So what is expected of me
when I come to River of Life?
You are not ‘required’ or ‘expected’ to do anything. There are many parts to each service – singing, readings, talks, communion however you only need to take part if you feel comfortable.
I suppose you have
alcohol at Communion?
At communion we offer gluten free bread and we use alcohol free wine or juice. We do not want anyone to feel excluded. We want you to feel as comfortable as you can.
What if I don’t want
to take communion?
You don’t have to – nobody will question if you don’t. We have a candle table at River of Life. You have the option to take part in communion, sit and meditate on chairs or on the floor, light a candle – whatever feels right for you. One of our members once described communion as community-union and what better way to describe it – a time where we bring all our differences in union.
When do you hold worship?
We worship every other week in Poole on Sunday evenings at 5:45pm at Skinner Street United Reformed Church but check the ‘What’s On’ Page to see when our next worship service is because sometimes we join with other churches for a united service.
There are also services held at other times – please check out our calendar of events to see when and where. You are welcome to every worship service.
What is Worship?
There are as many answers to this as the number of people who ask the question! There is a theoretical explanation below, however in truth, this would depend on your style and needs. For some it could be sitting and reflecting on a candle, for others lifting their hands in praise and yet for others, it would be to pray abundantly. We believe there is no right or wrong way to worship and that if we have blended worship, each person can acknowledge and learn from the way other people worship at times where there is a style that is different to our own.
Worship to us is a way of life, not just something we only do on a Sunday. The way each one of us relates to the Divine is different. Therefore we use Convergence Worship; an effective spectrum of alternative worship styles including Contemporary, Traditional, Meditation and Taizé music and readings to create a range of worship from high energy to reflective dependent upon the theme of a particular service.
Our different service styles allow focus on different aspects of worship at various times. These include extended prayer time and healing prayer, communion, sharing sacred texts, secular texts, plus contemporary writings etc. We trust you will find different elements in our Worship which you can identify with.
The Bible doesn’t give a formal definition of worship. But perhaps we can start by seeing what various words for worship mean. The English word “worship” comes from two Old English words: weorth, which means “worth,” and scipe or ship, which means something like shape or “quality.” We can see the Old English word-ship in modern words like friendship and sportsmanship – that’s the quality of being a friend, or the quality of being a good sport. So worth-ship is the quality of having worth or of being worthy. When we worship, we are saying that God has worth, that God is worthy. Worship for us means to declare worth, to attribute worth. Or to put it in biblical terms, when we praise God, we speak, or sing, about how good and wonderful God is.
At River of Life MCC we have a Worship Team who lead the services. Each member of the team brings different gifts and beliefs and therefore when they lead, preach or consecrate communion, they approach it with their own influences. What does this mean for the people who come to us? Whether you like to approach worship wanting a challenge, a cerebral experience or a time to reflect, we hope you will find something that helps you in your spiritual journey.
Worship for us isn’t just in a church building either. Ash Wednesday for example we always have a bonfire and have a ritual that helps us let go of the things that hold us back. Sometimes we meet at places like Puddletown Forest and Hardy’s Monument for outdoor worship – there is something wonderful about being in the middle of creation.
Our Sunday worship services are usually at 5:45pm at Skinner Street United Reformed Church, Skinner Street, Poole – keep an eye on the calendar to see what is happening.