Faith And Formation
We know everyone nurtures faith a little differently and we seek to support faith formation in multiple ways, with all rooted in creating community with one another. Our Faith Formation Team provides leadership, enthusiasm, and structure for spiritual growth and religious education across all generations of the church, to support a lifelong deepening of the Christian faith. See below opportunities and contact us with questions or recommendations for how we can support your faith formation!
Worship & Sunday School
Worship is the Spirit-filled space where our faith community comes together for celebration and deepening of our faith. Through multi-generational and multi-cultural expressions and experiences, we praise God, teach, pray, sing, and celebrate our sacraments. Through liturgy, prophetic preaching and testimonies of faith and witness, our congregation’s diversity is reflected and celebrated.
During this time of quarantine, we ‘gather’ via zoom at 10:00am on Sundays, staying safe, and allowing for interactions and many voices to help lead our worship. Children and youth begin with us and then on most Sundays will go to breakout rooms for Sunday School after participating in our worship for music, prayers and Sharing the Story.
Throughout the year there are special Holy Days when we worship, including Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday (in Holy Week) and Christmas Eve.
Vespers Thursday 7:00 PM
We ‘gather’ for Vespers on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm. This worship experience is interactive and meditative. We are blessed with music, prayers, scripture and sharing. All are invited to join via zoom.
Music is a vital part of our worship and celebration. Our music reflects our rich diversity blending languages, styles and genres to raise and deepen our spirits. Our choir has been an important part of worship and welcomes those who feel called to the ministry of music. Children and youth are encouraged to share their musical gifts also in worship.
At this time of quarantine, our choir cannot practice or perform in person as a group. Members are welcome to share their musical gifts through solos, duets or trios that are live-streamed or pre-recorded.
We are developing virtual choir pieces to also share in worship.
To participate in the choir or to share your music as a soloist or instrumentalist, please contact our Acting Minister of Music, Dan Gaynor at music@ainsworthucc.ORG.
Sacraments: Baptism & Communion
On the first Sunday of each month, we celebrate Holy Communion and the youth and children usually stay with us for the whole service. Communion and Baptism are the two sacraments the United Church of Christ celebrates. All are welcome to partake of communion. Via zoom we each prepare our own elements that are blessed during worship before we eat and drink.
Baptism is also a sacrament done in the midst of community. “The sacrament of Baptism is an outward and visible sign of the grace of God.” Whether someone is an infant or an elder, if they have not been baptized before, we welcome them to be baptized after preparation with the pastor. Baptism will be given during worship supported and celebrated by the faith community.
BIBLE STUDY Tuesday 10:00am
Bible Study is held Tuesdays at 10 AM. We explore the texts for the coming Sunday worship service. Currently, we are meeting over Zoom. We use the UCC Weekly Seeds as a guide to our discussion. The reflection is posted on https://www.ucc.org/weekly-seeds/ If you would like to receive the weekly reflections by email or snail mail,or to receive the Zoom link contact the Rev. Cecil Prescod at email@example.com
OTHER FAITH FORMATION OPPORTUNITIES
Throughout the year we have various learning and faith developing opportunities. These include Liberation Theology Study Group, Sacred Conversations on Race, Lectio Divina, and book study groups.
For our youth, we offer a confirmation class where students explore their faith, create and nurture community, and deepen their commitment to justice and peace. Another opportunity for youth is “Our Whole Lives” sexuality curriculum that is developed by the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association. Other youth activities include service projects and gatherings with youth from other churches and faith groups.
Our children and youth are invited to participate in the summer camps at Camp Adams in Molalla, OR. The camps are sponsored by the Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ. Financial assistance is available from Ainsworth as we as the Central Pacific Conference. For information, including scholarship application, contact the Rev. Cecil Prescod at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ainsworth has an excellent theological and spiritual library. Sections include theology, grief and loss, racial justice, climate ,autobiographies, fiction, and plenty of books, magazines, DVDs to interest you. Please visit our library (northwest corner of the church on the main floor) during office hours to check out a book or other resources.