Header art: Kimberly Stephens, “Woman at the Well,” 2010. Mehndi and acrylic on canvas. Find more of her work here.
Gather. Be loved. Be challenged. Go out to serve.
Every Sunday evening at 7:00 pm, we gather together to pray, sing, encounter the spirit and be met by Jesus in unexpected ways.
The Story of The Well
A woman goes to pull water from the well at the hottest point of the day, likely to avoid interaction with her neighbors. She is an outcast.
There she meets a man who shows her kindness and compassion, crossing lines of gender, ethnicity and religion in order to talk to her. He sees her soul, knows her brokenness, and shows her only love. He offers her the water of life, that she may never be thirsty again. She is so shocked of his treatment of her, so taken in by his love and his offer of the water of life, she is forever changed. She runs back to the village to tell others of her encounter with this strange man, her encounter with the messiah. This woman, this sinner, this outcast, is the first person in Biblical record to witness to others the love of Jesus.
Come to The Well to be met with love without judgement or requirements, feed your body, quench the thirst in your soul. Come to ask questions, to serve others, and experience the love of God.
As Lutheran Christians, worship is the center of our lives together. It doesn't mean that worship is all we are about or all we do, but that everything we do springs forth from worship: our love for and service to others springs from our time together in worship. Some of the stuff we do can seem really weird, and we tend to do a lot of standing up and sitting down and reciting things back and forth at each other. Much of what we do is ancient, rooted in the beginnings of the church, and much of it is mysterious, as God is mysterious. In worship we have many ways in which we connect deeply with God and one another. Worship at the well tends to be calm and meditative: ancient with a modern twist. We:
- Sing. We experience many types of music at The Well. If you want to hear a bit of what we use, check us out on Spotify @ uwsanctuary.
- Read from the Bible and talk about the gifts and challenges in the text of the day, as well as what kind of guidance we may glean from it. Questions and conversation are encouraged -- even (especially) questions rooted in doubt.
- Pray. Prayer takes many forms: silent, meditative prayer, prayer in song, praying with movement and praying with words are some examples. Prayer can give us time to center ourselves, to root ourselves in God, to give thanks, to ask for help and to provide prayer for those who are in need. We pray in many ways in worship.
- Offer our gifts back to God. One of the ways we offer our gifts back to God is to participate in worship. Everyone who comes to the well is encouraged to share gifts of music, art, prayer, speaking or whatever you have to give. We also give to a different charity each quarter, chosen by those who take part in the life of The Well.
- Celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion. Holy Communion is a meal of bread and wine. It is an occasion when we remember God coming to us in human form to experience our lives, get to know us better, to teach us how to live a full life and to forgive us for all of the ways in which we do not live up to who God wants us to be. Communion is also a time when we truly experience Jesus in the bread and wine -- his presence is there. This is weird for sure, but it is also mysterious and beautiful. It's a weekly physical experience of God, which we don't get very often.
- Dance. This is not official, but it can, and does, occur. Often awkwardly. ;-)