Ephesians 2: 4,5
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
God wants to maintain a relationship with his people. He calls us to worship him and to be instructed by him. We gather to honour, praise, and glorify him as the God who saves us by his grace. In his grace, he grants us wonderful gifts: the forgiveness of our sins, peace with him, and he continues to care for us.
Our worship services are held twice every Sunday, at 10:00 AM and 2:30 PM. What takes place inside our church building at those times? In a typical morning service, members and guests arrive and take seats just before 10 AM. An usher will greet you at the door to the auditorium and will be happy to provide you with a Bible and a Book of Praise if needed. Infants and toddlers are cared for in a nursery, but as soon as the children can sit in church, they do so.
You will notice that many people are dressed up for Sunday worship services. We do this because we want to show honour and respect to the Lord God in our attitude, demeanour, and in the clothing we wear.
At 10:00 AM, the deacons, elders and minister file into the auditorium. Our services follow a set liturgy. Throughout a service you will find a back-and-forth interaction as God and his people come together and speak together. The service formally begins when the minister confesses the church’s trust in the Lord alone, using a verse of Scripture. The minister then speaks on God’s behalf by extending God’s greeting of peace as found in the Bible. In response to God’s greeting, the congregation sings a song of praise. We use a song book which contains the 150 Psalms of the Bible put to music as well as 85 hymns based mostly on texts of Scripture.
After praising the LORD in song, we then listen to God again through the reading of his law, the Ten Commandments. This is an important part of the worship service, since the Ten Commandments show us how God wants us to live. They function as a mirror for our lives.
As we listen, our sin is made clear to us and we learn to humble ourselves before the LORD. The Ten Commandments also serve as a standard to strive for as a sign of our thankfulness for deliverance from sin through Jesus Christ.
After the reading of the law, we unite in prayer, confessing our sins and seeking forgiveness on the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. We also pray for the continuing work of the Holy Spirit, that we may live to the glory of our God.
The morning sermons are based on a portion of Scripture. Each sermon is about 30 minutes in length. You will hear the Bible passage explained, the good news of Jesus proclaimed, and how we should live our lives outlined.
After the sermon is over, the congregation responds with a song. Following singing, a prayer of thanksgiving is offered to the Lord. Once the prayer is concluded, the congregation again responds to the gospel message by bringing a financial gift dedicated to the Lord. This is not a payment for the service or the minister. This offering is given to show thankfulness to the Lord, and all the money is distributed to the poor and needy, whether in the congregation, community, or elsewhere in the world.
The service moves into the final stage with another song of praise, followed by the Lord’s blessing of peace. After the blessing, the worshippers gather informally in conversation and fellowship. As a visitor, you may well find yourself invited to a home for refreshments and more fellowship.
We come back once again in the afternoon to meet with the Lord. As part of celebrating the Lord’s Day, we are glad to have the opportunity to gather twice with his people. The key difference lies in the type of sermon we hear. Whereas in the morning the preaching is based on a Scripture passage, the afternoon sermon is topical. It explains a teaching of the Bible derived from various passages and summarized in a written confession called the Heidelberg Catechism.
Special services are held on Good Friday, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.