When people attend a new church for the first time, they are sometimes uncomfortable not knowing what to expect. So, this section of our webpage is devoted to setting you at ease and giving you an idea of what will happen at the service.
Kid Friendly: We have a kid’s program and a special section for them during the service, so the entire family is welcome.
Dress: Before coming to the service it is important to know that we are completely casual. Shorts and flip-flops are welcome. You will notice that the Priest often wears Hawaiian clergy shirts, so be comfortable.
Greeters: If all goes according to our plan, you will be greeted by people when you come in. They can answer questions, point you to the rest room or help you find a seat that will be comfortable for you. Make yourself comfortable and relax.
The Service: The service usually begins with music, although we sometimes vary from that format. Our music is a combination of contemporary music and some of the more “acoustic”, softer, praise and worship music. Everything will be projected on the screen in the front for you. You will have the opportunity to join in with us in all of the service.
After the opening worship we will have a reading of scripture for that day and then the “reasoning.” We call the talk that the priest or other preacher gives a “reasoning” rather than “sermon.” The reason for this is that in our services, anyone is free to ask questions or make constructive comments as we go through the talk. This is a learning experience so we feel strongly that one should be able to have points clarified that they may have questions about, and often what is said in the reasoning will spur something that you might want to share with the other folks who are there.
After the reasoning, we will usually recite together one of the historic creeds of the church such as the Apostle’s Creed or the Nicene Creed and then have the Prayers of the People. After the prayers of the people we will have what is called the “General Confession.” This is where we pray together as a group. The prayer of confession is projected on the screen so that we can pray together. The priest then offers what is called an “Absolution” for sins. Know this: the Priest cannot forgive your sins….only God can do that, and He says in His word that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us all our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. “ In the Absolution the priest is simply reminding you that God has forgiven your sins, according to His Word.
The Peace: At this time, you will hear the Priest say, “The Peace of the Lord be always with you!” and the people will respond, “And also with you!” It is here that we greet one another with the word, “Peace” or “the Peace of God.” It’s just a time for us to say hello to the folks around us and express our love for one another.
The Eucharist: Soon after this you will hear the music begin for the “Song of Preparation.” It is here that we begin to prepare for the most important part of the service, that part which we call “The Eucharist”. That word actually means “Great Thanksgiving”, but it is a term for what is often called in other churches The Lord’s Supper or Communion. The reason we have communion each Sunday is because this is the only act of worship that Jesus specifically told us to perform. “Do this in remembrance of me.” In the Bible, the apostle Paul told the Corinthians that the reenactment of the Lord’s Supper was a serious thing and that something spiritual happened in it that went beyond simply going through the motions. He said that before taking it, we should examine ourselves and open ourselves before God, asking for forgiveness in places where we have fallen short and receiving His love for us.
After the priest has recited the story of the Lord’s Supper and asked for God to bless the bread and wine, all who desire can come forward to receive the bread and wine of the Eucharist. Anyone who is baptized in a Christian Church (any denomination) and believes in Jesus is welcome to come. You do not have to come if you prefer, but we welcome all Christian brothers and sisters. If you are not baptized or have not asked Jesus to come into your heart, you may still come for a blessing. As a sign to the Priest you simply cross your arms across your chest and the Priest will know to give you a blessing rather than the bread. If you are interested in receiving Jesus and being baptized, talk to the priest, one of the prayer ministers or one of the other ministers after the service.
As you come forward you will take the bread from the Priest and then step to either the right or the left to receive the wine. You may take a sip from the common cup (don’t worry, this is real Port wine….no germs live in this and we’ve been doing this for years). However, if you are not comfortable drinking from the common cup, you may carefully dip your bread in the wine.
As you return to your seat, you may notice that in the back corner of the room there are a couple of people who may be praying for someone. This is a prayer station. If you have needs that you would like someone to pray with you about, simply go to the corner and one of our prayer ministers will be glad to pray with you.
When all who desire have received Communion and the music has finished, we will have a concluding prayer together. Then, the Priest will pronounce a blessing for everyone as a group. After that, we will join together in a final song.
BUT WAIT! That’s not all! After the service EVERYONE is invited to fellowship and share in a light snack there in our church building. This is a great time to meet and get to know people, to ask questions and share thoughts. And, the food is always delicious.
Length of the Service: Our service may seem like it would be long with so much packed into it, but the truth is, the service lasts between 1 hour and 1 hour and 15 minutes. Afterward, stay as long or as briefly as you like. You will find that we are indeed laid-back, friendly, and easy to get to know and would love to get to know you.