It may be common for a church to have Wednesday night catechism classes or Bible study. It may be even more likely that a church celebrate a special service on a Wednesday, such as the National Day of Prayer. However, it is not often that you see a Christian Reformed church holding worship at 12 noon on a Wednesday. That is exactly what Lakeview (S.D.) Christian Reformed Church is doing this year.
The service is part of “Sermons a la carte.” It was started by the Cherry County Ministerial Association, just on the Nebraska-South Dakota border, 30 years ago. This is Lakeview CRC’s second year to participate. Each Wednesday during the Lent season, the community is invited to an area church to join in a worship service and to share a meal hosted by the congregation. Scott McClellen is pastor at Valentine (Neb.) Berean Fellowship Church and he is also president of the ministerial association. He said the series, which now has eight churches participating, started as way to commemorate Lent together. According to McClellan, the retired community and those who may be free over the lunch hour make up the congregations for these services.
Lakeview CRC hosted its second annual edition of “Sermons a la carte” on March 7. Rev. Mark Langenbach, the church’s pastor, led the service and preached on Hebrews 3:1-6 with a sermon titled “Jesus > Moses.” Pastor Langenbach sees these services as an opportunity for the whole community of Valentine to come together, regardless of their denominational affiliation. He said, “People see the pastors united, and the pastors see the people united.” He added that the goal is to have fellowship with people from all denominations. He wondered if this is an example of “the early church still alive in a small town today.”
McClellen said “Sermons a la carte” gives churches the opportunity to have a Lenten service in the community. He hopes that this event lets people come away “with a greater appreciation of what Christ did on the cross” as well as “a renewed love for the resurrection of Christ.”