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.

 

  • Reflecting on Holy Week

    As I write this at the end of April, I’m reflecting on the wonderful Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter services that we had at FPC, along with the two other congregations, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church. This significant week is always a spiritual blessing to me, and I hope you feel the same.

    Our Palm Sunday breakfast put on by the youth of the congregation (and their families) wasn’t a fundraiser this year but instead was a way for them to say thank you for your ongoing support of youth ministry. Bruner Hall was packed full of 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. worshipers sharing a wonderful meal together. Thank you to everyone who helped by bringing food and, in particular, to youth and their families who did the set up and clean-up work. We also had our traditional Palm Sunday procession led by the choir and Eeyore the donkey as we walked up 2nd West to the sanctuary entrance. Yes, the donkey is named Eeyore. He is a veteran of this tradition, this being the 11th year he has walked with us. And what a gentle donkey he is! Some of our children have a wonderful time feeding him snacks each year. Special thanks to Buffy Evans and the Chancel Choir, as Buffy always leads us in song as we walk up the street waiving our palms as a reenactment of Jesus making his way into Jerusalem.

    The services of Holy Week are always theologically important to me, and to all of us as Christians. If you have not been able to attend a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday worship service, I would ask you to consider doing so next year. The Thursday service is very moving as we remember Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, instituting the meal that is our sacrament of communion, and giving the disciples a new commandment to love one another (the word maundy comes from the Latin word for commandment). The Good Friday service is a somber service, but I think something that is significant for us even as we know about the joy of resurrection come Easter Sunday. There is something about reading the Passion narrative of Jesus and leaving a sanctuary in silence with Jesus having been taken down from the cross and laid in a borrowed tomb that increase my joy come resurrection day. I am also continually moved that we hold these services in partnership with two other congregations. We are all children of God and followers of Jesus Christ, and it is interesting to experience the traditions of other Christians.

    Easter Sunday was wonderful, from our outdoor sunrise service—we didn’t see the sun because of cloud cover but the early morning view of beautiful Cache Valley was stunning nonetheless—to the other worship services when Bruner Hall and the sanctuary were both packed with worshipers. Thank you to our Praise Band, Westminster Bell Choir, and Chancel Choir for the special music of that day. Closing out the day with the Hallelujah Chorus is always spectacular!

    Some of you are aware that I had knee surgery during Holy Week, on Tuesday, April 16, to cut away some torn meniscus from my left knee which I injured in November. Laura says that I am a bit crazy having surgery during Holy Week (and she isn’t wrong…), but I did not want to have the surgery during snowboarding season, and it also had to be after our trip to the Netherlands. So, Tuesday of Holy Week it was, in part because of the doctor’s availability. I was on crutches for a few days but was walking well on my own by Easter Sunday. It might be a month before I feel back to normal, but things are going quite well. Thank you for your care and concern.

    You might notice a few small changes around the church building. As part of our newly adopted Child Protection Policy we are installing glass windows on all our Sunday School classroom doors. This kind of safety precaution makes sense for children and adults alike. We’ve also fixed the loose railing on the stairs near the south sanctuary entrance. We strive to make sure that FPC is a safe and nurturing space for everyone.

    Please read the update about the Solar Panel and Roof Project.  Thank you to all who have pledged and contributed. I feel that we have the capability to raise the remaining funds, and I look forward to the coming months when we will decide about proceeding with the solar portion of this project.

    In this season of Eastertide may the grace, peace, and joy of Christ be with you all.                 Pastor Derek

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