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Sunday Morning Worship Gathering

Our main worship gathering is at 10:30 on Sunday mornings. People wear a variety of clothing styles: a few dress up (ok, one person), most come rather casual. Find directions and a map here.

What to Expect

If you have not been here before or have not been in some time then you may find this helpful, a brief description of our fellowship:

We’re kind of small.  Lately we’ve been between 60 and 70 people on any given Sunday.

We are a mixed and messy bunch – you’ll see all kinds of people: younger & older, some don’t speak English well, some have gone to this church for a long time, others have only just begun, some smoke, some identify as alcoholics, some are loud; we relish the idea of unity within diversity and we believe in a love and grace that binds us all.

We are flawed. We mess up in life and we are not slick and polished on Sunday mornings. Not because we’re lazy or sloppy, but because we don’t take this time to be a performance. It is a worship gathering. And we are real (messy) people trying to worship God together by singing, listening, praying, giving, and participating.

Babies, Toddlers, & Kids

If you have kids, we have a wonderful area for children. Every once in a long while, children and babies stay with us the whole time (we’re OK with a little noise and distraction). For babies and toddlers there is a nursery in the hallway toward the offices. Your kids will be well cared for.

Our Order of Worship

Our order of worship follows the ancient four-part pattern of Gathering, Scripture, Table, Sending:

Gathering

  • An opening Song, usually about the global and all encompassing love of God
  • The Call to worship (“Come! Let us worship…” is God’s call to us, inviting us to gather)
  • The welcome and an opening prayer called “The Collect for Purity”
  • The Gloria Patri – a Trinitarian doxology

Scripture

  • Scriptures are read (we use the Revised Common Lectionary – the lectionary texts we use can be found here)
  • We sing songs as a response to (or anticipation for) each reading.
  • Preaching
  • The Apostles’ or Nicene Creed. Following the sermon, we recite an ancient statement of our faith. (Sometimes we recite other “credal statements” that are based on the ancient creeds.)
  • Prayer. We respond to the hearing of the word with prayer with includes the praying of a Psalm, silence, prayers of the people (we ask for people to speak a request and the congregation responds by saying, “Lord, hear our prayer”), a prayer of confession, and a statement of forgiveness.
  • Passing the peace. This is not merely “stand and shake five hands,” rather, it is an important time of acting out the forgiveness and reconciliation just heard and received in the prayer time.

Table

  • The Offering, which is part of communion. Here, we bring our gifts including money, clothing, food, and our very selves. All of this is presented – along with the gifts of bread and (unfermented) wine to the Altar to be used in the ritual of the Lord’s Supper.
  • (The money is used for a great variety of causes, from electricity and staff salaries, to global missionary work and relief efforts. It is an opportunity for people to worship through generosity – but it is not “required” and we want no one to feel any obligation to give, especially a visitor.)
  • Communion. We celebrate the Eucharist every week using many ancient prayers and forms. The center of the Christian faith is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, the King. In Communion we connect with Christians around the world and throughout time, we remember God’s work in Jesus, and encounter Christ in a physical and mysterious way.
  • (The children will join us for communion, then go back to their rooms to be picked up by parents. It is important to us that kids participate with us in the Lord’s Supper as it is the center of Christian worship and life – we want them to be a part of the church.)

Sending

  • The sending begins with preparing some of the bread and wine to be taken to those who could not be gathered with us.
  • We pray a prayer of sending: “And now Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and to serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord…”
  • Announcements are given.
  • Benediction. Every week we end with a benediction – words of blessing (from Numbers 6:24-26) are spoken over everyone as we are sent.