Worship at Woodlands Community Temple is non-traditional, yet sensitive to tradition. Our services are thoughtful, relevant, and challenging, and yet informal. As a Reform temple, we embrace a creative use of imagery and words as we join together in a shared quest for faith and God in a difficult world. We are upbeat, passionate, and joyful. Open, critical, frank, and sometimes even humorous discussion of Torah teachings and Jewish traditions, rather than being frowned upon as sacrilegious or “out of place,” is a welcome element.
Music plays a major role in how we celebrate Judaism. Our Woodlands Singers meet weekly and often demonstrate their proficiency at services, and an increasing number of kids have joined in our instrumental and vocal groups. Periodically, we enjoy “A Joyful Noise,” a service during which the “noise” is actually an uplifting, innovative, and hugely participatory blend of beautiful music, songs, and warmth—clearly aided by the large ensemble of instrumentalists and singers on the bimah. During "visual worship," prayers and songs are projected on screens at the front of the sanctuary, giving congregants the opportunity to enjoy a “hands-free” service.
Frequently, lay members of our congregation (as well as a few who are ordained clergy) participate in leading services with our rabbi and cantor. This adds both creative variety as well as enhanced energy to our worship.
While our “Jammin'" Shabbat services welcome our youngsters front and center, our Mishpakha Shabbat services provide an opportunity for our entire congregation, from youngest to oldest, to worship together in a more familiar format at an earlier hour.
Through the creative use of home-grown prayer books created by members of our congregation, we successfully blend a contemporary outlook with the liturgy that has served the Jewish people for generations. Often, this approach sheds a new perspective on our observance of Judaism. These interpretations seek to bring greater meaning to the ancient prayers by renewing them in language that speaks directly to 21st century ears and minds.
If you'd like to learn how to recite Torah blessings, click here.