Here are a few notes to help you understand our worship.
We come together in joy. The service starts with a call to worship and a hymn of praise. Singing together unites our voices and turns our hearts to God. We sing often during worship. We are blessed with a wonderful choir, an excellent organist and a Director of Music who lead us in song and prepare special music.
We acknowledge our brokenness and pain. Each week, we “confess our sin” not because we are especially bad, but because its part of being honest with God, each other and ourselves. We say this confession together recognizing that we are asking for forgiveness not only for ourselves, but for everyone. Jesus tells us that if we confess our sin, we will be forgiven, so after the prayer of confession comes a joyful assurance that we truly are forgiven. We sing in praise because we are forgiven.
We pass the Peace of Christ. As forgiven people we are at peace. We share that peace with all who are present.
We honor our children and always have a special time and story for them during worship. During the school year, the children then leave for Sunday School. During the summer, they go back to sit with their parents.
We take the Scripture seriously. Scripture is always read aloud during worship and often our hymns are based on Scripture passages. Sometimes we read the scripture responsively, meaning that the worship leader reads one line and then we read the next. Our pastor prepares carefully to preach from the Scripture of the day, but all parts of the worship service reflect upon Scripture. We pray to God that we will hear God’s word for us in scripture and sermon.
We pray for the needs of others and ourselves. We share our joys and concerns and then are led in prayer for ourselves, for others and for the whole world. We believe God draws near to us, hears us, and answers us – even when we can’t see how. There is a card in the pew rack that asks for prayer requests. We take those seriously.
We offer God gifts of song, prayer, service and money; these are ways to say thanks and share what we have. Gifts of money will be used wherever most needed to support the work of the church. There is a QR code on the worship bulletin, if that is easier for you.
We encounter God in a special way in the Sacraments. Presbyterians have two sacraments; Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion). We believe that God’s love reaches out to us in these sacraments, even when we don’t know it or feel it. It is a sign of God’s abundant grace. We baptize someone into the family of God – either as an adult, or when parents bring their babies and children. In the Lord’s Supper, we believe God feeds us with bread and with the Spirit, who strengthens us to work with God in the world. Anyone who needs the love of Jesus Christ is welcome at our table. Children as well. We serve communion by intinction, which means that we all come forward to the communion table to be served. When you get to the table you will take a piece of bread (or gluten free alternative) and dip it in the cup of juice (we do not use wine). At that time, you return to your seat and continue in prayer. Communion is always celebrated on the first Sunday of the month and then on other special days, like Christmas Eve and Easter.