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.
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.
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.
We normally have special music provided by a musician from within the church or a special guest.
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.
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.
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.
The hymn or music selected closes the time of prayer and we often refer to this as our prayer response.
A second selection of special music is presented.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The pastor pronounces the benediction and following the Amen goes to the front doors to greet worshipers as they leave the service.
The instruments provide uplifting music as we depart the place and time of worship.