Worship for the Lord’s Day

Our service of worship is centered on Jesus Christ, the living Word of God.  In our service, we encounter and praise Christ through Scripture (the written Word), preaching (the proclamation of the Word), and the Sacraments (the enacted and sealed Word).  Prayer is at the heart of our worship.  In prayer, through the Holy Spirit, we call God by name, remember God’s gracious acts, listen and wait for God, and offer ourselves to God.

Our worship flows through four movements:

Preparing to Hear the Word:

We are summoned to worship by chimes and music which help us center our attention on Christ.  We make announcements about ways to worship, serve, and be together in Christ’s name.  Then, through words of scripture and a hymn, we remind ourselves why we worship:  because God’s glory, power, love, and grace transcend our own strength and ability.  As we remember God’s glory, we also remember our shortcomings and sin.  In honesty and trust, we confess our sinfulness together in prayer, and then we remind each other with words of scripture that in Jesus Christ, God forgives us.  As the burden of our sin is released, we joyfully sing glory to God.  Having understood our place in relationship to the God who is greater than us, who hears our honest prayers, and who gives us freedom in Jesus Christ, we are prepared to listen as the Word is read and proclaimed.

Proclaiming the Word:

We believe that through the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is present to us as the Word read and proclaimed, offering us grace and calling for our obedience.  We encounter the message of scripture through music, by witnessing the Pastor’s conversation with our children, by reading a passage of scripture together, and by listening attentively to the sermon.  Sometimes, the best way to proclaim the message of scripture clearly is through drama, music, or more informal conversation together, and the sermon takes those forms as appropriate.  Whatever form it takes, the preaching is always based on the written Word.

Responding to the Word:

Having encountered Jesus Christ through the Word read, heard, and proclaimed, we respond in confident gratitude.  We stand together to prayerfully sing to God and to affirm our faith in Jesus Christ and our connection with Christ’s followers in every time and place.  We confidently offer our prayers to God for ourselves, our families and friends, our world, and the church, and we obediently pray together the way Jesus taught his disciples to pray.  We offer our money and service to God as we present our offerings.  And we participate as the Word is sealed in us through the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.  We celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of every month as well as on some special days.  We encourage all worshippers to participate with us in Communion as we are lifted into the presence of Jesus Christ and receive the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation from Him.

Proclaiming the Word to the World:

As we conclude our community’s worship, we remind one another that we are called to continue our worship in our daily lives:  with daily prayer and study, through our work and family life, with an awareness that God is with us in everything we do.  We sing again together and receive a charge and a blessing as we depart.  We once again proclaim our Alleluia together, telling each other that our worship is not over with the conclusion of the service; the word “alleluia” means “let us praise the Lord!”