Our service reflects a range of worship expressions-- from reverence for God's majesty to jubilant praise. Our music moves between classic hymns and contemporary praise and worship. This diversity reflects the broad variety of our parishioners' backgrounds.
The liturgy is a very ancient mode of worship employed by the earliest Christians and developed over time. Even after the changes of nearly two thousand years of use, however, all Christian liturgy is organized around two basic poles: the public reading of Scripture (the ‘Service of the Word’), and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper in memory of his death and resurrection (the ‘Service of Holy Communion’). In both of these sacred acts, we worship God by opening ourselves to receive his gracious presence in our lives. On Sunday mornings, we use the liturgies of the Anglican Church of North America, which follow closely the Book of Common Prayer. Our Wednesday evening Holy Communion service is from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
Some frequently asked questions about our worship:
How do I participate? The liturgy involves you in the worship of God. You are not a spectator but a participant. In fact, the literal meaning of the word liturgy is the work of the people. A helpful way to realize this in your own experience of the liturgy is to treat the entire service as one giant prayer to God. If you’re new to a liturgical way of worship, it may take a few times to catch on. That’s okay!
Why are the prayers scripted? Many of our prayers and collects (pronounced KAH-lects) are appointed to be prayed in common with thousands of other worship gatherings worldwide. Written prayers put our affirmations of God’s character together with our Scripture-based requests and hopes. They lend us words to pray when we have trouble articulating what is in our hearts. We pray them with the same sincerity and urgency as when we pray extemporaneously.
Why is there so much singing? Music has a unique way of helping us express the deepest parts of ourselves. That’s why nearly every culture on earth uses singing to mark special moments. Our encounter with the living God in worship is the most profound of moments, so we cannot help but sing our praises to God!
What’s the Nicene Creed? Why does it refer to the “catholic” church? The Nicene Creed was composed by the leadership of the early church. They prayerfully studied Scripture and published this creed as a statement of the core beliefs of Christianity, and Christians have been affirming it ever since. In it we profess belief in “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.” The term “catholic” simply means universal, single, or worldwide.
Is the minister forgiving my sins? Is that right? No, that’s not our practice. Only God can forgive sin. And God charges his ministers with pronouncing the forgiveness that he eagerly extends through Christ Jesus. The Bible promises “if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). That’s what the minister proclaims aloud to assure anyone who has confessed their sins that they are indeed forgiven by the one death and resurrection of Jesus.
Christian education is offered between services, from 9:30 to 10:15 am. Children are welcome and encouraged to participate in the service with their parents. All baptized children are welcome to take Communion with their parents. A Holy Communion is being held in Lent for children ages K-5 who have never received the sacrament or those who would like to learn more.
Some members and guests wear jeans, others wear suits and ties. Children are encouraged to dress comfortably.
Our membership spans many demographics-- children and empty-nesters, couples and singles, professionals and students, artists and scientists, military personnel and retirees. Whoever you are, and wherever you find yourself in life, you are welcome!
Each of our Sunday services (one at 8:00 a.m. and one at 10:30 a.m.) typically lasts about an hour and a half. The first service follows the Book of Common Prayer and typically uses traditional language and music. The second service also follows the Book of Common Prayer, but uses contemporary language and music. The hour between services is a time for refreshments, fellowship, and Christian education for both children and adults. We recommend new people to come for coffee hour whether you come for first service or before the second. This is the best way for our community to welcome you! In addition to our Sunday services, we have mid-week Holy Communion every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.
We have several handicap parking spots as well as a door that is very close to the parking lot that will let you straight into our Sunday worship space at the Gales Ferry Landing.
Where shall I sit?
Don't worry, there are no assigned seats. We encourage all to sit where ever they will like and move around weekly to better greet those around you.
Our church freely and beautifully welcomes mothers and their babies to be together and nurse as needed.