We use the ancient church pattern of entrance, proclamation and response, thanksgiving, and sending forth. This order is printed in the bulletin and also in the front of the United Methodist Hymnal, beginning on page 6. While we do use robes and a formal style, we are also relaxed. We laugh off mistakes and miscues. We don’t mind if you wear shorts and a tee shirt. We’re just really glad to be here, and we’re glad you’re here, too.
The first part, the entrance, is when the acolytes light the candles. Bringing in the flame signifies to us that Christ is present because we are present, and that he is always among us. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” (Jn. 8:12) The two candles on the altar are white to signify Christ’s purity, and the number signifies Christ’s dual nature as both human and divine.
The next part, the proclamation and response, is where the Scriptures are read and explained, and we respond by affirming our faith and with our prayers. On Sundays where we celebrate Communion, we also respond with a prayer of confession and pardon.
The third part, the thanksgiving, is the part where we give thanks for all God’s work in humankind. An important part of this is Holy Communion. We celebrate Communion often, at least once every month. You are welcome to participate; please read on for more details. On Sundays where we don’t have Communion, we have a general prayer of thanksgiving instead.
The final part is where we all go out into the world to serve Christ by serving others. We resolve to allow Christ to change us into his image, and we resolve to live as Christ’s representatives in our community and the whole world.
Christ welcomes all people to his table, regardless of age, church affiliation, background, or baptismal status.
Please exit your pew to the center aisle, and when there is a place at the communion rail you may kneel there. You will be served the bread first; next, the server with the cup will come and you may dip the corner of your bread in the juice and then receive. If you do not wish to dip your bread in the juice, you may either take the bread alone, or else touch the bread to the rim of the cup. After the blessing you may return to your seat by the outside aisle, next to the windows.
If you are unable to come forward but do wish to receive, please let the usher know so that we can bring the bread and cup to you.
If you do not wish to receive the bread or wine, you may choose to come forward for a blessing only. If so, you may kneel at the rail but cross your arms across your chest to let the pastor know. Parents, if you would prefer your small children do not receive, let the pastor know and he will give them a blessing as well.
Out of respect for recovering alcoholics and for those who choose not to use alcohol, we use only unfermented grape juice in Communion.
Children are welcome in church during the service. Jesus loves the little children, and so do we! However, everyone finds themselves a bit bored from time to time. If so, you may look in the basket in the narthex for crayons, paper, coloring pages, books, and other resources. In addition, we have a place equipped for infants and toddlers who need a bit of space. It is located across the hall from the sanctuary; exit the door behind the piano. It has a rocking chair, changing table, and a small selection of toys.