Where does one begin to capture an image of worship? As an ordained pastor and teacher in the United Church of Christ, my mind went in dozens of directions – not all of them church related! I settled on sharing photographs related to two Sacraments celebrated as a part of Christian worship. The things pictured are just things until they are used by a gathered community to remember, to share stories, and to celebrate what God has done, is doing and will do.
EUCHARIST (‘thanksgiving’) – COMMUNION – THE LORD’S SUPPER
“O taste and see that the Lord is good.” – Psalm 34:8a NRSV
Communion Table, Psalms Retreat, Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center, Montour, Iowa. Photo: TLClark, 9/11/14.
These first two pictures are from a one-day retreat I led based on the theme “Taste of God.” We gathered for Morning Prayer, had a chance to work in the garden harvesting vegetables, and shared in a time of Worship with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.
After Sharing the Bread and Cup, Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center, Montour, Iowa. Photo: TLClark, 9/11/14.
Did you notice the honey pot in the second picture?
“I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
– Psalm 81:16 NRSV
My preference for Communion ware is definitely not the shiny plates and wine/juice trays for individual cups used in every church I’ve served. Nevertheless I am always fascinated at the way the surfaces reflect candles and lights and windows!
Pastor’s View of Communion Table, Faith UCC, Muscatine, Iowa. Photo: TLClark, 4/8/12.
My husband and I were in Seattle for a wedding last fall and dropped in for Sunday Worship at the UCC congregation nearest our hotel. The chalice, paten (plate holding the bread) and cloth were beautiful.
Chalice, Broadview Community UCC, Seattle, Washington. Photo: TLClark, 10/7/18.
More reflections on shiny church things! The pictures were taken before Sunday morning worship in two different congregations. Each had a silver pitcher from their early days that we used to pour water into the bowl for a baptism.
Window Reflections in Baptismal Bowl, Bethany UCC, Baxter, Iowa. Photo: TLClark, 5/29/16.
Rose Window Reflected on Pitcher, Faith UCC, Muscatine, Iowa. Photo: TLClark, 4/17/13.
Just because I like it, here is a picture of me introducing Elle – a newly baptized “child of God, follower of Jesus, member of the church” – to the congregation.
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Following the news of the devastating fire in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Frank at Dutch goes the Photo! wrote, “it was immediately obvious to me that the theme for this week’s challenge is to be Worship. Regardless of religion, faith or belief system, we can all worship; whether it’s a universal being, nature or the love of our life… Please take this challenge into the direction of Worship that speaks most to you and share it creatively!”
Thank-you, Frank, for encouraging a broad definition of worship.