At Grace, most of our services observe the historic liturgy and are divided into four parts:
Gathering, Word, Meal, Sending
After the pastor greets worshipers and makes brief announcements, the service opens with a "Prelude," a musical offering during which we have an opportunity to center our hearts and minds.
In addition to the Prayer of the Day and additional hymns and songs, many of our services contain a brief Confession and Forgiveness. This is a corporate confession by all gathered and the assurance of God’s forgiveness for all is shared.
The Word portion of the service focuses upon the reading of God’s Word, using Bible lessons from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the Letters of the New Testament, and the Gospels. Typically there are three readings plus a Psalm that is either sung or read.
The regular sermon is usually about 10-15 minutes long. The pastor will seek to help us understand one of the earlier readings in more detail - how it tells not only what God was doing in the time in which the text was written, but most especially what God is doing for us today and how God’s word applies in practical ways to our own lives.
Most Sundays, the congregation says aloud either the Apostles’ or Nicene Creed, ancient confessions of Christian faith that connect us with people of faith from all times and places.
A lay assisting minister (non-pastoral leader) leads the congregation in the Prayers of Intercession. This is a broad-ranging prayer that all join through congregational responses printed in the bulletin. At the entryway to the sanctuary, there is a stand containing a sheet upon which anyone can write prayer requests for the day. The assisting minister includes these prayer petitions at this point.
Following the prayers, the Sharing of the Peace allows all to extend the peace of Jesus Christ to one another. At Grace, we take a few moments to move around and greet one another with the Peace of Christ. We do this by saying "peace be with you" or simply "peace" to those we greet. It is a joyful time in our community.
Each Sunday we celebrate and share in the Eucharist (also called Holy Communion and the Lord’s Supper). We believe that in the bread and wine of the Eucharist, we receive Christ’s true body and blood and God’s gifts of forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation, received by faith for the strengthening of faith. In Holy Communion, the crucified and risen Christ is present, giving us his true body and blood as food and drink. We regard this real presence as a mystery.
The Meal portion of the service begins with a collected monetary offering. As plates are passed among the congregation, special music provided by the Choir or other musicians accompanies us. First time worshipers need to know that no one is under any obligation to give. This is a voluntary monetary offering to support the mission and work of the church – here, near, and far.
EVERYONE is welcome and invited to participate in Holy Communion. At Grace we believe that the Lord Jesus is the true host at his table and graciously offers this meal to all. (Grape juice and gluten free bread is available for those who wish.)
If you have difficulty or are not able to come to the front where Communion is distributed, please notify an usher and we will distribute Communion to you at your place.
Those not wishing not to take Communion may choose to stay seated or come forward for a blessing. To indicate that you would like a blessing, please cross your arms with hands at shoulders.
Most Sundays during the time of Eucharist, Grace offers Prayers for Healing. In the back of the sanctuary, a designated person will be available to stand and personally pray with you and for you.
Following the conclusion of the Eucharist, the worship service concludes with the Benediction, a blessing of the congregation by the pastor, and a Sending Hymn.
Finally, the assisting minister offers a dismissal that ends with a rousing “Thanks be to God!”
We are strengthened for our life of service and love in Christ’s name as we leave the sanctuary and go about our day and the week ahead.
After the service, we have an opportunity downstairs in the Fellowship Hall to share coffee and snacks while greeting one another. We hope you'll stay and take part! We’d be honored to get to know you.
During the academic year, Sunday School classes are offered after worship for Pre-K through adults to dive deeper into biblical and other topics. You are invited to stay for Sunday School!
If you have more questions, let us know!