The of our community.Our service often ends with the simple phrase: "our hour together has ended, now our worship and service continue." We remind ourselves often that "worship" and "service" are lifestyles to which we aspire. Nevertheless, we set aside a special hour every week, a time to get away from the busyness of our lives, and focus on worshipping God.
What happens in a St. John worship service?
You'll find our services are traditional yet welcoming, structured yet warm, beautiful and grounded.
- From the moment you enter the building, we pray you are warmly welcomed by church members and the pastor
- You will be given a bulletin which will have most everything you need for the service. Hymnals and worship books are available in the pew rack in front of you to help guide songs and prayers.
- The service opens in prayer and a hymn. Our music trends traditional.
- We then provide a moment in every service to confess our shortcomings before a Holy God, then receiving God's forgiveness.
- In the middle of the service there is often a choral special, a children's sermon, a Scripture reading, and a short, relevant sermon.
- After the sermon we often have a time to give offerings and a guided time of prayer.
- About once a month or so, we celebrate communion.
- The service often ends by reciting one of our statements of faith, singing a closing hymn, and ending in prayer.
Seasons and RhythmsIn every time and generation, the Church has told the story of Jesus in many ways: arts, sermons, books, conversations, and in every conceivable method. One way we tell the story of Jesus is in the use of our time. Each year, we join many denominations in telling the story of Jesus through the church year, with seasons and rhythms that help us remember the birth and incarnation of Christ, His ministry on earth, His death and resurrection, and our call as His Church.
Sacraments and Special Occasions
A sacrament, broadly defined, is a physical means by which we become more aware of God's grace. Martin Luther called it "an outward sign of God's inward grace."
As Protestants, we recognize that all of life can be sacramental, but that there are two signs in the life of the church which we call "sacraments:" Communion and Baptism.
Baptism is the entrance of a person into Christ's church through being marked by water in the name of the Trinity. We believe that God's work is effective, once and for all, regardless of how faithful we have been. So if you have been baptized previously, there is no need to be re-baptized. In the United Church of Christ, we baptize infants and adults. Baptisms can be scheduled for any Sunday by contacting the pastor.
Communion is a holy meal in the pattern of Jesus' Last Supper, with blessed bread and wine. We believe that God invites us to eat this meal together, at a Table of great welcome: all are invited to share in the feast of grace. Communion reminds us of many things: Christ's great sacrifice, the ancient Passover feast, and the future we will share at the great wedding Feast of heaven.
Other Special Occasions
While we have two specific sacraments, there are many important, grace-filled moments in our lives.
Because many in the United Church of Christ are baptized as infants, we provide a year-long program in a child's early teenage years to begin exploring the riches of the Christian faith, the Bible, and theology together. At the end of that year, we have a major Sunday confirmation service in which the students formally join the church as full members. This is a major milestone in many people's faith journey.
We would love to celebrate your wedding! We believe marriage is the uniting of those in love to create a Holy Union in the presence of God and others. Generally, we offer weddings mainly to those who have been in a longstanding relationship with our church. Contact the pastor if you have questions!
At the end of someone's life, we set aside time to honor them and worship God remembering how they have impacted us, sending them with grace into life eternal. Schedule permitting, our pastor will provide a funeral for anyone who asks.