In June of this year, Cary First was blessed to have been awarded a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Vital Worship Grants, supported by the Lily Endowment, are intended help to foster vital worship in congregations, parishes, and other worshiping communities in North America. This is accomplished by implementing projects or programs that are designed to connect public worship to intergenerational faith formation and Christian discipleship. Vital Worship Projects may range in topic from Bible reading to preaching to Baptism and Lord’s Supper, intercessory prayer, congregational song, visual arts, and more.
For our Vital Worship Grant project, Cary First has chosen to implement a program called “The Sacramental Life.” The Sacramental Life is a year-long Dinner and Dialogue series that focuses on deepening our understanding of the Sacraments of Communion and Baptism, and how they speak to our every day lives. Since July, the church members of Cary First, along with visitors from other churches and around the community, have welcomed esteemed lecturers, engaged in fruitful dialogue, held a hymn-sing for communion, and even completed a book study of “The Meal Jesus Gave Us,” a book by author and professor N. T. Wright. Already, our thoughts about communion are deepening, and this is being reflected in our celebration of the Lord’s Supper in worship. It is our desire to begin to see and experience the Sacraments in new ways and to learn how the Sacraments inform and enrich the everyday lives of the followers of Jesus Christ.