Worship

Welcome to worship with Richfield United Methodist Church. We know it’s a big step to get up on a Sunday morning and go to a new church for the first time, even online, and thank you for coming to see and we hope you have a good experience. Read on for information on current livestreaming worship and what worship looked like pre-pandemic.

Worship is livestreamed online and by touch tone phone.

About the Venue:

The Richfield UMC sanctuary was originally built in the late 1950s but has a contemporary look with wide and high ceilings, exposed beams, and brickwork. The stain glass-highlighted walls add a flair of the tradition while enhancing the space rather than taking over. The raised chancel area where a majority of worship leadership takes place was remodeled within the last ten years and features a newly-restored pipe organ and handmade pulpit. The extended sanctuary includes your homes and wherever you worship from in these distanced times.

About the Vibe:

Worshiping as Richfield UMC means embracing an intentional mix of progressive theology, traditional tethers, and contemporary creativity. There’s call and response, prayer, candle lighting, time with children, a variety of music, and a sermon inspired by scripture and speaking on the world around us. Worship can at once offer respite and refuge from the world and fuel for going back into it to face it head on. It is typically around one hour, give or take, and follows a traditional order of worship. 

About the Liturgy:

Prayers, call and response, and other spoken-word content is crafted with care and reflects the expansiveness of God and the inclusivity of all persons. Some liturgy is original, created by the worship team, and additional voices are lifted up which are in concert with the mission of the church. Special care is given to elevating historically marginalized voices including women, people of color, and persons who are LGBTQIA+ by selecting liturgy crafted by members of these communities.

About Children and Worship:

Every Sunday worship service features a special time with children where a worship leader directly addresses them and prays with them. Parents and guardians are encouraged to use this moment as a jumping off point to speak openly with their children about developing and living out their faith. Sunday School is after worship on Zoom on second and fourth Sundays. Contact Rev. Hope Hutchison to get involved.

About the Music: 

Songs and hymns are thematically match the current worship series. In this distanced season, the musical settings of the two pre-pandemic worship services combine on a rotating basis with occasional blended settings.

Typically on first and third Sundays, worship features a more traditional musical setting. Music Director Nancy Dierauer ably plays the beautiful, newly-renovated pipe organ, and her prelude (music before worship) and postlude (music after worship) are a weekly highlight. Choir Director Paige Armstrong serves as lead song leader and soloist and directs the virtual Chancel Choir with passion. Guest musicians are frequent, too.

Typically on second and fourth Sundays, worship features the Living Waters Band, directed by Victor Zupanc, the Resident Music Director and Composer at the Tony Award-winning CTC Children’s Theater of Minneapolis. Songs are a mix of traditional hymns, modern and contemporary Christian songs, and a wide variety of sceular songs of the past and today. It’s a real blessing to sing and clap along with the songs new to you and the songs you love.

About the Preaching:

Senior Pastor Nate Melcher is the primary preacher. Rev. Hope Hutchison preaches around 6 times per year and there are occasional guest preachers, too.  The sermon offers a mix of pastoral care in the midst of challenge, prophetic vision for a justice-filled world, and a call to action. Stream or download from Soundcloud or your favorite podcast app today.

About Accessibility:

Worship is livestreamed at the church’s YouTube channel and closed captioning is available. For people without internet access, worship is available by touch tone phone. Call toll-free: 1.888.650.5835 at the beginning of worship or call anytime and press “1” to opt-in to receive automated calls whenever worship goes live.

About Holy Communion:

God is the God of the cosmos, transcending time and space. In the United Methodist Church, we practice open communion. That is to say, we place no barrier between you and the Lord’s Table. All who are seeking the grace of Jesus are welcome. You are invited to gather the elements with care and delight.

Bishop Bruce R. Ough has granted special dispensation to clergy appointed in the Minnesota Annual Conference to oversee the sacrament of Holy Communion through online communication and consecrate the elements, including in the expanded sanctuary of the worshiping body’s homes. In these unprecedented times when entire churches are “unwillingly absent,” we are grateful for the opportunity to “gather” and remember the body and blood of Jesus together. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Pastor Nate.

You might consider using bread, rolls, or crackers, as well as grape juice, another juice, or tea.

Preaching

Senior Pastor Nate Melcher is known for crafting sermons with humor and depth. His preaching weaves closely to a scripture text and features illustrations that appeal across generations. Pastor Nate preaches thematically-linked worship series at typically 4-7 weeks each (catch up on the latest series with sermon podcasts). The current 2020-2021 worship series is METHODS inspired by the Sermon on the Mount and Lectionary Year B (Gospel of Mark). 

