Worship at FPC

Christian 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.  We gather to praise and thank the Lord, to confess our sin, and profess God’s forgiveness in Jesus Christ.  The Sacrament of Baptism commemorates the mystery of our being grafted into the Body of Christ and is celebrated as appropriate. We listen for God to speak from the Bible through the interpreted Word of preaching, and through the mysterious interaction of the Holy Spirit with us throughout the entire service. We respond to this sacred mystery with intercessory prayer, the offering of our lives and our first fruits to God, and a unison affirmation of faith.  On the first Sunday of each month, we celebrate the Sacrament of Lord’s Supper.  Worship concludes with a hymn and an encouraging blessing (benediction) sending us into the world God loves, blessed with Christ’s promised presence.  For more details about these four movements see below.

1. Gathering

Gathering to worship, the Prelude centers us and prepares us to worship God. The pastor shares a greeting and orienting information, then a prayer inviting God’s presence. A church member then leads us 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 approach God in humble adoration, to seek reconciliation with God in silent and unison prayer.  We then sing and speak life affirming words sharing the forgiveness and the peace of Jesus Christ.

2. Word

This movement begins with a prayer 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 a hymn.

3. Response

Our response to The Word proclaimed begins with a unison Affirmation of Faith. 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 unison prayer.

4. Sending

This final movement is a time of blessing, through the singing of a hymn and a biblical benediction, 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.