What's Going On HERE?

It’s always a little weird to try out a new church. 

This section is meant to give you a feel for what to expect when you come to an Ashland Methodist service. The first thing you’ll notice is that we are a pretty average sized church.  We feel very fortunate to be this size right now. It’s big enough to where you don’t feel awkward, like everyone’s looking at you. But it’s small enough to be able to get to know everybody over time. 

Here is some more information about the way we worship.

ENVIRONMENT

One of the first things you might notice about this church is that it's a blend of new and old. We love this image. When we worship together on Sundays, our collective effort goes into creating space for people to encounter God and each other. This began over 100 years ago with stained glass windows that would fill people with wonder and awe, and it continues in new ways today. We work extra hard to try and create an environment conducive to these sorts of connections. We believe that authentic worship can involve all of the senses, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. We often experiment with all of the senses if for no other reason than to remind ourselves we are not simply rational beings, but we encounter God holistically as human beings. 

SYMBOLISM

Everything we include in our services is there for a reason. 

Near the beginning of the service we always take a moment to greet those sitting next to us, because we believe that when we gather together, no one should feel like a stranger. Before we get to far into the service, we also do some sort of "centering". Most of the time this is just a one minute pause in the rush and frenzy of Sunday morning to just - breathe. After singing, and the reading of scripture, and the sermon. The last thing we do together is our benediction. 

The benediction sends us out from the center into the world with blessing. We are blessed in faith and as the salt and light of God's good world. 

MUSIC

For well over 100 years this church has believed in the power of music to convey the beauty and mystery of God. Whether through jazz ensembles or pipe organs, we believe that music matters. Even more, as a congregation, we value the power of being able to sing together. On Sundays you will typically hear a special choir piece that reflects on the text or message from the morning, as well as a "sung benediction" that everyone is invited to sing at the end of the morning's service. 

COMMUNION

Communion is a sacrament or a means of Grace whereby the people of God can experience the reality of God's Love. The practice of communion is an ancient practice, instituted by Jesus in the last supper and having been practiced as the center of Christian worship from the very beginning of the early church. In our commitment to maintain continuity with the ancient church, we keep communion near the center of worship. You don't have to be a member to partake with us. Our hope is that every person who is trying to follow Jesus will feel welcomed in communion. The bread and juice that we use each Sunday are made by members from of our congregation. We practice “intinction” which is where we come up row by row and each person takes the bread and dips it into the cup, then eats it. This is meant to inspire a sense of mystery and reverence at how the Body and Blood of Christ provides grace for the whole person. No one should ever feel like they have to take part in communion. If you are not ready yet or just don't feel comfortable participating, we encourage you to use the time for quiet reflection.

MESSAGES

One of the most important gifts a human being can ever receive is the ability to see themselves in the story of God—to embrace the reality that God is with us and that we've been invited to participate in a life with God through Jesus Christ. Each week we tell and re-tell the story of God in the hope that we can all begin to see our place in that story. We encounter the scripture together, we read it out loud, we talk about what it might have meant to those who wrote or received it as well as what it can mean to us right here and now in our lives.

Our hope is that we can collectively reflect on and discover what it means to follow Jesus and then to actually attempt to do it!

OFFERING

At Ashland Methodist we want to learn how to follow Jesus in every aspect of our lives and this includes giving back with joy our offering to God. Giving is an act not only of deep gratitude for what we have been given, but also a way to celebrate the joy of participating in meeting the needs of the local and global work of changing lives by faithful action. We support local foodbanks, shelters, and justice movements. Our sanctuary is a holy place of birth and sacred farewells. The gifts of those gathered are the funds we use to do all that we do in support of justice, education, and all the ministries of the church. God’s gifts flows through each of us. Thank you for helping bring faithful action to our church, our community, and globally.