Worship

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

 

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.

 

  • Some Thoughts for Advent A Prayer for Advent

    How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given.  

    There is something about Advent and Christmas hymns that speak to me.  I hope they speak to you to.  What are hymns, really, but prayers that we sing aloud together?

    Daylight lessens as this month progresses, and in the deepest of night there rises this new star, a birth that makes possible a new day in a kingdom that reigns on this earth but is not of this earth.  The irony of lessening daylight which brings about a new day of great joy dawning in our lives.  A new day that means light and life and love.

    In this month that always seems too chaotic, I pray that we each may find stillness and peace during some part of our days.  This stillness and peace, however, gets interrupted with the cries of a newborn baby—cries of need and cries of hope.  That might be what Christmas is: a realization of our own need, and a realization of our hopes for a world that feels broken all too often.

    In the darkness of these December nights I hope that we are able find comfort in the knowledge of this coming birth.  For this birth means the coming of light, and as the scriptures so wonderful remind us, this is a light that the darkness cannot and will not overcome.  This birth means everything.  This birth changes everything.

    May we find and celebrate this birth in ourselves, and in others, and in the world, for the sake of the one who will be born and who will shine forever.  His name is Jesus.  Jesus of Nazareth.  Born in Bethlehem.  King of kings.  Lord of lords.  Jesus—the Christ.

    How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given.

    May there be enough silence in our lives, Lord, and time for expectation,
    that we may receive the gift we need,
    so we may become the gifts that others need.

    May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you all this Advent and Christmas season.

    —Pastor Derek

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