The sermon offers a mix of pastoral care in the midst of challenge, prophetic vision for a justice-filled world, and a call to action. Pastor Nate is the primary preacher, and Rev. Hope preaches the same sermon at both worship services, as does Rev. Hope around 6 times per year and there are occasional guest preachers, too.

Stream or download from Soundcloud or your favorite podcast app today.

What In-Person Was Like Pre-Pandemic Concerns:

In-person Sunday morning worship and activities are suspended. Please do NOT come to campus on Sunday, thank you. What follows are descriptions of the two in-person worship services of Richfield UMC pre-pandemic:

(Pre-Pandemic In-Person)
9:00am Traditional Worship

Featuring Organ, Chancel Choir and Chancel Bells:

Traditional in style and progressive in theology, the Traditional Worship service in the sanctuary features inspiring preaching, moving organ and choir music, uplifting liturgy and prayers, a variety of hymns (traditional and contemporary), and special music from the choir and a variety of special guests. Sit wherever you like in the stain glass-highlighted sanctuary, a beautiful setting for moving worship.

About the Music: 

Hymns and special music thematically match the current worship series. Nancy Dierauer plays the beautiful, newly-renovated pipe organ and her prelude (music before worship) and postlude (music after worship) are a weekly highlight. Paige Armstrong directs the Chancel Choir with passion, and there’s also Chancel Bell Choir, Children’s Choir, and many guest musicians such as the Groth Music Scholarship recipients.

(Pre-Pandemic In-Person)

11:00am Living Waters Worship

Featuring the Living Waters worship band:

An informal atmosphere, an eclectic blend of secular and spiritual music, and a late-morning time makes Living Waters a unique experience in the neighborhood. Worshipers sit at round tables to connect with each other and there’s a time of community prayer, preaching, and plenty of singing together. This is an intimate gathering in a non-traditional worshipping space. Choose a table of new and old friends.

About the Music:

Music matches the themes of the day in a mix of traditional hymns, modern and contemporary Christian songs, and a wide variety of secular songs of the past and today. The Living Waters worship band is directed by Victor Zupanc, the Resident Music Director and Composer at the Tony Award-winning CTC Children’s Theater of Minneapolis. It’s a real blessing to sing and clap along with the songs new to you and the songs you love.

Children and Worship

Your family is always welcome in worship! Here are some options to help your family have a good experience:

Children and Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary:

There are several options for families with children during this worship service:

  • Art Cart | Older children can fill a bag with items in The Nook to bring with them to worship.
  • 1st Sundays of the Month | Children and adults lead worship side-by-side together. Children lead the liturgy and prayers, read the scripture text, and serve Holy Communion, and the Children’s Choir sings special music. There is no Sunday School on Children First Sundays. Nursery Care is still available.
  • The Nook | A Space connected to the Sanctuary, perfect for having a quiet moment.
  • Sacred Ground | A space near the pulpit for younger children to worship the way that young children do and parents/guardians sit in the surrounding pews.
  • Time with Children | Children of all ages are welcome to come to the chancel steps to experience a message just for them. Parents are welcome to join their children.
  • Sunday School | Following the Time with Children, children are welcome to remain for worship or go to Sunday School.
  • Nursery Care | Children are always welcome, and nursery care is offered in the Caring for Children area for children 6 weeks–3 years old.
  • Nursing Mothers | You may nurse wherever you like. There is also a reserved Nursing Room available near the Library area.

Children and Living Waters in the Fellowship Hall:

Children are always welcome. While there is no Sunday School during this service, the Art Cart is brought to the Fellowship Hall and there is an exclusive collection of toys, books, and activities for children, as well as a wide open space for them to get the wiggles out.

Communion

9:00am – 1st Sundays of the Month (suspended)
11:00am – 1st Sundays of the Month (suspended)

In the United Methodist Church, we practice open communion. That is to say, we place no barrier between you and the Lord’s Table. All who are seeking the grace of Jesus are welcome. The elements are served through “intinction.” Each person is given a piece of bread which they dip into the communal cup and they then receive the elements together. A gluten-free option is available. If you need assistance, please notify an usher.

Accessibility

Song lyrics and liturgy spoken by the people are projected on a large screen to be seen from anywhere in the Sanctuary, from front row to balcony, and the Fellowship Hall. Pastor Nate’s sermon manuscripts are available in print the Sunday they’re preached. Hearing assistance devices, large-print bulletins, and large-print hymnals are available from the Usher Team (9:00am, suspended). 

For Traditional Worship, you may enter the Sanctuary by the stairwell (8 stairs) or wheelchair-accessible ramp. For Living Waters worship, Fellowship Hall is on the ground level.