We gather to celebrate and give thanks for God's love which is shown to us everyday in various ways. We in turn share God's love and grace with those around us. Our worship is an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to fill us and give us strength for the coming week. We worship in a traditional style with hymns, choir anthems, both corporate and pastoral prayers. With the reading of Holy Scripture we hear God's words and the sermon helps us connect with God and each other. The sermons follow the Revised Common Lectionary along with a 4 to 6 week sermon series in the spring and fall.
Click on the link to visit the lectionary scripture. This is a wonderful tool to study the scripture for each week.
How And Why We Worship at Harriman UMC
What will happen during a typical worship service?
A typical worship service at a United Methodist church may include a greeting and opening prayer, time for people to greet each other, scripture readings, silent prayer and meditation, an offering, the Lord's Prayer, a children's message, the sermon, special music and hymns, and a closing prayer.
Communion will be served on the first Sunday of the month. All are invited to celebrate communion, but you can choose whether or not you wish to participate.
Often churches will print words and responses in the bulletins to help those who are unfamiliar with United Methodist worship.
Why do we light and extinguish candles during worship?
Jesus said: "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). The presence of the light reminds us of Jesus' coming into our world and into our lives. The light is carried into the worship service as a symbol of Jesus' coming into the presence of the worshipping community. Our church uses two candles on the altar to point out that Jesus was both a human being and God. At the end of the service, the light is carried out into the world to show that Jesus Christ is for all people everywhere. The acolyte leaves the worship service carrying out the light. This symbolizes the light of Jesus Christ going out into the world where believers are to serve.
Why do the chimes begin and end the worship service?
Bells and chimes have been used throughout history to call the people of God to worship. The chimes sound three times to acknowledge the presence of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Chimes remind worshippers to focus on the constant presence of the Triune God.
Why give tithes and offerings during the service?
As part of our worship to God, worshippers offer to God a tithe for the ministry of the church and offerings which are above and beyond the tithe. This is an act of worship by the people because God has been generous to us and calls us to do the same.
Why do we stand for the reading of Scripture?
Our church follows this tradition found in Nehemiah 8:5 that teaches we should stand when the Word of God is read. Standing to hear the Bible read is certainly a sign of respect.
Why do we sing hymns and have special music?
Music is powerful. It can make or break almost any experience. A song can transport you instantly to a significant moment in your life, and it can connect you to the people around you. The Bible is filled with songs, and communal singing has been an integral part of the Christian community since its beginning. We recognize the importance of music in worship as a way to tap into a deeper spiritual place when words alone are inadequate, and we welcome the energy that comes from singing together.
Why are there different colored altar & Paraments cloths?
The Christian year has seasons: Advent-Christmas-Epiphany-Lent-Easter-Pentecost-Kingdomtide. Each season is symbolized by a specific color purple, white, red, or green.
Purple, representing both royalty and penitence, is traditionally used during Advent and Lent.
White and gold are used at Christmas and Easter to symbolize joy and festivities and are also used for Sundays that involve Holy Communion and Baptism.
Red symbolizes the color of fire to represent the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
Green represents growth and is used during Kingdomtide (the season after Epiphany and the season after Pentecost.)
Who is in charge of worship in the local church?
The appointed pastor is given this responsibility. The Book of Discipline, on the responsibilities of a pastor, says the pastor is "to preach the Word of God, lead in worship, read and teach the Scriptures and engage the people in study and witness."
The Rev. Dan Benedict at the Center for Worship Resources explains, "The Discipline does give the pastor responsibility for overseeing the worship life of the congregation. Oversight, however, does not mean carelessness in relationship to things, people, and the liturgy of the church. It means engaging in dialogue and respectful choosing that honors local and historic traditions and practices along with the mission of the church in its community. It is never the pastor's worship. It is never to be just the local congregation's worship." Our church elects a worship team to assist the pastor providing help in planning for and preparing the worship services.
A brief history of the sanctuary of Harriman UMC.
Although Methodism in Harriman dates back to the town's beginnings in 1890, the Gothic-Style building you are visiting today was built in 1927. The local newspaper accounts of its dedication service pronounced it “The most beautiful and complete Church in Roane County”. Special notice was taken that the bricks used in the building were purchased from Jellico and that the stained glass windows were gifts from individuals as memorials to departed family members. The stained glass windows received a major refurbishing in 2016 so that future generations may enjoy their beauty.
Focal points in the 1960’s renovated building are the wooden Altar Cross and Canopy, the Scalloped Vents over the organ and the Memorial Table in the Narthex, all crafted by master woodworker Dennis Morton. Luna Morton made the four Dossals and Paraments for the Church Seasons. The back balcony was removed and the Narthex was added for more room for worship.