Our worship service on a Sunday morning is sometimes described as the ‘Breaking of Bread’ (as this describes what we do) and sometimes referred to as the ‘Remembrance‘ (because Jesus directed His followers to eat bread wine together to remember Him.)
So what happens?
First of all, we keep seats free especially for visitors to the left and right just as you enter our hall. You may also notice a collection box at the back of the hall, but visitors are not expected to donate – just be our guest. Soon after any visitors are welcomed, one of the men in the Church will go to the table in the centre of the room and first give thanks to God for the bread and for what it symbolizes (the body of Jesus); then he will break the bread. It will then be distributed to those who are part of the Church to eat. Next, he will then go back to the table and give thanks for the wine and what it speaks of (the blood of Jesus) and it is likewise circulated to the same people.
The word ‘Church’ is used biblically in this case, not to describe the physical building, but the gathering of people who, together, are the Church of God (in our case, the Church of God in Middlesbrough). So we respectfully ask that visitors do not partake of the bread and wine until you are a member of the church – see God’s 7 Step Plan for more details on how this all happens.
What else happens during the service?
For the next 45 minutes or so, there is a period of hymn-singing and worship prayers, where the Church worships and gives thanks to God for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, His Son, and what He means to us and to God. These activities are led by those in the Church who are male (as the Bible teaches, in 1 Corinthians 14:34, that women are to be respectfully silent during meetings of the Church). We would again ask that visitors simply observe quietly during this time – but please do join in the singing if you’d like to. Everyone usually stands while the hymns are being sung and we don’t use any musical accompaniment when singing the hymns.
… and afterwards?
At the end of the worship time, some announcements are made, followed by a final prayer. Then there is a refreshment break for about 30 minutes, and a time of prayer led by men in the church, followed by Bible teaching by a speaker or Bible discussion – you’re very welcome to stay, and enjoy refreshments and a message from the word of God.