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Disciples of Christ

Discussion in 'Disciples of Christ DIR' started by jturpin4, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. jturpin4

    jturpin4 New Member

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    Are there any Disciples of Christ church members here on the boards? I went to my first Disciples of Christ church service today...
     
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  2. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    Yo...I was born into a Disciples of Christ Church and after drifting away for a few years, I returned to an active role back in 1998.:)

    What were your impressions of the service and the beliefs of the Disciples?
     
  3. jturpin4

    jturpin4 New Member

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    I really enjoyed the service. I went to the 11 am instead of the early morning service. The inside of the church was beautiful with all the stained glass windows and such. Also, it was Transfiguration Sunday, which I didn't know too much about, but the pastor explained. Also, it was my first time doing communion! I have some questions for you.. Does the Disciples of Christ have their services based on a liturgical format like Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopals, and Orthodox? Do Disciples of Christ participate in Lent and Lenten services? I believe they do, but not for sure. The pastor mentioned next Wednesday they are having a service for Ash Wednesday. So I guess Disciples of Christ follow that calendar with those Holy Days such as Lent, Ash Wednesday, etc.? Thanks, look forward to your reply!
     
  4. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    Yes, we follow the litrugical calendar. Just about all congregations have an Ash Wednesday service, and many have some kind of 'Shrove Tuesday' pancake meal which harkens back to the days of very strict Lent observance when people had to use up all the eggs, milk, and flour before Ash Wednesday.

    One of the things I have come to appreciate about the Disciples is our open communion table at all services. I have been in some other churches where I was told I was not welcome to partake because I had not been baptized in that church. I kept asking myself 'Would Jesus turn anyone away?':confused:

    Here's our church's website and the site for the national website. for more information. We normally attend our church's 10:50 AM service since 8:30 is too early for us.:p Our church isn't as ornate as some, but I think it's nice enough.:)
     
  5. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    I checked out those two sites.
    You seem to have a very nice church and congregation, with plenty of activity.
    On looking on the national website You seem to have virtually no representation in Europe.
    I would have thought that your message would go down very well in the UK.
    Your faith system seems to be on the fairly extreme liberal side of Christianity;
    as (like me) it has very few binding principals. An almost simplicity of faith.

    How it views such matters as Creationism and sola scriptura, it remained quiet.
    Perhaps you are allowed to come to your own conclusions in these matters.

    Though with such a bottom up organization, may be your Churches vary on this.

    Terry____________________
    Amen! Truly I say to you: Gather in my name. I am with you.
     
  6. jturpin4

    jturpin4 New Member

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    So, does Disciples of Christ participate during the Lenten season? Go through Lent, fast, etc.? Yea, I love the open communion. It was my first. Is Disciples of Christ the only "Protestant" denomination that participates in communion every week/and or have a liturgical format of service?
     
  7. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    No. The Episcopal Church celebrates Communion each Sunday, and they have an open Table, too! Highly liturgical. I believe the ELCA Lutherans also celebrate Communion weekly with an open table. Also liturgical.

    Many (but not all) Disciples congregations observe Lent. The denomination as a whole advocates the traditional liturgical calendar observances and celebrations, but not all local congregations choose to participate in all of them. Since the Disciples are congregationally governed, you will find a wide variety of worship practice.
     
  8. jturpin4

    jturpin4 New Member

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    In the Disciples of Christ church that I attend, in the bulletin it mentions "Diaconate". Who/What are those? Are there Elders or Deacons in the Disciples of Christ? Who are the "leaders"?
     
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  9. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    Yes, this is a good point.

    The Diaconate or Deaconate is the group of people who serve as Deacons. In most churches, they serve communion, pass the offering plates, and may serves as ushers. In our church, the elders prepare communion, offer prayers at the table and for offering, and take communion to shut ins.

    The pastor/minister/preacher most often leads worship and delivers a sermon. Usually, he will seek a volunteer a week ahead of time to read passages from the Bible, make Mission announcements, and offer a list of prayer concerns and joys within our church family.

