On special occasions in the calendar of the church year, we offer experiences of worship that gather congregation and community members alike. These highly anticipated services of worship add meaning to our seasonal celebrations.
Ash Wednesday – “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return.” With these words, we mark the beginning of the season of Lent. As we gather for a noon-time mid-week service of worship, we are anointed with the sign of the cross. Through Scripture, sermon, song, and prayer, we acknowledge our humanity and our need for God’s grace. With ashes of regret and oil of renewal we signify our intention to follow Jesus Christ throughout the 40 days of Lent.
Palm Sunday – Each year on Palm Sunday, the children of the congregation help to lead the congregation’s experience of worship, as they sing and wave palms while processing around the Sanctuary. This joyous Sunday morning service recalls Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and marks the beginning of Holy Week. With our palms and sung ‘Hosannas’ we pray for Christ’s saving power in our lives and in our world, today.
Maundy Thursday – “On the night before He died, the Lord Jesus took bread and after blessing it, He broke it, gave it to His disciples and said, “This is my body, broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after supper he took a cup and said this cup is the new covenant, sealed in my blood for the forgiveness of sin.”
On Thursday of Holy Week (the Thursday before Easter), the congregation gathers for an evening service of worship in the sanctuary. The name Maundy comes from the Latin word for “commandment.” This service commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and through sermon and sacrament invites the congregation’s reflection on the new commandment Jesus gave to his followers, to love one another as Jesus loved them (John 13:34).
Noon Noels – For many, the joy of the weeks leading up to Christmas is found in the music of the season. Noon Noels, held at noon on Wednesdays, offers a brief service of worship featuring the music of local high school choral groups. In addition to listening to the music of choirs, those who gather are invited to suggest favorite carols for congregational singing. A brief meditation on Scripture is offered by one of the pastors. Prayers are offered. Lunch is served before and after the service of worship, offering time to enjoy food and fellowship, as well.
Christmas Eve – It has been said that all roads lead home at Christmas time. And so our Christmas Eve worship is a time of coming home to celebrate God’s gift of love and light. Joyous music draws our spirits home to the beauty of a candle-lit sanctuary. The Christmas Story, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, draws us home to the drama of God’s love and to the hope of peace on earth, expressed in the birth of Jesus Christ. Holy Communion draws us home to the family table, where with shepherds, angels, and wise men, we bow to worship the new-born King.