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Worship

What to Expect — Full Overview of Service

The service is relatively traditional usually but is quite flexible. Most weeks follow this basic pattern:
Prelude: Music playing quietly while people find a seat and settle in.
Welcome: The Pastor welcomes the congregation to worship.
Introit: A piece of music played or sung by the choir to help people prepare themselves for worship.
Call to Worship: A responsive reading calling people to worship. Anyone able is invited to stand.
Hymn or Song sung by congregation: The song will most likely be in the hymnal and the hymn number will be in the bulletin.
Prayer of Invocation: A prayer read from the bulletin that requests God's Presence in our worship
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Prayer of Confession: At different times of the year but particularly the church season of Lent we will read a prayer of confession instead. If we have a prayer of confession it is followed by the Pastor offering an "Assurance of Pardon."
Gloria: We sing a short piece of liturgical (a regular part of our worship service) music
Passing the Peace: It is recorded in John 14:27 that Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." During this time in the service we remember Jesus' promise by greeting one another with the words, "The peace of Christ be with you." The response is most often, "And also with you." This time draws to an end as music begins softly playing and people return to their seats.
First Reading: This is the first reading from the Bible for the service. Depending on where it comes from it will either be called a Hebrew Bible Reading, a Gospel Reading, or an Epistle Reading.
Choral Anthem/Special Music: During the summer we have people providing special music for the service. The rest of the year our choir sings most Sundays.
A Time for the Young at Heart: Children 12 and under are invited to come to the front of the worship space (if they would like) for a lesson just for them. After this, most Sundays children are allowed to go off to Sunday School or the Nursery for children under five. However, we don't have Sunday School during the summer or on the first Sunday of the month (Communion Sunday — see below).
Psalm: This is another responsive reading printed in the bulletin. It is from the book of Psalms.
Second Reading: This reading is read by the Pastor and is usually the scripture the sermon is based upon. Depending on where it comes from it will either be called a Hebrew Bible Reading, a Gospel Reading, or an Epistle Reading.
Sermon: This is the Pastor's message for the week. It can take many forms but the general goal is to connect the message from scripture with our lives today in meaningful ways. You can hear some examples on the website here.
Hymn or Song sung by the congregation: The song will most likely be in the hymnal and the hymn number will be in the bulletin.
Joys and Concerns: This is an opportunity for members of the community to share their prayer requests with the pastor and the whole congregation. Feel free to speak up and share a prayer request of your own if you would like.
Pastoral Prayer: Prayer spoken by the Pastor.
A Time to Share: Some Sundays we do not do "Joys and Concerns." Instead, the Pastor offers a Pastoral Prayer and then leaves space for people to call out a name or situation they are praying for. When the calls stop the Pastor leads the congregation into the Lord's Prayer.
Lord's Prayer: The prayer taken from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Matthew chapter 6. It is spoken in unison and printed in the bulletin.
Communion: This only happens on the first Sunday of each month and on special occasions. There are detailed instructions in the bulletin. You can participate if you would like or pass if you prefer. It is open. You are welcome. But it is not mandatory if you are not comfortable.
Call to Offering: This is the announcement that we will be taking the collection from the congregation. This is where the church gets its funding to support our vital ministries and mission work.
Doxology: Another piece of "liturgical music" printed in the bulletin. People rise as we begin to sing.
Hymn or Song sung by the congregation: The song will most likely be in the hymnal and the hymn number will be in the bulletin.
Charge: The charge is a final message to think about or something to do during the week.
Benediction/Musical Benediction: A benediction is a blessing. When the choir is in session, the Pastor does a "Charge" and the choir sings the benediction. When the choir is not present the Pastor does not offer a Charge and gives the blessing instead.
Postlude: Music playing while people leave the worship space. The Pastor and the member who served as "Worship Leader" or "Liturgist" will be at the door to the worship space to greet folks as they leave. At this point there is usually coffee and/or snacks in the foyer or Fellowship Hall for people to have while they are chatting and catching up.

If you have any concerns or questions about attending worship, please contact Pastor Shaun at pastorshaunbcucc@gmail.com or 440-543-5117, and he will be glad to help you.