What to Expect
The Dress Code is Up to You: many like to dress up, others wear everyday clothes, and the pastor likes to wear vestments. With such variety of styles, dress as you feel led. The truth is that, underneath it all, God views us all the same.
Be Prepared to Participate: our worship is liturgical which literally means "the work of the people." The purpose is to engage each worshipper in the act of worshipping God. We strive not to be a passive audience, but an active group of worshippers performing for the love of God. As such, many members are involved leading us in the liturgy.
We are Traditional: our worship service is grounded both in the Reformed/Presbyterian tradition and the ancient traditions of the universal Church. For that reason, while it's traditional, it might not look like a traditional or "typical" Presbyterian service. It is, however, based primarily on the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s "Directory for Worship" and the Book of Common Worship (1993).
We are Modern: we speak in the language of the people, we use modern forms of media and technology, and we strive to engage the whole worshipper in the divine drama that at
Our Style Varies: we use a piano and an organ, and sometimes we use guitar and drums via recordings. We sing hymns and songs from ancient times, modern day, and everywhere in-between.
We are Evangelical: we proclaim the Gospel or "Good News" of Jesus Christ, calling all people to respond by both trusting Him as Lord and Savior,and being His faithful followers.
We Perform for an Audience of One: worship services are not meant to entertain us humans. Worship is really about offering up the best we have to honor the one who gave his life for us.
We are Biblical: we read and sing the Scriptures from the whole breadth of the Bible in worship, we use Biblical texts within the context of the liturgy, and our sermons are structured to proclaim the text as faithfully and relevantly as possible.
We are Sacramental: We celebrate two sacraments: Baptism and the Eucharist. A sacrament is an outward representation of the grace of God working in our hearts and lives. Baptism is the rite of entrance into the community of faith, and forms the center of our identity as the people of God. The Eucharist (also called Holy Communion or Lord's Supper) is our celebration of communion with the Risen Lord and with one another, as with bread and the cup, we remember and celebrate Christ's death and resurrection until he comes again. The Eucharist is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month, and on special days in the life of the church.
We Welcome Children: children are invited to be present for part or all of the service. Children through age 5 can have the option of nursery care following the children message, and until the closing hymn. All volunteers undergo background checks. Older children are welcomed to be acolytes, who assist the Pastor with the worship service in various ways.
We Welcome All: if you are seeking to know God through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, no matter of worldly or spiritual circumstances, you are invited to join us. We Are Both "Hopsital for Sinners" and a Gathering of Saints. We are not a Private Cub or a Museum for the Righteous.
Order of Worship
We Are Welcomed to Experience God's Word - through the greeting, announcements and sharing of joys and concerns, we lift up the common life of our community of faith as together we prepare to experience Jesus Christ, the Word of God in human flesh, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We Gather Around God's Word - we enter into Christ's presence with words and songs which invite us to worship the Triune God and know his presence in our midst. In sensing God's presence, we then like the Prophet Isaiah know our unworthiness to be in God's mist, and so in confessing all that separates us from God, we hear the Good News that in Jesus Christ, we are both forgiven and at peace with God. It is upon hearing that Good News that we share signs of God's peace and reconciliation with one another.
God's Word Proclaimed - we prayerfully approach God's Word written, and typically hear or sing four readings from the Scriptures: the Old Testament (or Acts at Easter time), the Psalms, the New Testament Epistles (Letters), and the Gospels. The Word is proclaimed typically in a "Sermon," a time intended to explain the meaning of the texts in their original and current contexts. Additionally, we connect the texts to concrete ways we can grow in our faith and in our Christian life.
We Respond to God's Word - we confess the faith that has been proclaimed in God's Word using one of the creeds of the church: the Apostles' or Nicene Creeds. When a baptism is celebrated, it is connected with these affirmations of our faith. We respond with a hymn or song that reflects the Word we have seen and heard. We then offer prayers for the Church, the world and all in need. We take up an offering, both as an act of worship, and as an act of devotion to Christ and the ministry of his church.
God's Word is Sealed - when we celebrate the Lord's Supper, the message of the Gospel is proclaimed through the breaking of bread and the sharing of a cup. Proclaiming the saving death of our risen Lord, we consecrate these elements with the ancient prayer of thanksgiving, as well as the words Jesus himself spoke at the last supper, the prayer Jesus taught his disciples, and the sharing of this holy meal. Truly, Jesus is present in our midst and we have communion with him, and the whole Church. Because of this, we are encouraged in our faith and invited to grow in our love for him and one another.
We Bear God's Word to the World - we are charged and sent forth with God's blessing to proclaim the Good News to all people, and to live out the Christian faith in our words and our deeds. Worship, therefore, doesn't end with the close of the service, but extends into our entire lives as a call to serve the Lord, one another and the world.
Banner image by Nathan Leslie