HOW AND WHY WE WORSHIP
WE WORSHIP GOD IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS, BUT THE FOUR MOST COMMON ARE:
WE GATHER IN GOD'S NAME
As we gather together to worship God, the music helps us to leave the world outside and be fully present, ready to receive the gifts that God has prepared for this time. Take a moment to look at your Order of Worship (a folded “brochure” that the ushers will give you). Look around the sanctuary to see what is special about today’s service and enjoy the feeling of warmth. (NOTE: large-print orders of worship and children's bulletins are available from the ushers.)
Welcome and Announcements
This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it! To open our worship, the pastor will welcome everyone and announce special events and activities that are coming up in the life of the church (which can always be found in our News and Calendar sections).
Call to Worship
The liturgist is a person who assists the pastors by leading parts of the worship service. The liturgist will start by calling us to worship by reading a sentence or two; the congregation then responds in unison with the words shown on the monitors and printed in your Order of Worship.
We stand and sing a joyful song of praise to our God. The words to the hymns are printed in the hymnal and shown on the monitors. Monitors at eye level for wheelchair users are available as are large print hymns -- just check with an usher!
Prayer of Confession
We have a God who knows our every weakness yet loves us more than we can comprehend. Our confession helps us to see the weaknesses from God’s perspective and acknowledge our need for God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Declaration of Pardon
After our confession, we receive the assurance of the good news: in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
Passing of the Peace of Christ
Our peace with God comes from knowing Christ died for our sins; our peace from God is a gift that defies explanation. A third aspect of peace is our calling to share the peace of Christ with our brothers and sisters. So when we pass the peace, someone will say to you: “The peace of Christ be with you,” and you can simply respond, “And also with you.”
WE HEAR GOD’S WORD
We read from the Bible to remember God’s mighty acts in history, to discover what God is doing in our world, and to look forward to the future God has promised. There are different kinds of writing in the Bible — stories, songs, laws, letters, wisdom, dreams. All of it is God’s Word for us today. That is why when the reader says, “This is the Word of the Lord,” we respond, “Thanks be to God.”
In the sermon, we hear the message that God prepares for each of us in the words of the sermon. The Holy Spirit helps us listen for what God is calling us to do — so that we may love and serve God and our neighbors as we are called to do. Hear past sermons here.
WE RESPOND TO GOD’S WORD
The Offering of Our Gifts and Tithes
Every good thing is a gift from God — the food we eat, things we have, people we love, time we spend, our whole lives. We give our lives back to God as a way of saying thank you — sharing the gifts God gives us with those who are in need and working to establish peace and justice throughout the world.
Prayers of the People
Jesus prays for us and wants us to pray for others – for our church and for the world that God loves so much. During this time, you may share your joys and concerns out loud (or you have the option of writing them down on a card prior to the service). As we offer each prayer, the pastor will say, “We pray to the Lord,” and we respond by saying, “Lord, hear our prayer.”
The final prayer during this time is the Lord’s Prayer, the special prayer that Jesus taught his disciples. The words for the prayer will be shown on the monitors and printed in your order of worship.
WE TAKE GOD’S WORD INTO THE WORLD
As we get ready to go and serve God in the world, we sing a song to praise and celebrate God’s goodness, and to affirm that we are called to live in Jesus’ name.
We go out to follow Jesus in the world — secure in his grace, assured of God’s love, and in communion with the Holy Spirit.
Response to the Benediction
We respond to the benediction as we leave, inspired and challenged by our time together and ready to take the light of Christ into the other 167 hours in our week!
HOLY COMMUNION AND BAPTISM
The Sacrament of Holy Communion is presented on the first Sunday of each month and certain special days throughout the year.
INVITATION TO THE LORD’S TABLE
At FPC-Holt, all who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are welcomed and encouraged to share in the sacrament. To that end, gluten-free wafers are available at his table.
COMMUNION OF THE PEOPLE
At the Lord’s Table, Jesus invites all who seek the grace and love of God to come and enjoy the feast. In that spirit of invitation, offer the elements to your neighbor with the words, “The Body of Christ,” (to be taken individually signifying our individual relationship to Christ) and “The Cup of the New Covenant” (to be held and taken together signifying our unity in Christ). A faith-filled “Amen” is an appropriate response to both. (Gluten-free wafers will be passed with the cups.)
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
When everyone has shared the bread and cup, we thank God for feeding us in this holy meal. We pray that this meal with Jesus will help us to grow in faith and make us strong to love and serve God and neighbors.
THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
Baptism is the way we become members of the church, the body of Christ or family of God. It is a sign of everything God has promised us — new life in Jesus, forgiveness of sin, and the coming of a new creation. When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit rested on him like a bird from heaven, and God said: “You are my beloved child.” God says the same thing to us when we are baptized. Click here to learn more about Baptisms Everyone who is baptized is a kind of minister — called to live like Jesus, to love others, and to serve God. Each one of us is given special gifts from the Holy Spirit to help us do these things. When we remember our baptism, we give thanks for these gifts and this calling, and we promise again to follow Jesus in everything we do.