Sunday Morning Worship
While we appreciate all the many forms of authentic worship, our Sunday morning worship is usually pretty informal.
Our service typically follows this pattern:
Part of our service, in which we gather together in worship.
Welcome and announcements
Usually simply piano music while candles are lit
Lighting of the Candles
We light the candles on the Communion table, to represent God’s presence among us.
Hymn of Preparation
We stand and sing a song intended to set the tone of worship. Often this song remains the same song for a season. While called a “hymn” this may be a song praise song or a traditional hymn, depending on the season. We typically have piano, organ, and electric drum accompaniment.
This song is meant to draw us together in worship. This song changes from Sunday according to the scripture reading for the day.
Call to Worship
This is usually a responsive reading, where our Worship Leader reads parts and the congregation also reads parts in unison. We print the words to this in our bulletin. Click on the words, “Call to Worship” for a list of ones we have used in the past.
We sing this every Sunday. The words are: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, ‘tis now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen, amen.” We then sit at the end of this song.
This marks the section of our service in which we seek to be open to God’s will for our lives.
Often our choir performs a piece they have practiced, with piano and electric drum accompaniment. However, this is sometimes a solo, duet, instrumental piece, and even congregants are invited to join in the singing here sometimes too.
We invite all young (and young at heart) to come forward. Children are even brought in from the nursery. We then talk about some ministry or nonprofit, and then invite those who came forward to help collect money for that work. Since the offering usually change tossed into metal buckets, we call this our “Noisy Offering.” It is fun way to include our young in our worship. Children ages 4years to 4th grade attending Children Worship and Wonder will be escorted to their class, while those brought in from the nursery will be returned to the nursery, following the Noisy Offering Prayer.
Sharing of Joys and Concerns
In this part of our service, we invite people to speak aloud those things that they have on their heart.
This is a prayer offered aloud by our Pastor, on behalf of the congregation.
The Pastoral Prayer concludes with the congregation speaking aloud the Lord’s Prayer in unison: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thine name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us, this day, our daily bread, and forgive our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen
Our Worship Leader typically reads one scripture reading for the day. Occasionally we will have two readings. These readings often follow the revised standard lectionary, though we often depart from the lectionary from late Spring to early Fall. At the conclusion of this reading, our Worship Leader says, “This is the word of God, for the people of God.” The congregation then replies in unison, “Thanks be to God.” This is also printed in our bulletin.
While sometimes we have guest speakers or members of our congregation offer this, usually this is when our Pastor offers a reflection based on the scripture reading for the day. This is comparable to what others may call a sermon, homily, or preaching.
This section of our worship offers opportunities to respond to the call of God upon our hearts
Invitation to Discipleship
We extend an invitation to follow Jesus every Sunday.
We stand and sing a song chosen to affirm the day’s scripture. During this song, we invite any who have never declared their love of Jesus before, as well as, any who would like to join our congregation, to come forward to verbally affirm their faith. At the same time, all believers are encouraged to personally reaffirm thier faith.
Tithes and Offer
- Offering Invitation – Our Worship Leader for the day says a few words about giving, inviting all present to participate in the life of the church.
- Receiving of Tithes and Offerings – Our Deacons pass plates through the congregation, giving all present the opportunity to offer prayer requests, cash, or checks.
- Doxology – We stand and sing this song every Sunday: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above the heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen”
- Offertory Prayer – Our day’s Worship Leader offers a prayer of thanksgiving and dedication for all the offerings collected.
The Lord’s Supper
We celebrate communion every Sunday.
- Invitation to Table – All present are invited to participate in communion. This invitation is usually offered by one of our Pastors, though not neccessarily.
- Words of Institution – “…This is my body…” (1 Cor. 11:23-26)
- Hymn of Communion – A song sung by the congregation, intended to focus our hearts and minds on the nature of communion and the gospel, as it is reflected in the day’s scripture reading.
- Prayer over the Elements – Both of our Elders say a prayer, asking for God’s blessing on the Bread and the Cup
- Distribution of the Elements – After the Prayer over the Bread, deacons pass trays of home baked bread and manufactured wafers through the congregation for all to take and eat as it is passed. Then, after the prayer over the cup, the deacons pass trays of small cups of grape juice, for all to take and hold. Then all drink the cup at the same time.
This marks the final section of our worship, where we transition from worship within our walls to going out as expressions of God’s love.
Parting words of encouragement and blessing for the day and days to come, typically spoken by one of our Pastors
A concluding hymn, sung while standing. This is commonly the same song every week, for a season.
Instrumental music (often piano) played while people move out of the worship center.
After Church Fellowship / Coffee Hour
Light refreshments offered to foster connections of friendship.