    As for Lent, different congregations have different observations. Some people give up a pleasure or take on a responsibility or service project in rememberance of Christ's sacrifices for us. We had a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper and an Ash Wednesday Service, and we'll have Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Services leading up to Easter.

    Thank you for your kind words, and I'm sorry I forgot about this thread and didn't seem them sooner.:D I think your observations are right on target. Here's one reason the Disciple may not have a strong presence in Europe:
    Source.
    I guess many Europeans see the Disciples as an 'American' denomination and we don't really do a 'hard sell' form of evangelism seeking converts.

    Anyway, I'll bookmark this thread in case there are any other questions about the Disciples I might be able to answer.:)
     
  10. jturpin4

    jturpin4 New Member

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    Thanks for the help Captain! Besides doing different things, is there really any difference between a Deacon and Elder? Are they both over the church or is one higher than the other?
     
  11. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    Deacon is kinda' like an 'entry-level' position for church service. Elders are normally older and people who have been looked up to for a while. In our church, the only official requirement is that you've been a member of the church at least a year and are nominated by a member of the congregation, and recommended by the nominating committee.
     
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    To see one office as higher than another is a misinterpretation. The offices are different in nature, but not superior or inferior. According to the Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), there are two basic orders of ministry (and I always add a third, because I think it's important.)

    1) Ordained and licensed clergy, 2) elders and deacons, 3) laity.

    The elders are the episcopoi, or spiritual overseers of the congregation, but they have no authority over the church members. They normally co-preside at the Table, offer prayers, and may act as liturgists. They comprise part of the Official Board that takes care of the business of the church. Their work is defined by their ministry as the church's spiritual leadership.

    The diaconate is a servant ministry. Historically, the deacons saw to the relief of orphans, widows and the less fortunate, took care of the church's finances, and carried the Eucharist to those who were ill or infirm. Usually, deacons also sit on the Official Board. Their work is defined by their servant role.

    The clergy ministry is symbolic. The minister represents the Church to the people, and to the world. The minister normally presides over the service, and usually at the Table, along with the elders. The minister has no authority over the people, but, as one of the elders, provides spiritual and theological leadership.

    The Church is organic in nature, and needs its varied ministries in order to be healthy. The ministries of laity, clergy, elders and deacons are all complimentary to one another and ensure that all aspects of ministry are provided for.
     
  13. jturpin4

    jturpin4 New Member

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    What is laity?
     
  14. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Yes, there is a difference between a deacon and an elder. The office of Elder entails specifically a ministry of leadership. The office of Deacon entails specifically a ministry of servanthood. The elders are the spiritual leadership of the congregation. The deacons are its servants.

    HOWEVER: It's not a question of "higher" or "authority." There is no hierarchical structure in the Disciples Church. There is no structure of "authority" in the Disciples Church. There is a wonderful book by Colbert Cartwright entitled, People of the Chalice. It explains the Disciples of Christ eloquently, it's short, and it's an easy read. Go to www.disciples.org and look for a link to Chalice Press, if you'd like to order it. Elders, deacons, clergy, laity are all equal parts of the Body of Christ, each with a specific ministry to fulfill.
     
  15. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    From the Greek Laos, meaning "people." There is historically a distinction made between those who are ordained to a sacred office, and those who are not. Those who are ordained are referred to as "clergy" and those who have not are referred to as "laity." The "laity" or "lay people" are those members of the church who do not serve in a ministry that has been specifically set apart for leadership. In the Disciples Church, elders and deacons are usually lay ministries. Clergy are either ordained or licensed.
     
  16. uu_sage

    uu_sage Active Member

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    I love the Disciples of Christ. They are our sister denomination in the UCC. I have worshiped in three Disciples churches so far and each experience has been refreshing and fun. I love the use of covenant, the diversity and autonomy of churches, the Lord's supper being celebrated daily, there being no creed but the New Testament. I plan to be ordained as UCC/Disciples.
     
  17. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    My father pastored a congregation that was a blend of UCC and Disciples. We like the relationship. I know a few UCC ministry candidates at seminary. They are, without exception, remarkable people.
     
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