What Is "Worship"?
Worship is a word that is simple in definition but deep in meaning. Simply put, it is to express a deep and thankful love. When Jesus was asked what was most important He replied with a two part answer. The first part was to Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Worship is part of that expression of Love.
Worship is also personal. It is not something that someone else can do for you. You can do it anywhere, with others or alone. On Sunday we come together as a family and worship God as a community. You are an important part of that community. When we pray, you will be asked to join us in prayer. When we sing you will want to offer your own voice to God. When scripture is read, you will be encouraged to read along in your own Bible or from the projected text on the screen.
Worship is also meant to be an encouragement to you and to others around you. Worship is joyful! We are told to "Rejoice in the Lord always!" This was written by the Apostle Paul while in prison! Life can be very hard sometimes. Worship is one of the ways that you get close to God and let Him bring joy into your life.
One of the things that you will notice right off is that we love to sing! We take our singing seriously. It is a very special and important part of our worship. You may notice that we do all of the singing ourselves. We come together to worship together. There is nothing more "together" than everybody singing together.
Too often we focus on our differences. For some reason this seems to be doubly true when it comes to singing. We believe that our voices are a gift from God and that is what we offer to Him in our songs. There is no piano or organ or band; just our voices. It is our choice to sing this way. It is pure and it is simple and we believe it to be beautiful because it is a creation of God.
What? You say you can't sing? You have a poor singing voice? You don't know the songs? Please don't let those excuses keep you from joining the family in song. The words to the songs will be displayed on the screen at the front and if you prefer having the words closer to you they are in the song books where you sit.
God hears all voices as beautiful; even yours!
We believe in the power of prayer. You may notice that we pray a lot. It only makes sense to talk to the one you love! Some prayers are public and others private. You are encouraged to add your thoughts to public prayers. If you feel so inclined an "Amen!" is welcome during a prayer.
There is also an opportunity to ask for specific prayers. During the colection you have the opportunity to submit a request by writing the request on a card and dropping it into the collection basket.
The Lord's Supper
This is a central part of our worship. It has many names. You may know it as "communion" or "Eucharist" or "taking of the sacrements". Most often we refer to this as "The Lord's Supper" or "Communion."
Jesus, established this simple "supper" shortly before He was betrayed and crucified. His instructions were simple. He broke the bread and said "Remember me". He then took the cup and likewise said "Remember me". He said that the bread was to remind us of the fact that He became a real flesh and blood man; we are to remember His body. The cup was to remind us that He was willing to die, offering us His blood as a sacrifice that we might be forgiven of our sins.
You are welcome to join with us as we remember Jesus, His life, His sacrifice and His resurrection. A tray with an unleavened cracker will be passed to you. Take a small piece and eat it. As you do, allow your mind to offer thanks and remember that God was willing to become a man so you may know Him better.
A tray with small cups of simple grape juice will also be passed. Take one and drink it. Again, consider Jesus. Consider how much He must have loved you. How we don't deserve the love that is offered but that we gladly accept it.
Usually after the Lord's Supper is complete a collection is taken. If you are visiting with us, please do not feel any pressure to put anything into the plate that will be passed to you. If you do choose to give, though, it is important to know why you give. It is not to pay the preacher or to support the church or to express grattitude for a job well done.You give because your heart is touched by the love of God.
We do not demand a "tithe" because God does not demand it. God has some simple instructions on giving. It should be done cheerfully. It should be done sacrifically; not from what is left over but a gift that shows trust and love for the Father. It is an expression of love and grattitude, not a duty.