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Worship as Public Service

Liturgy Notes continued

Being a “public servant” is perhaps not the most fulfilling and exciting job in the world, but it is nevertheless a very important and necessary part of our society’s functioning. Without a public service, many things we take for granted (e.g., Medicare refunds) simply would not happen.

To some the liturgy is even duller than the public service - but it is infinitely more important! The original meaning of the word “liturgy” (from the Greek leitourgia) means a “public service”. Liturgy was any public work by concerned citizens on behalf of society, and for the wellbeing of society. And that meaning has always been behind for our church’s “liturgy” as well. When we worship, we are serving the wellbeing of the world – even though many take that for granted. But as a father of the ancient church put it: “The world is ruled by the prayers of the saints”.

The New Testament describes many things as liturgy, even if the word itself is often lost in translation. Leadership in Christian worship (Acts 13:2), proclamation of the gospel (Rom 15:16), and charitable giving (2 Cor 9:12) are all described as leitourgia. So is the ministry of angels on our behalf (Heb 1:14), and most important of all, Jesus’ continual prayer for his church from the heavenly sanctuary (Heb 8:2,6), is described as liturgy.

Today, as we pray, praise and offer ourselves to God, we also will be serving the common good. Our liturgy is an act of public service for the wellbeing of the world. That is most obvious in the Prayer of the Church, but it happens in other ways too, as future Liturgy Notes will explore.

Challenge: Think of yourself as a public servant for the next hour!

A series of studies on the Liturgy – Linards Jansons

Rhonda Bruggemann

About the author

Rhonda Bruggemann

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Downfall Creek

St John’s

St John’s Downfall Creek, has been a centre of Christian faith and life in the area for over 100 years. They operated a Christian school for twenty-two years (1940 – 62).

This faith community is a warm-hearted bunch, who love to share their hospitality with the district. They enjoy many a pot luck dinner and host ‘Easter Dawn Service & Breakfast’, ‘Christmas Eve’ & ‘Advent Tea’’ and ‘Games Nights’ for the community.

Home Groups are an important part of life in the Downfall. Discussion and exploration of the faith are encouraged.

Religious Education at the nearby Guluguba Primary School is provided by St John’s.

Downfall Creek



Redeemer Miles, is a dedicated group who know the love of Christ and are keen to share it. They meet regularly in various homes throughout the district for intergenerational worship and home groups.  

Religious Education at nearby Drillham State Primary School is provided by Redeemer.



The Charleville faith community meet for worship once a month, then go out for a fellowship meal together. A Home Group is planned to begin soon.

They host the annual ‘Western Muster’, an ecumenical Bible teaching gathering, held on the first weekend after Easter.


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