Liturgy and Order of Service at First Church

Our services follow the basic format of liturgy of the United Methodist Church. This description is designed for guest who want to understand more about the order of service and the elements described in our weekly worship bulletin.

  • Entrance/Gathering Music: A musical prelude is played as people come together in the Lord’s name and are seated in the Sanctuary. A worship bulletin is handed to worshipers as they enter the Sanctuary, and guest are invited to sign our attendance book.
  • A Time for Community (Welcome/Announcements/Opportunities/Passing The Peace): At the Sanctuary entrance, a basket and cards are available for all worshipers to share their joys and concerns with the congregation. The Pastor or leader welcomes the congregation and guests, followed by brief announcements. The Congregation is asked to greet each other with signs of peace while Fellowship Music is played.
  • Call to Worship: The Worship Leader invites those who are able to stand, and all to join in the Call to Worship. Scripture sentences or responsive readings between the leader and the people declare that the Lord is present and empowers our worship.
  • Hymn or Song: All who are able remain standing, and all join in singing a Hymn of Praise. Hymnals are available under seats and the lyrics are displayed on the projection screen at the front of the Sanctuary.
  • Creed: All lift our voices in saying the Creed, typically the Apostles’ Creed with the text displayed on the projection screen.
  • Gloria Patri: Immediately following recitation of the Creed, all who are able stand and sing Gloria Patri.
  • Young Disciples/Children’s Message: The children are invited to come forward and the Pastor or other leader shares a brief story or message with the children and the congregation. After the children’s message, the children are invited to attend the nursery or Children’s Church program.
  • Pastoral Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer: The Pastor offers a prayer, followed by the entire congregation joining their voices together in saying the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Presentation of Tithes and Offerings: Offering plates are passed to the congregation, and gifts are received and presented.
  • Doxology and Prayers of Dedication: As the gifts are delivered to the alter, those who are able stand and sing Hymn 94 – Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow. (This is a short hymn, words are usually printed in the bulletin).
  • Special Music: We love music! On occasion our choir or an ensemble or a soloist share their musical talent with the congregation. If you have a musical talent you would like to share, see our Music & Arts section for more information on how to serve.
  • Hymn or Song: All who are able remain standing, and all join in singing a Hymn of Preparation.
  • Scripture Reading: The Pastor or Lay Leader reads one or more scriptures.
    • Response to the Word: Following the Scripture reading, the Leader proclaims: “This is the Word of the Lord” and the people respond with thanksgiving: “Thanks be to God”.
  • Message/Sermon: A sermon is delivered, typically where one or more of the Scripture readings is interpreted.
  • Invitation to Christian Discipleship and to Celebrate New Beginnings: Worshipers who are not members are invited to join the church.
  • Hymn or Song: All who are able stand, and all join in singing a Hymn of Commitment.
  • Benediction: The Pastor declares God’s blessing and the service is ended.
  • Hymn or Song: A final, single verse Benediction Hymn is sung.
  • Postlude: Music is played while the worshipers go forth from the Sanctuary.