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.

 

  • Advent

    We’ve come once again to the season of Advent when we anticipate and prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate the coming birth of Jesus the Christ.

    We have prepared an Advent Devotional Booklet for you this year, with the help of a great many members of First Presbyterian Church.  Please make sure to take a copy home when you worship with us on Sunday morning; we will have copies available at both worship services.  This booklet is intended to be a spiritual guide through your own journey of Advent, to the day when we celebrate Jesus’ birth.  We hope that you can spend a few minutes each day reading the scripture passage and the reflection for the day, as we intentionally reflect on what it means for this Christ-child born to Mary and Joseph.  One particular devotion entry asks us to consider our own purpose in life as we ponder the purpose of God entering into our world.  Another ponders what it means for Jesus to be Emmanuel, God with us.  Many thanks to Pastor Meg, Cathy Short, Chris Hult, and all of those who contributed by writing a devotion.

    I would like to introduce something else to the life of ministry at FPC.  I am always pleased to have people come in to the church office for a chat about faith, life, and ministry in our congregation.  I wonder if some of you might feel reluctant to ‘interrupt’ a pastor during the week.  I can assure you that I greatly enjoy having people stop by to chat.  I would like to introduce the concept of ‘lunch with the pastor’ to our congregation.  Some of you might feel more comfortable meeting over lunch or coffee (fair warning… I’ll be having the hot cocoa) rather than coming into the church office.  Here is my plan.  I lunch every Tuesday at Great Harvest Bread Company on Center St, just a block and a half down the road from FPC.  I eat from 12-1 p.m..  Occasionally I am a few minutes late if our staff meeting runs long, but I am always there unless I have been called away to an emergency.  I typically bring a book or magazine article; I like to read from Christian sources to keep my mind present and up-to-date on faith and theology issues.  But if you have something to chat about, please come on down and find me!  I will be there.  If you would like, you can always call or text my cell phone to let me know you are coming.  I would love to chat with you, over some delicious food, about things that are on your mind or issues concerning the congregation.  I hope to see you.

    I also hope to see you on Wednesday night December 5th for our ecumenical Service of Prayer & Healing.  That evening we have a service recognizing the sorrow and sadness that we might feel during the seasons of Advent and Christmas.  If you feel moved to do so, please join us at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary.

    I won’t write too much about the Advent and Christmas season in this space; you’ll have to read the Advent Devotional for that.  But I will say that this season is a very important one for me.  Yes, it brings joy and wonder, and I love it when the snow falls and makes things so beautiful.  This season is also difficult as we grieve the losses and pains in our lives, and I recognize that too – in my life and possibly in yours.  Whether my day has been full of joy or sorrow, the Advent season reminds me that Jesus Christ is coming.  He is coming into this world, as we celebrate his birth that occurred so many years ago.  And Jesus Christ is coming into our hearts—again and again every time we open ourselves up to his presence and the presence of the Holy Spirit.  That presence of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit is what truly brings me joy; there is hope for the world after all.  That presence brings me comfort in times of sorrow.  And that presence reminds me of God’s gracious love for you, for me, and for all of creation.

    May God’s grace and peace be with you my friends,

    Derek

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