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.

 

  • Reformation Celebration!

    There is something wonderful for us to celebrate this month!  October 31st is the 500th anniversary of an event that many look to as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.  On that date—All Hallow’s Eve—in 1517, the German monk, priest, and theology professor nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany, an event that sent the Church (the Roman Catholic Church) and much of Europe into decades of chaos.  It’s not clear if Luther actually nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door or if the paper was distributed amongst the university and others posted it on the door, but many scholars believe it was Luther.  
    These 95 theses were list of topics which Luther wished to engage in debate with others within the Church.  His meticulous study of scripture led him to believe that the church was mistaken in many of it’s practices, and Luther wished to challenge those teachings and reform the church from within.  As one might understand, the Church did not wish to undertake such reform at the time.  Those who followed the teachings of Luther became known at Protestants (because of their protests), and later formed into denominations such as as Lutherans, Anabaptists, and Presbyterians. 
    What came out of the Reformation (actually a number of reformations throughout Europe, rather than one solitary path) altered the history of the world.  Lutherans, Anabaptists, Presbyterians, and even the Anglican (Episcopal) church all were formed in the decades after 1517.  There are well over 500 million Protestant Christians in the world today, descendants in the faith from Martin Luther’s pivotal theological work.
    Luther’s work—along with others such as John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli—led to many of the strong theological themes of Protestantism.  We are saved by grace alone, and not by our works.  We are both saint and sinner (simul justus et peccator, in the Latin), and the three-headed Latin theme: sola scriptura, sola fides, sola gratia (scripture alone, faith alone, grace alone)—those being the three claims upon which Christians base our faith in God.  Luther also preached an idea called the priesthood of all believers, meaning that we all can interact with God in ways that the Church thought were reserved only for priests.  Luther wanted everyone reading the Bible and thinking deeply about their faith in God, not just listening to a priest for all of the answers about faith.
    I invite each of you to join us at First Presbyterian Church on the evening of October 28th for movie night.  We will be watching the 2003 film Luther, starring Joseph Fiennes as Martin Luther.  This film tells a fairly accurate and very entertaining story of Martin Luther’s life and his role in the Protestant Reformation.  The film will show in Bruner Hall, at 6:30pm.  Join us!
    May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you all.
    Pastor Derek
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