LECTIO: A Teaching Service at Custer Road UMC

Since I came to Custer Road two years ago I have been heavily involved in the teaching ministry of the church: leading Bible studies, preaching in worship, writing curriculum and Study Guides to accompany sermon series. My two most prominent spiritual gifts are Teaching and Knowledge, and it has been my joy to share them with so many people in various ways. After several months of prayer and preparation, I am very excited to announce a new extension of that teaching ministry: Lectio, a teaching service (Lectio is the Latin word for "reading"). This will be a new worshiping community offered for those who seek to further their spiritual growth and learning through worship. The service will meet weekly in the Chapel at 9:00 beginning Sunday June 14. I will be the principal worship leader and preacher for the service, although I will continue to preach regularly throughout the year in the Sanctuary, as well as participate in worship at the 10:30 hour.

The format for Lectio will be very traditional: a mix of contemplative, quiet prayer, extended preaching, liturgy, singing, and the Lord's Supper, which will be offered weekly. The sermons will follow the Revised Common Lectionary (you'll notice Lectio in lectionary), a three-year cycle of assigned weekly readings: lessons from Old Testament, the Psalms, an Epistle, and a Gospel. For example, the Lectionary texts for June 14 are:

1 Samuel 15:34-16:13
Psalm 20 or 72
2 Corinthians 5:6-17
Mark 4:26-34

Assigned texts make for a great way to continue your development in study: not only as you reflect on the previous Sunday's message, but anticipate the coming week.

Here's a general outline of the service:

The Preparation (10 minutes)

  • Greeting
  • Collect of the Day (An opening prayer that "collects" the people)
  • Hymn
  • Affirmation of Faith
  • Gloria Patri
The Ministry of the Word (30 minutes)
  • Scripture(s)
  • The Message
The Response (20 minutes)
  • Confession and Pardon
  • Intercessory Prayer, including silence
  • Lord's Prayer
  • Offering, musical accompaniment
  • Doxology
  • Celebration of the Eucharist
The Dismissal
  • Hymn
  • Blessing
Recently in my morning devotional I read this quote from Dorothy Day: "And just to lie in the sun and let God work on you is to be sitting in the light of the Sun of Justice, and the growth will be there, and joy will grow and spread from us to others." Our hope for Lectio is that we will grow in our knowledge and love of, and for, God-- so that others come to know that love for themselves through us.

I invite you to join with me over the coming weeks to pray for this new worship experience. If you are available I would absolutely ask that you consider making this your primary worship hour at least for the summer to help us establish a good mass of participants as we launch. I am very grateful to Pastor Kory and the lay leadership at Custer Road for this opportunity. I know it will be a wonderful addition to the overall teaching ministry of the church, and will provide a meaningful worship and learning experience.