How do we nourish the human soul? There is no question that it must be nourished — that we must be nourished. Jesus said that Man does not live by bread alone. We know that if an infant is not given a human touch, and embrace, or the warmth of a mothering figure, the baby is malnourished. We are designed by God to be nourished in our spirits. We are designed by God to be nourished by our Lord. The unique place of the Church in the life of the community is to bring nourishment to the soles of the people. We do that through the word of God, the sacraments of baptism in the Lord supper, and through prayer. These are most visibly expressed for the whole community through worship. Our worship incorporates the Word of God, the sacraments of baptism (of believers and their children by pouring or sprinkling) and the Lord’s Supper (or as it is also called in the Church, “the Eucharist,” that is, the Thanksgiving; and ” Holy Communion”). At Trinity Chapel Charlotte, we seek to order time itself according to the life of our Lord Jesus Christ and The coming of his kingdom. For this reason you’ll notice that our Sundays, the Lord’s day, full within a certain season: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and so forth. This is not done haphazardly or to keep fashion with some particular movement. Rather we seek the wisdom of the Church through history to mark time according to the life of Jesus. And this, too, is a pastoral act intended to bring nourishment to the human soul. By regulating our lives according to the life of Jesus, rather than a secular calendar, we can slow down the pace of life, we can focus on the things of God in Christ. Our pastors seek to also keep time with the rhythm of the Christian year in terms of reading Scriptures, selecting hymnody, liturgical responses, common prayer (like calls to worship, confessions of sin and assurances of pardon) and preaching from the Scriptures in the service. All of this is for nourishment in the Word of God.
Our worship service itself may be deemed “liturgical” (from a Biblical Word meaning “the service of the People”) —worship that is participatory and joyfully reverent. There is a give-and-take between pastoring people as together we participate with the reality of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst. The pastors wear a robe in worship to signify their office, and to remind themselves of the high and holy calling of conducting worship services. The stoles worn by our ministers, an ancient custom in the Church, are intended to reflect the reality of our calling as “bond slaves” to Christ and his Church. The paramonts (cloths hanging from the pulpit and on the lectern and Communion table) and other festive features in the space, that is set apart for worship, not only changes with the Church Year, but seeks to emphasize the seriousness of sacred worship. Together with the Communion table, the fair linens, the cross, the pulpit Bible, banners, and other visual art, the items suggest the simple, but glorious reality: that as we gather to worship, this place becomes the sanctuary of the living God. He meets with us in “sacred assembly.”
Beyond worship, there are discipleship groups that meet throughout the community. Some are on-going. Others are for a season, e.g., to study a book. Youth groups are on-going discipleship groups based on place in life. So are children’s groups. Perhaps, a mothers group forms to encourage each other in Scripture and prayer concerning that high and holy role. Each group, however, is focused on prayer and the Word of God. Each leader is trained by our ministers to lead for the purpose of fulfilling our vision: to gather, grow, and send forth strong disciples of Jesus Christ through Word, Sacrament, and Prayer.
Our ministers are, also, pastoral counselors. Sometimes we need nourishment through the healing of damaged emotions, painful memories, or feelings that limit us from experiencing peace. We are here for you.
To grow is to be nourished in our deepest inner person. We believe that God has clearly prescribed how we as the Church must facilitate that nourishment: through Word, Sacrament, and Prayer.
We gather at the Wesley Chapel UMC building (120 Potter Road, Monroe NC 28110). Divine service is at 9:15am in the church hall; Sunday school at 11:00am is in the fellowship hall and children’s room.