Bering United Methodist Church

Worship at Bering

In seeming contrast to the formality of the worship service at Bering, congregational dress tends to be much more “come as you are.”  Members and guests will be dressed in styles varying from very casual to “church clothes.”  This is a testament to the welcoming, non-stuffy, atmosphere.

In the early years of the then German Congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, all services and classes were conducted in German. In 1910, church leaders voted to make English the primary language. At that time the church’s name was changed to Bering Memorial Methodist Church.

During the 1980s, Bering began a renaissance of “traditional” and more formal Wesleyan/Anglican style of worship, including observance of Holy Communion every Sunday. The onset of the horrors of the AIDS epidemic helped to reinforce this shift, as the Bering community seemed to find comfort in the constancy and formality of the liturgy. The Eucharist, beautiful liturgy, and excellent music—combined with the warmth of a welcoming spirit—continue to be hallmarks of worship at Bering Memorial.

Bering’s ministers are joined each week by a number of lay (non-clergy) worship leaders: lectors, acolytes, and banner bearers. All of the worship leaders, including the choir, are vested (dressed in traditional religious clothing), and the sanctuary is adorned with paraments (cloth coverings for the furnishings of the sanctuary) appropriate to the Church season. These appointments combine with the stained glass and the elegance of the sanctuary to add a visual loftiness to the worship setting.

Music is fundamental to the worship experience at Bering. Congregational singing is robust, accompanied by Bering’s pipe organ, masterfully played by Bob Manchester. Bob is an expert at keeping the tempo of the hymns moving, preventing the hymns from becoming sluggish and dirge-like. The fine chancel choir and bell choir—under the direction of Rob Seible—enrich the service greatly through anthems encompassing a wide range of musical styles, as well as special seasonal offerings.

 

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