Over the Pandemic Period, many things fell away from the life of our congregation and from our worship service. Some things – like passing the Offering Plates and saying a unison Affirmation of Faith – just didn’t seem to make any sense when we were all worshipping primarily online. And it seems like we haven’t felt the need to reinstate all of those things (passing the plates), while others have come back into our corporate worship (Affirmation of Faith). One of the things that fell away from online worship was Community Announcements at the beginning of worship.
In every congregation, there is a difference of opinion about announcements in worship. Some people feel that they are a distraction from the reverence of the worship gathering. Others feel that they go on too long and nobody remembers them anyway, so why not just print an Announcement insert for the bulletin! Here’s where I am with announcements during worship – they are a celebration of the Holy Spirit at work among us and through us!
When we hear an announcement about Lake Travis Crisis Ministries, we are reminded of those in our community who are experiencing crisis, and we are encouraged to offer what we have to help others. When we hear an announcement about Comunidades de Esperanza, we realize we are part of helping others to find hope and pursue their dreams. When we hear an announcement about an upcoming Pie and Property Day, we know that we will share table fellowship and be strengthened in our life together as a community. When we hear an announcement about a Pizza Party at Baylor Scott and White Hospital, we remember the good care the hospital staff provide us and our loved ones, and we have the chance to reach out and express our thanks – plus, PIZZA!
Announcements are a sign of congregational vitality. So we will take the time during our Sunday morning gatherings to hear and celebrate all the ways in which the Holy Spirit is at work in and through PCLT. Thanks be to God!