A Typical Worship Service
Worship is the heart of our community. Every week we gather to share the Good News of God’s unconditional love for all creation. Every week we remember and celebrate God’s promises fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Our congregation is rather evenly divided among people from Baptist, Catholic, mainline Protestant, or Pentecostal traditions. We work hard to create worship services that are relevant, reverent, and uniquely MCC while still offering people liturgies, ritual, and music that they value from those traditions. On any given Sunday you might sing a hymn you remember singing in your grandparents’ church, hear a sermon that weaves together ancient texts and current events, and clap along to a contemporary praise song accompanied by drums and guitar. Several times a year you’ll experience services that are uniquely MCC Austin, like Fat Sunday or our summertime Bible on Broadway series.
Every time we worship, we gather at the communion table. We find inspiration in the reminders of Jesus’ life and teachings, and hope in the assurance of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. The Presider offers an invitation to all present, then shares the words that we believe Jesus spoke at his last meal with his disciples. After that, the Presider states that at MCC Austin, like at MCC Churches all over the world, you do not have to be a member of this church or any church to share the communion meal. You may come to the table by yourself or with friends or family, and you will be offered a communion wafer dipped into grape juice along with a brief blessing.
Who taught you to pray?
Someone may have taught you prayers like “Now I lay me down to sleep” when you were a child, but beyond that, probably no one tried to teach you to pray.
For most of us, what we have learned about prayer came from hearing others pray. And because we weren’t often invited to listen in on other people’s private prayers, many of us learned to pray from prayers we heard in church.
Richard Rohr, spiritual guide and author, tells us plainly, “When the church is no longer teaching the people how to pray, we could almost say it will have lost its reason for existence.”
During our worship services, the person serving as the Intercessor offers both the Community Prayer and a Prayer of Thanksgiving after we have received the offering. During communion and then again after the service, our Deacons are available for personal prayer or anointing. Anyone who would like to is welcome to ask the Deacons for prayer.
We also invite you to write your prayers in our Prayer Book prior to the service if you would like to. The Prayer Book is brought into the sanctuary prior to the service and placed on the Communion Table so that the prayers written there are symbolically included in the Community Prayer. You are also invited to write your prayers on the back of your Connection Card. When you write your prayer concerns on the card, the Deacons and Pastors pray with you and for you throughout the week.
We have a prayer wall at the rear of our sanctuary where you can write your prayers on strips of paper and place them in the wall.
You can also call our Deacon Care Line at 512-291-8819 if you are in need of prayer. Your call will be returned within 24 hours.
Let the children come to me… Matthew 19:14
We’re always glad to have you and your children worship with us, and we want you to be glad you’re here as well. We know that children aren’t used to sitting quietly for long periods of time, so please don’t worry when they get a little restless. We believe that God put the wiggle in children—don’t feel you should suppress it in God’s house. Activity bags with coloring books, crayons, stickers and more are available. Just ask a member of our Red Carpet ministry. If you’re concerned those around you might not be able to hear the service, feel free to step out into the hall to soothe your children for a few moments and then come back into the sanctuary. Always remember that the way we welcome children in church directly affects the way they respond to church, God and Christ. We want them and you to know that they are welcomed here.
Children 0-3: If your family prefers, nursery care is available for babies and toddlers during both services.
Children 3 years-old through 5th grade: Our regular Sunday School season is September through May. Our Sunday School class is divided into two age groups: PreK through 2nd grade and 3rd through 5th grade. Both groups meet in classroom 1 to explore a Biblical narrative from the story Bible “Growing in God’s Love” a theologically progressive children’s Bible that invites children to use their imaginations to engage with Biblical accounts. After the lesson, the groups will separate for discussion, a craft and a game. Both groups will return to the worship service in time for communion. On the third Sunday of each month, all children begin worship sitting with their families. They’re invited forward for a special children’s message following the community prayer. During the sermon they go to the classrooms for an activity related to the message and return in time for communion.
During the months of June and August, we follow the third Sunday routine every week with a children’s message during the service followed by activities. July brings with it our annual Bible on Broadway sermon series. The services are fun and full of music. There is no Sunday School in July, but activity packets that correspond to each week’s theme are available. Likewise, there is not Sunday School on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, but activity packets are available.
6th grade and up: Our middle and high school youth have an opportunity to grow spiritually alongside their peers. They meet in classroom 3 before moving to Cowan Hall (white building) for a time of casual conversation about important topics such as prayer, temptation, forgiveness, and spiritual gifts. And there are snacks!
For more information about any of our offerings for children and youth, please contact Amanda Alvarado at firstname.lastname@example.org