What is our Worship Service like?

The Sunday Service is the weekly opportunity for the congregation to worship God together.  Worship is something we do as an active response to God in our life.  It is also a discipline in our life.  As such it is something that we are committed to and that we see as the right start to the new week in our life.  In the worship service we affirm the priority of God in every aspect of life.

Let’s take a minute and walk through our Order of Worship.

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Prelude

As people gather in the sanctuary for the worship service music (generally organ music) is being played.  The music helps prepare us for worship.

Welcome and Announcements

Our pastor opens the service by welcoming everyone and sharing some of the key announcements for the day and coming events.  There are highlighted as part of the “insert” which is included in your “bulletin.”  The bulletin contains our order of worship for this particular service and the insert contains important news and vital contact information.  An usher will hand you these when you enter the service.

The Church Bell

To separate our “worship” from our arrival, welcoming and announcements we sit quietly as our church bell is rung.

Call to Worship

This is a responsive invitation to begin worshipping God.  Many times the words set the theme for the service.

Hymn

We follow the call to worship with our first hymn.  Standing we sing a hymn of praise!

Greeting our Family

Our worship leader will encourage you to welcome those sitting around you.  This is one of the highlights of our service and we take plenty of time.  We are a friendly church and people will move all over the sanctuary making everyone feel welcomed.

Special Music

We normally have special music provided by a musician from within the church or a special guest.

Scripture Lesson

The passage from the Bible that applies to the sermon will be read.  Pew Bibles are provided and the page of the reading is listed in the bulletin so you can follow along.

Prayer

This part of the service has several components.

Call to Confession

The pastor call us to begin our prayer time by considering our own faults and failures so that we first ask God for personal forgiveness.  We do this because none of us is perfect.

Prayer of Confession

Along with moments of silence for our personal silent confession we share a prayer of confession in unison.  In this time we ask for forgiveness.

Pastoral Prayer

The pastor lifts to God the needs of the congregation, the community and our world.

The Lord’s Prayer

As a congregation we all pray the Lord’s Prayer as printed in the bulletin in unison.

Hymn

The hymn or music selected closes the time of prayer and we often refer to this as our prayer response.

Special Music

A second selection of special music is presented.

Message

The pastor presents the message of the morning.  Generally the pastor follows the lesson for the day as found in the Revised Common Lectionary.  However we are not tied to the lectionary and at times the pastor will preach on any topic or Bible passage that seems most appropriate for the service.

Hymn

Our third congregational hymn is generally considered a response to the message.

Invitation to the Offering

After the hymn the ushers come forward to receive the offering and our pastor invites the congregation to participate.

The Offertory

An instrumental musical number is played while the offering is being collected.

The Prayer of Dedication

When the offering is brought forward by the ushers the pastor prays a brief prayer of thanks for what has been given for the work of the church and benevolence.

Closing Words

Generally the pastor will share any important reminders and welcomes all to stay as they wish for the refreshment and fellowship time that follows in fellowship hall.

Doxology

We stand as a congregation and sing the doxology.  The words are printed in the bulletin.  This is an important part of the service because the purpose of the doxology is to remind us that the service is about and to the glory of God.  The doxology frames the worship service.

Benediction

The pastor pronounces the benediction and following the Amen goes to the front doors to greet worshipers as they leave the service.

Postlude

The instruments provide uplifting music as we depart the place and time of worship.

Notes

First, know that we are not bound to this order line by line.  Often things are different from week to week.  What we have shared is generally the norm.

Second, we observe two sacraments as part of our worship services from time to time.  The first is Baptism. This occurs when through Baptism a baby, child, or adult becomes a part of God’s family, the Church.  The second sacrament is Holy Communion.  We observe Communion at our church about 6 times each year.  Communion is open to all who love Jesus and membership in our church is not required.

Third, our worship service generally last one hour.