WHAT TO EXPECT
If you are interested in worshiping with the congregation at Epworth, but are nervous about entering a new place and new customs, here is a general idea of the happenings at a Sunday worship service.
People enter the church through the East Side doors (near the parking lot and the fellowship hall) or the North Doors (the original church entrance). The East doors offer the handicap accessible entrance.
At the doors you will be greeted by a volunteer greeter, and handed a bulletin for the service of worship. Nursery care is available and the greeter or signs will direct you to the nursery room located in the basement should you desire to use this service. Upon entering enter the sanctuary, please select a seat anywhere you want. There are no assigned seats, so feel welcome to choose a place you desire .
The worship service begins with a congregation member offering the first words of welcome and a few announcements about events in the upcoming week. Following a responsive call to worship, we sing a hymn of praise together. The words to the music can be found in the pew hymnals and are also found on the screen. Our services contain both traditional and contemporary music. Twice a month an active choir sings, as well as vocal and instrumental soloists on special occasions.
After we sing we Share the Peace of Christ, as we greet one another in love. This is a lively time in the service of shaking hands and saying hello to those around us.
The Prayers of the People follow. During this time people voice their joys and concerns, as we ask God to hear our prayers. Each petition is followed with a group response such as “hear our prayer.”
During the next part of the service, we invite the children in church to come forward for the Children’s Message. This is always a delightfully unpredictable time in the worship service, that reminds us all of the gifts young lives create within our midst.
After the children return to their seats, we read scripture, sing a centering and responsive song and hear a sermon. The Christ centered messages are relevant to the struggles and difficulties we all face in our ever changing culture. Our response to the Word of God is shared by offering our gifts to God.
On the first and third Sundays of each month, we come to the table for Holy Communion. This is a practice shared throughout the Church Universal that seeks to fill us up with Christ. It is our belief that the table is open to all people who love God and turn away from their sin. We confess our sins and our great need for the Lord, hearing the story of God, as we are reminded of the significance of this practice of Holy Communion.
At Epworth United Methodist Church, we receive communion by intinction, in which we receive a piece of bread and dip it into the cup/chalice of grape juice. As we receive the bread, we hear the words, “This is the Body of Christ, broken for you.” When we receive the blood, we hear the words, “This is the Blood of Christ, given for you.” A simple response may be given if you are so led and might be words like Amen, or Praise God, or Thanks be to God.
We close our service with a sending song and the words, “Go in Peace and Serve the Lord. May our Lives be a witness to the Love of God.”
Join us for a relaxing time of fellowship and food. This is the time when people catch up with each other and laugh!
*Childcare is available during worship.