Worship

Visitors always welcome! And now easier to access with east-side elevator!

First Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. Taize Worship Service in Westminster Hall

FPC offers a mid-week service of quiet music, Scripture, prayer and reflection on the first Wednesday of every month. This is a quiet and meditative half hour of personal and communal blessing followed by a simple meal of soup and bread.

9:00 a.m. Informal Worship Service in Bruner Hall

FPC’s early morning service is more informal in nature. With a focus on singing contemporary worship songs (with occasional “classics” thrown in), the emphasis is on simply enjoying God’s (and each others!) presence. We pray for each other, and reflect on God’s Word for us today in Scripture and a message. For the most part, the message is the same in the first and traditional worship services. From time to time, we offer prayer for healing with the laying on of hands (along with anointing with oil), we light candles for peace, and celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of every month by “intinction” (the congregation is invited to come forward, break off a piece of bread from a larger loaf, dip it in the cup of grape juice, and receive God’s grace and love). The congregation is encouraged to come in casual, comfortable attire to worship and praise the Lord. The service begins with congregational singing of songs of praise. Members lead the singing, often with the support of a small contemporary band. Music is led piano, joined regularly by a larger praise band. Simple and participatory are the key words for this service.

11:00 a.m. Traditional Service in the Sanctuary

The traditional service is a bit more structured, though not formal. In this service, we focus on God’s Living Word (Jesus Christ) in the rhythms and practices of traditional Presbyterian worship. With liturgy, hymns, organ, piano, responsive and corporate prayers, children’s message, Scripture, and sermon, we gather in God’s presence and seek to grow in faith. Adding to the blessing of this service is music from the Chancel Choir, the Westminster Bell Choir, or other instrumentalists or soloists. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of every month in the traditional Presbyterian fashion (individual cups and pieces of bread are distributed to the congregation by elders and deacons of the church). You are welcome in jeans or something more formal, and you will find both in attendance. We hope that all who come are sent out healed, at peace, refreshed, challenged (whatever you need at the moment!), and empowered to live the coming week faithfully and abundantly.

During both Sunday worship services, a nursery is available for infants and pre-schoolers. During the Traditional Service, following the Children’s Sermon, “Junior Church” is available for those in Kindergarten through Elementary grades during the school year. The Lord’s Supper communion is served monthly, on the first Sunday.

 

  • The Season of Lent Is Upon Us

    March 1st is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the church season of Lent.  Easter Sunday is the holiest day for the Christian faith, but Christians have long known that if we don’t prepare our hearts for the joy and excitement of Easter Sunday, then we might dilute its significance.  Depending on your individual faith journey, Lent may or may not be something that you appreciate.  Some of you look forward to the season, and perhaps ‘give up’ some earthly pleasure as a reminder of Christ’s suffering on the cross.  

    The season of Lent brings about a tone of solemnity in worship, and in our lives.  Some of us might find it to be the most meaningful season of the year because we take the time to reconcile our lives with the difficulties that we face, and we imagine ourselves walking with Jesus through the darkest days of his life leading up to his crucifixion.  I usually associate Lent with the idea of thin places.  'Thin places' is an old Celtic belief that the veil between heaven and earth is so thin that you can feel the presence of heaven from earth.  Perhaps you recall me preaching about thin places a few years ago.  Thin places may be specific geographical locations in this world, significant periods in your life, or a sense of the presence of someone special in your life.  Perhaps the season of Lent will be a thin place for you this year; where you can experience a bit of heaven on earth because the veil between this world and the next is so thin.

    This year, our Ash Wednesday worship service will be held at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, at 7pm.  Please join us; I will be preaching.  For many years now we have been partnering with Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church for ecumenical services on the high holy days of Lent.  On Ash Wednesday, we gather to begin this Lenten journey together with the imposition of the ashes upon our foreheads, with the stark reminder that from ashes we came, and to ashes we shall return.  This seemingly dark practice reminds us, however, that to God we belong, both in life and in death.

    Later, during Holy Week, we will again join with St. John’s and Prince of Peace for our Maundy Thursday worship service (at First Presbyterian on April 13th), and for Good Friday (the stations of the cross walk from FPC to St. John’s on April 14th), and an evening Good Friday service (at St. John’s).  I am so thankful that our three congregations can come together for these ecumenical services, reminding ourselves of the similarities we have in being followers of Jesus, rather than focusing on the differences of the world’s Christian denominations.

    You may notice the more solemn tone of worship during these weeks leading up to Palm Sunday and Easter.  It’s a chance for us to think about the significance of our own journeys with Jesus Christ, and just how much his life, death, and resurrection mean to us later.

    Grace and peace to you all this day,
    Pastor Derek

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