
a. The Worship team will regularly study the nature of worship and provide an adult study annually on the subject of Christian worship.
b. The Worship team will provide, monthly, a Minute for Mission of some aspect of personal or corporate worship.
c. The Worship team will provide material on worship for the church newsletter.
d. The Worship team and pastor will provide training for those who serve in some liturgical capacity, i.e. lay readers, greeters, servers, etc.
3. Planning
a. The Worship team will recommend the Liturgical Calendar and communion schedule, and change worship paraments (clothes)
b. The Worship team will make arrangements for special services: Ordination and Installation, Ash Wednesday, Easter, All Saint's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
c. The Worship team will assist with other services; baptism, commissioning, weddings, funerals and will propose policies regarding each to session (e.g. baptize infants of members only; age of commissioning; music at weddings; weddings for non-members; funerals for non-members; church fees for non-members; etc.)
d. The Worship team, in consultation with the Pastor, will make arrangements for pulpit supply when needed.
e. The Worship team will make budgetary recommendations.

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