The Epiphany Envisioning Service at Christ Episcopal Church in Tyler

by admin on January 30, 2011

in Churches, Episcopal

Christ Episcopal Church Tyler TXThe thirtieth of January, Sunday morning, Christ Episcopal Church officially launched its Epiphany Envisioning Service (EES). A couple of weeks back I wrote an article looking forward to the new service but having attended, I thought I’d offer a hindsight view of the event.

Envisioning is a contemporary service that features modern Christian worship music, (lead by musicians playing guitar, violin and bongo drums), a shorter somewhat simpler liturgy, (currently one borrowed from the Anglican Church of Kenya), and a greater focus on the homily or the teaching.

The first service was well attended by adults and youth alike, from within and without the church. I didn’t get any kind of head count, and I’m generally not very good at judging crowds but I’d guess that there was at least a hundred twenty people or so presented.

Personally, I’ve been a practicing Episcopalian for around ten years now. Prior to that, I grew up around a variety of evangelical and non-denominational churches.

I searched around for some years before deciding on a church to serve as my home for the remainder of my adult life. I chose the Episcopal Church for a lot of reasons, but a central one was the belief in the importance of taking the Eucharist (or communion), on a regular basis.

Over the past few years I have become used to our traditions, liturgies and order of service. But this morning I saw two familiar modes of worship combined in a way I had never seen before.

It was a blending of my past and present. In terms of the music and general flavor, I felt almost like I was witnessing a slightly more conservative Vineyard service, (at least a Tyler Vineyard service, which I’m told is less charismatic when compared to other Vineyard Congregations).

Also present however were the Anglo- Catholic traditions that are so important and meaningful to those who’ve grown up in more orthodox churches. For me, it was almost like I’d come full circle, only infinitely richer for having found a church where I can connect with Christ through the Eucharist. And this is really the strength of the Envisioning service. Its purpose is not to dispose of the ancient and familiar modes of worship, but to make them approachable to those who’ve never really experienced them; or for those who have, to let them re-connect in a new way. I look forward to seeing this ministry grow. I believe the EES will be a genuine blessing to our community. For more information on the Epiphany service or on Christ Church, visit their webpage at http://www.christchurchtyler.org/welcome.htm or call the church office at (903) 597-9854.

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