To be relevant, the church needs worship and preaching that are Christ-centered. Their power and truth should rise up from both the scriptures and the experience of Christ’s still living and active Spirit. Their clear purpose should not be to simply entertain, but far more importantly to bring people into God’s presence, where they can praise God, even as they are truly inspired, strengthened and nurtured by the Spirit.
Worship and preaching should engage mind, heart and soul, leading us individually and together to make the connection between our present lives and the ongoing experience of the Spirit working in, among and through us.
The experience of worship should also connect those who worship with one another, bringing and binding them together in a supportive, encouraging family of faith. When we truly worship together, there are no longer any strangers among us… we are one in Christ!
At St. John’s we recognize that those who gather for worship share a common need and desire to connect with God and one another. We also recognize that a style of worship that blesses one person may not assist another in making those sacred connections. Consequently, we currently have two different ways in which we seek to worship on Sunday morning, and we also anticipate adding others in the near future.
9 a.m. Worship
At 9 a.m. on Sundays, people of all ages engage in a relaxed, while still energy-filled, service of worship. We follow a structured, but still flexible order of worship, which includes times for prayer, a Children’s Message, the reading of scripture by members of the church family, moments to share our joys and concerns… and to lift them up in prayer, and a Biblical-based, Christ-centered, life-relevant message by the Pastor.
The 9 a.m. service of worship is brightened and inspired by congregational singing, by sacred and spiritual songs sung by our 9:00 choir, and by twice-monthly special offerings from our children’s bell choir. Surely, sacred music touches heart and soul as nothing else can! Accompaniment for all our music is provided by our gifted pianist.
Casual dress is always appropriate at 9 a.m. worship. Your presence in worship, not what you wear, matters most to us!
10:45 a.m. Worship
At 10:45 a.m. on Sundays, we celebrate a more traditional service of worship. Its structure and its style of music are rooted in the historical practices of the Evangelical and Reformed tradition, but are updated for our present day.
In and through the flow of traditional worship we seek to enter into God’s presence. The worship service includes organ music, prayer, affirmations of faith, scripture and faithful proclamation. We sing the great hymns of the church as well as occasionally adding in some more contemporary selections that have been lovingly adopted by those who worship at 10:45 a.m. There are also sung responses, as well as times for prayer and contemplation as the organist lifts up Preludes, Offertories and Postludes. Accompaniment for all our music is provided by our gifted organist.
It is a joy to say that our traditional worship, while more formal in style, still has the warmth and intimacy of a faith-family celebration. There is never a sense of just going through the motions!
At 10:45 a.m., the Pastor wears a robe and stole. The dress of those who gather for worship ranges widely from business casual to Sunday best.
The Sacrament of Holy Communion
On the first Sunday of each month, plus at other sacred times, we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion. Remembering Jesus’ self-sacrifice and his words of promise, we break and eat bread, and drink the fruit of the vine, with the hope and expectation that just as he promised, Christ will indeed come and be with us. In and through the bread we eat and the cup we drink, we are spiritually blessed to know the loving presence and power of Christ, and to be strengthened and equipped to live with and for him in this life.
All Christians, both members and visitors, are invited and encouraged to share in the sacrament of Holy Communion, and in sharing, to experience a blessed unity with Christ and one another.
On Sunday mornings, communion is served while worshippers are seated in the pews. On those special occasions when we gather for worship in the evening, worshippers come to the table. Choices between wafers and bread, and wine and grape juice, are always offered.
Children in Worship
We gladly welcome children into worship. We understand that in doing so we are fulfilling a part of our promise to nurture our children in the faith. However, we also realize that sometimes little ones (or their parents!) need another alternative. We provide options for those times!
For those who prefer to keep their children close to them, parents and children can move to the Fellowship Hall where the adults can still see, hear, and participate in worship, while little ones have more freedom. For those who wish it, we also provide Infant and Toddler nurseries staffed by loving and capable adults.
During 9 a.m. worship, nursery care is available for children three years old and under (older children are welcome in our pre-school and elementary Sunday School classes). During our 10:45 a.m. worship, nursery care is available for children four years old and under.