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Unique new worship service to debut at HPUMC

01.22.15 | The Chapel | by Alex Johnston

Unique new worship service to debut at HPUMC

    “The Chapel isn’t very big, giving us a great opportunity to foster deep community on Sunday mornings. I think that those of us who are in The Chapel each week will get to know each other well."

    Rev. Matt Tuggle serves as the Director of Family Ministries at HPUMC. To learn more about HPUMC’s Family Ministry, click here.

    To hear previous sermons from Rev. Tuggle, visit HPUMC's sermon library.

    A unique new service is about to begin at Highland Park United Methodist Church. Led by Rev. Matt Tuggle, The Chapel offers a worship experience that blends traditional and contemporary styles.

    “The Chapel will incorporate traditional elements, like old hymns and some liturgy, as well as contemporary elements like having worship leaders on acoustic guitar and singing some new songs,” describes Rev. Tuggle.

    The new service will take place in the beautiful Gothic-style Cox Chapel. The chapel features a soaring alter with rich wood tones and stained glass windows that bathe the congregation in soft light. The unique architecture gives way to an environment unlike any other at Highland Park United Methodist Church, an environment that Rev. Tuggle describes as “holy,” or “set apart.”

    “It’s a special space.  I walk into Cox Chapel and I’m immediately reminded that there’s something greater,” he says. “There’s more out there than my trouble, my job, my family, my life – Cox Chapel is designed to usher us into a place where we’re more acutely aware of the holy.”

    The smaller chapel also provides a unique opportunity for anyone looking for a smaller worship community.

    “The Chapel isn’t very big, giving us a great opportunity to foster deep community on Sunday mornings. I think that those of us who are in The Chapel each week will get to know each other well. We will also be encouraging those who worship in The Chapel to join small groups and we will give them opportunities to join with other HPUMC members who attend The Chapel,” says Rev. Tuggle. 

    Worship will be “stripped back,” featuring acoustic guitar with light percussion and piano. Worship leaders like Ani Barrington, HPUMC Youth Worship Pastor, and Andrew Beard, Director of the Wesley Foundation, will sing a mix of traditional hymns and select new songs.

    As for the message, Rev. Tuggle plans to focus on engaging with Scripture to provide wisdom for daily life.

    “I simply hope to teach the Scripture in a way that helps it come to life for us,” says Rev. Tuggle. “In preparing for messages, I study not just the Scripture, but also the lives of people in our community. My favorite messages to hear are the ones that highlight the truth of the Scripture in a way that answers the questions of our lives.  These are the kinds of messages I hope to preach!”

    Rev. Tuggle says his prayer for the new service is that it will bring a community of people together, to lean on each other and genuinely live out their faith together as one congregation. 

    “In The Chapel, I hope we’ll grow into a group of people that are studying together, singing together, praying together, and walking through life together. If we’re able to do that, I think that not only will we be blessed, but we’ll also be a people who are making an impact on the community around us,” says Rev. Tuggle.

    The Chapel will be held every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. beginning January 25th. Rev. Tuggle joins a long list of Ministers and Reverends to teach in the sacred space, something he does not take for granted.

    “Cox Chapel has been a place of vibrant worship for many years and I look forward to having the opportunity to continue that tradition,” he says. “It’s a daunting endeavor, but an endeavor that the Lord is already blessing and that I believe will be used by God to do mighty things.”

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