What is Worship like?Altar

Everything in worship has it’s roots in history. As changes were introduced they challenged the current conventions – from standing to sitting in church, from no music to having music, from only leaders reading to responsive reading (as literacy grew). Our worship blends a bit of the more recent past (we can sit, we can sing with music and we can read) to include traditional hymns with piano or organ music to sometimes praise songs with guitar or drums.


The following information hopefully will help you know what to expect and be more comfortable when participating by knowing what will happen and why.

Please notice the bulletin indicates with an asterik * the portions of the worship that require standing, if you are able.

Announcements, Celebrations and Greetings Announcements are in the bulletin. Get your pencil or pen out to mark any additions, corrections or the ones you need to remember.  Communication cards allow you to update your contact information or provide more information for a guest (like family member ages, email and areas of interest). The separate card may be placed in the offering plate later in the service.

Ringing of the Bell A time honored tradition to announce worship is beginning. This is a real bell rung by pulling on a rope.

Moments of Meditation A quiet time to prepare for worship. Reflect on the quotes in the bulletin.

Prelude Music to prepare our hearts for worship.

*Call To Worship – a responsive reading while standing to represent the the community is at worship. Bold text is read by the congregation and normal text is read by the lay reader or leader.

*Opening Hymn – The word “hymn” originally designated a chant of thanksgiving. Originally only the Psalms were sung by a trained choir. Now we have a hymnal with more modern classics. It’s interesting to learn the history of some of our Methodist hymns. Some were originally drinking songs set with Christian lyrics. We often stand to sing.Visit the following link to hear some of the hymn music.

Children’s Moments An occasional special message for the children in the church, reflecting the eternal truths in the scripture lessons for the day. Children are welcome to come (but not required — but you can come  with them too) to the front of the sanctuary for this children’s time. Children from the nursery can come too and then return to the nursery or they can go to Children’s Church.

Scripture Lesson A reading from either the New or Old Testements based on the lectionary. Pew bibles are available, if you did not bring yours. You can volunteer to be a lay reader to help with this portion of our service.

Moments of Prayer – Our paster shares our prayer concerns. Those with prayer requests can be acknowledge when requested by raising hand. As the music plays, anyone that desires a time of silent prayer at the altar may come forward. After the Pastoral Prayer, the Lord’s Prayer is recited together.

New prayer concerns can be written on the communication card. During the week prayer concerns can be sent by email or phone.  The prayer concern can be shorten for public sharing to respect the individual’s need for privacy.

Offerings and Gifts – Not a collection of what is owed, but a gift or offering given in joy. If you are a vistor to our church, all we request as your gift on your first visit is your communication card place in the basket as it is passed. If you attend regularly, you may give electronically (through your bank). Sometimes, special music is performed at this time, like solos.

*Doxologoy is from the Greek meaning “to speak praise”. Please as this is sung when the ushers walk toward the altar to present the gifts (offering). The text is found in the back of the hymnal (hymns are in the front of the hymnal).

Sermon Illumination of the Scripture Lesson by stories, examples and explanations. A sermon outline may be included in the bulletin. This is the peacher’s public witness of his Christian faith and expectations for all Christians.

Communion is held the first Sunday of each month at our services. We can use the method of “intinction, which comes from Latin and means “to dip in”. Take the bread and dip it in the cup while standing. We sometimes use communion cups and kneel at the altar rail. We use grape juice and bread. The first row is served first and then it works towards the back of the church.
Ushers will help with the traffic flow, which is to come down the center aisle and return on the side aisles. During this entire time please remain quiet to allow silent mediation for yourself or others.

Invitation to Christian Discipleship – As part of the Great Commission – Matthew 28:19-20 Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you., each worship includes an invitation to accept Jesus Christ. This can also serve as a reminder of the pledge made already by our members to live out.

*Closing Hymn and   *Benediction A closing blessing which signals the end of worship.

Postlude – music as we leave and remember to “Carry the light of Jesus to the World”.

The pastor remains in the narthex to greet individuals and families attending the services as they leave. One can visit the pastor and leave from the front door and return to the children’s wing if needed after service or go to the children’s wing from the side door in the sanctuary.

Check the calendar, it might be a potluck after service. We hope you can stay for our potluck meal after the service in the Santuary. Dishes for potluck may be dropped off in the kicthen area before service begins and collected after potluck. If you are visiting during a potluck Sunday, please stay–we always have extra food and we would love to have you as our guests.


* Acolyte – from Greek “one who follows”. Children in 1st-6th grade can assist in worship after training to light and extinguish the candles and to distribute and recieve the offering plates.

* Altar – is the table on which the elements of communion are consecrated. It also holds our candles and the Holy Bible.

* Altar rail – provides a area to kneel to pray and divides the sanctuary for the worshipers from the raised area containing the altar.

* Apostle’s Creed – Used during worship during the late winter and spring when confirmation classes are being held. The creed covers basic beliefs about God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and dates back to 500 AD. It is the shortest and best-known creed.

* Baptism – From the Greek “to dip, to immerse” is outward sign of the inner working of God in the life of the person accepting Christ. Baptism of infants or children is public acknowledgement of the family to raise the child in a Christian home. Baptism can occur as part of the worship service or can be done privately. Baptized youth (6th grade and up) are ‘confirmed’ into membership of the church after attending confirmation classes, held in during Jan.-May.

* Lay Reader – a member of the laity (congregation) who reads the lessons and assists the priest with communion. Any member of the congregation can serve in this role.

* Laity – from Greek “people” to represent the congregation rather than the clergy.

* Lectionary – a lectionary is a set of scriptures or a list of scriptures selected for use during worship. A “common lectionary” is a lectionary that is used by more than one congregation. The use of a common lectionary promotes a level of corporate worship that connects many congregations. We use the Revised Common Lectionary (organized in three year cycles) which is shared by Episicopal/Anglican, Lutheran,
Methodist, Presbyterian, Reformed, Disciples of Christ and Roman Catholic Churches. See  http://www.gbod.org/worship/lectionary-calendar for the weekly readings of the current year.

* Liturgy – from Greek “public service”. Represents all the material authorized by the church as suitable for use at public services. Often the material is tied to the season of the Christian year that it is used in. For the specific colors used during the year visit http://www.kencollins.com/glossary/liturgy.htm#colors.

* Narthex – the vestibule of the main entrance (it’s on the east side of our sanctuary building).

* Vestments – are the distinctive dress worn by the clergy, choir and acolytes when performing the liturgical duties of worship. Most vestments historically were functional as an aid to keep warm. Reformation simplified the vestments or elimentated them. Our pastor wears a robe and a stole, which is like a long scarf.

Reference: Worship Without Words – The Signs and Symbols of Our Faith – by Patricia S. Klein.