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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Worship 101

California church teaches the building blocks of liturgy

Brick by brick, they built a worship service at Advent Lutheran Church, Citrus Heights, Calif.

Kathye Hamm, children’s ministry director, said the congregation was looking for a way to engage children in all parts of the service and give parents a tool for teaching them how to worship. So over four weeks during the summer, the congregation devoted its children’s messages to the Lutheran worship service.


Children gather around as Advent Lutheran
Children gather around as Advent Lutheran Church, Citrus Heights, Calif., builds a worship service. Each week blocks were used to teach the youth about the elements of Lutheran worship (below).
Detail of building blocks near altar.
They used colorful cardboard blocks labeled with words that make up a worship service, building up a level each week. The weeks were organized around gathering, word, meal and sending.

Big, bold words denoted the parts of the service that happen each week, with smaller type for sections that may or may not happen (words noted in parentheses below). Words on the blocks were:

Gathering—songs, (confession & forgiveness), (kyrie), (song of praise), greeting, prayer.

Word—readings, Gospel song, sermon, song, (creed), prayers.

Meal—peace, offering, setting the table, great thanksgiving, holy holy holy, words of institution, Lord’s Prayer, communion, (songs), blessing, prayer.


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