About Worship at FPC


Our worship celebrates Sunday, the day of Christ’s Resurrection, The Lord’s Day, the First Day of the Week.  Worship at FPC typically consists of four “movements”: 

1. Gathering

Gathering to worship, Prelude music helps center us and prepare us to encounter God together. The pastor shares a greeting and orienting information, then a prayer inviting God’s presence. A church member then helps lead, beginning with a responsive Call to Worship, announcing God’s calling us together. The opening hymn celebrates God’s creation and the joy of worship. We are then invited to seek reconciliation with God through silent and unison confession prayer.  We then sing and speak life affirming words sharing the forgiveness and the peace of Jesus Christ with one another.

2. Word

This movement begins with a prayer asking for the Holy Spirit to help us understand the Scriptures we will hear. The first Scripture is then read, followed by an anthem to enhance and nurture reflection. Next, Time for Our Young Worshipers invites children (through third grade) to come forward for an informal message which concludes with a prayer. These children can either return to their seats or leave the sanctuary for activities in the KidZone (E206) led by our child care staff. A second Scripture is then read and the sermon is given. This section concludes with reflective silence followed by another hymn.

3. Response

Our response to the Word proclaimed begins with a unison Affirmation of Faith, often the Apostles’ Creed. Then Prayers of the People are offered, concluding with the congregation praying The Lord’s Prayer together. Having prayed for the needs of God’s people, we then receive the Offering for the continuing work of the church, accompanied by a musical offering. Our offerings are dedicated with the singing of one stanza from a hymn and with a unison prayer of dedication.

4. Sending

This final movement is a time of blessing, through the singing of a hymn and a biblical benediction (literally a “good word”) to send us on our way from worship to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ in creation. The Postlude is a final musical offering to glorify God and bless God’s people on their way.

Sacraments

The Presbyterian tradition recognizes two Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (also known as Holy Communion or the Eucharist). The rationale is two-fold: first, Jesus experienced each himself personally and, secondly, Jesus commanded that we do also.

In Baptism God's "invisible" Spirit is made visible through the sign of water. When the water of baptism is poured out upon the baptized, it’s akin to the Holy Spirit coming upon them as promised by our Lord. Baptism seals God’s promise that because of Jesus Christ, nothing can separate us from God's love. Baptism is celebrated during worship because we are baptized into a faith community and also because Jesus was himself baptized in public.

On the first Sunday of each month, we celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. The night before his death, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples. During the meal, he took bread, blessed it and gave it to them, saying, this bread is my body, broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me. Then Jesus took the cup and said this cup is the New Covenant sealed in my blood, poured out for the forgiveness of sin. This do also, everytime you drink of it, in remebrance of me. And so that is what we do.