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.
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.
Copyright and license agreements sometimes impact our ability to always present language and/or imagery that fully embraces the expansiveness of God and the rich diversity of humankind. We lament this reality encompasses the greater expanse of Christian worship, educational, and artistic resources while also honoring our agreements with these copyright holders and content creators. We do our best to utilize this content sparingly and contextually while committing to crafting and selecting content that best reflects our mission as much as possible.
About the Preaching:
Senior Pastor Nate Melcher is the preacher for most worship settings. 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. Sermons are timestamped in the video descriptions of the worship archives on YouTube and you can stream or download from Soundcloud or your favorite podcast app today.
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.
On first and third Sundays, worship typically 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 regular 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.
On second and fourth Sundays, worship typically 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 secular 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 Children and Worship:
Your family is always welcome in worship! There are many options to help your family have a good experience:
- Online Families | Contact Rev. Hope for children’s bulletins and coloring sheets.
- 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. This worship leadership style resumes in 2022.
- 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. Sacred Ground resumes in 2022.
- 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 and are encouraged to use this moment as a launchpad to speak openly with their children about developing and living out their faith.
- Sunday School | Following the Time with Children, children are welcome to remain for worship or go to Sunday School on 2nd-5th Sundays. Contact Rev. Hope Hutchison to get involved.
- Nursery Care | Children are always welcome, and nursery care is offered in the Caring for Children area for children 6 weeks–3 years old. Nursery Care resumes on Christmas Eve and in 2022.
- Nursing Mothers | You may nurse wherever you like. There is also a reserved Nursing Room available near the Library area.
All are welcome and every effort is made to make the worship space in-person and online accessible to you.
- Online Closed Captioning | Worship archives are closed captioned on the church’s YouTube channel.
- Worship by 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.
- Hearing Assistance Devices | Available upon request in the Sanctuary from the Usher Team.
- Large-Print Bulletins and Hymnals | Available in the Sanctuary upon request from the Usher Team.
- In-Sanctuary Screen | The screen features lyrics and spoken liturgy throughout worship.
- Stairs and Ramps | You may enter the Sanctuary by the stairwell (8 stairs) or wheelchair-accessible ramp.
- Transcripts | Pastor Nate’s sermon manuscripts are available in print to church members upon request.
About Holy Communion (first Sundays):
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.
In 2020, Bishop Bruce R. Ough 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.
Sermons offer 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. Sermons are preached in thematically-linked worship series at typically 4-7 weeks each. The current 2021-2022 worship series is CONFLUX inspired by the Lectionary Year B/C (Gospels of Mark and Luke) and content frm Amplify Media.