September 07, 2012
Written by Daniel Hazard

Excerpt from John 1:1-18

"And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of a parent's only child, full of grace and truth.  From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."

Reflection by Martin B. Copenhaver

It's hard to know where to put the announcements in a worship service.  Whether they are placed at the very beginning, or before the offering, or right before the benediction, announcements can feel like interrupting a prayer with an advertisement.  Or, at the very least, it can feel like trying to squeeze in one more person at a beautifully set table.  ("Move over, Sermon.  I'm so sorry, Anthem.  We've got to make room for Announcements.")

Part of the reason announcements don't seem to fit, I think, is that they tend to be all about us, while worship is supposed to be about God.  One pastor I know addresses this by insisting there be no godless announcements.  That is, if you want to make an announcement, you have to reference God at least once.

Come to think of it, though, worship, properly understood, does not just include announcements—worship itself is one big announcement.  It is not an announcement in the way we usually use the term.  The center of worship is not announcements of car washes or study groups or trips to the homeless shelter.  The center of worship is not about anything we have done or are supposed to do. 

Rather, worship is a proclamation of the Good News.  It is an announcement of what God has done in Jesus Christ.  And this announcement should ring clearly from the beginning to the end of our worship.  It turns out that announcement time is the most important of all.


God, focus our worship on you and infuse it with praise for all you have done for us.

About the Author
Martin B. Copenhaver is Senior Pastor, Wellesley Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is the author, with Lillian Daniel, of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers.

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