What is Worship?
The word "worship" comes from an old English word that literally means "worth-ship." It denotes someone’s worthiness to receive special honor. The biblical use of the word emphasizes the act of prostration or falling on one's knees. When we worship, we come with this attitude – recognizing that God is the Holy and unfathomable Creator of all. We also come gratefully, because God reaches toward us and seeks to live in relationship with us. We believe that God has expressed this desire supremely through Jesus of Nazareth. In worship we acknowledge who God is, give thanks for God’s grace, love, and forgiveness, and respond by seeking to live as the scriptures, prophets, and Jesus instruct.
While Christians worship in many ways and places, the Bible instructs us to gather for worship weekly. Our human experience – both collective and individual – tells us this is a good idea. Unless we engage in renewing and growing in our relationship with God, we tend to shrink spiritually. Worship is a time when we receive (through fellowship, teaching, and the sacraments) and give (by singing, sharing, and joining in liturgy). It is a time when God is mysteriously present in our midst in a special way.
Worship is supposed to refresh and renew us. The Sabbath is meant to be a day of rest, when we experience renewal and re-creation. It’s a time of re-balancing, re-centering, and remembering what – and who – is truly most important. Amid the many competing voices that call for attention and allegiance, communal worship helps us learn, remember, experience, and practice what it means to be the people of God and followers of Jesus Christ.
Why We Sing
“The value of hymn-singing cannot be overstated. It gives us opportunity to communicate with God, express unity as believers, verbally witness to one another and spiritually grow in the understanding of our faith. The sung word is powerful, uplifting and inspiring. By singing great scriptural and poetic texts drawn from many generations of our worshipping heritage, we participate in something far greater than any one of us could accomplish on our own.”
by Howard Helvey, Composer, Songwriter
Creeds and Affirmations
“We recite creeds to affirm our unity in Christ with those who wrote them, the many generations who have recited them before us, and those who will recite them after we have gone.”
by Rev. J. Richard Peck (retired editor for the United Methodist Publishing House)
The Doxology is sung as praise and thanksgiving. It usually follows the congregation’s offering during the worship service but can also be used as a blessing before a meal, in times of sorrow or distress such as funerals, or spontaneously at times of great joy.
Confession and Pardon
“A prayer of confession and declaration of pardon belong together, neither should be used without the other. In an opening prayer of confession, the people confess the sin of which they are already aware and then come to the Proclamation of the Word in the assurance of God’s pardoning grace. Confession as a Response to the Word includes the added awareness of personal and corporate sin to which persons are led by the Proclamation for the Word.” *
from the United Methodist Book of Worship, page 20-21
A sacrament is a means by which God manifests his grace to his people. It is God’s gift of grace to us. Grace is given prior to and without reference to anything we may have done.
A sacrament is a rite which conveys driving grace, blessing, or sanctity upon the believer who participates in it. The United Methodist Church has two sacraments: baptism and communion.
If you desire to be baptized, please contact Pastor Derrek.
In all forms of Christian baptism, God claims those being baptized with the gift of divine grace, whatever their age or ability to profess their faith. With infant baptism, we are acknowledging God’s gift of grace to that child. We believe that God will work in the heart and life of the child as he or she grows into their baptism or claim of God upon their life.
“Christ-ening” is a term used generations ago to mean being made like Christ in baptism. When we baptize infants, a name is asked as he or she becomes part of the Christian community. The child has a new identity in Christ. The congregation and the child’s family pledge to help the child find this new identity.
We celebrate Holy Communion to remember the last supper Jesus had with his disciples before he was crucified. We not only remember but also participate in this meal together as Christ instructed his followers to do. The bread and juice symbolize the body of Christ broken and poured out for all persons to receive the unconditional love and grace God gives to us. We come to receive, pray, and unite with our fellow disciples.
In the United Methodist Church, we do not exclude persons based on age or religious tradition; you do not have to be baptized or a full member to receive Communion. Our prayer is that baptism or profession of faith will follow as a response to the outpouring of God’s grace and love in your life.
We offer the sacrament of Holy Communion on the first Sunday of every month as well as on Maundy Thursday and during our Christmas Eve service.
Literally, benediction means “a good saying or word”. Traditionally, it is a word or a blessing spoken by the pastor and addressed to the congregation. The benediction sends us forth into the world with instructions to be people of God by doing, serving, and sharing God’s love in the world. It is used to dismiss the congregation at the end of worship.
From the earliest church, Christians used benedictions in their worship. When we receive the benediction, we are united with all Christians throughout the ages and all over the world.