At St. John’s, we believe that worship is our way of life, manifest during the week as well as on Sundays. Our Sunday corporate worship helps us respond to our daily call to worship throughout the week. Every Sunday we read from the Scriptures, sing praises to God, pray, and receive the Eucharist corporately as God’s people.
Our worship style is both traditional, incorporating ancient prayers, choral anthems, and hymns accompanied by the organ, and contemporary, incorporating newer worship songs. We are committed to diverse musical expressions as we seek to honor a richly creative God. We are also committed to worshipping together across different styles, reaffirming the unity of the body of Christ. Therefore, our musical style varies widely even within a single service, and on any given Sunday you might hear the choir accompanied by the organ, a soloist accompanied by the guitar, the accordion, or even the djembe!
If you are interested in sharing your musical talents with us at St. John’s, as a member of the choir or as an instrumentalist, please let our Choir Director know!
What to Expect
When you walk into the church on a Sunday morning, you will be welcomed by Greeters who will give you a copy of our weekly bulletin. As you look through the worshiper-friendly bulletin, you will notice that the bulletin contains most of what we will be praying, saying, and hearing that morning. Our service invites you to sit, to kneel, and to stand at different times in the service. Please feel free to participate and follow along as you are able, and if you have questions or are unsure of what to do, please feel free also to ask or glance at someone sitting nearby you. You can also safely refer to the inside cover of the bulletin, which explains how you can know when to stand up or sit down, and answers other related questions.
You can sit anywhere that you would like in the pews of the sanctuary, and as you settle down in your seat, you will find the red Book of Common Prayer (BCP), the blue Hymnal 1982, and a copy of Lift Every Voice and Sing II (LEVAS). Many of the prayers we say during our service, printed in the weekly bulletin, come from the BCP. That Sunday’s selection of hymns and songs can be found in the Hymnal, Lift Every Voice and Sing, or a bulletin insert. You will find the week’s hymn numbers printed in the bulletin and on the wooden placards on either side of the front wall of the sanctuary.
We begin with an opening hymn, which is followed by a series of prayers and readings. The readings, or the lectionary, include two readings, a Psalm, and a Gospel lesson. We will sing a gospel hymn before the Gospel lesson. Because the Gospels often include Jesus’ very words, or words that proclaim the stories of His life, it is customary to stand during the Gospel lesson, out of reverence.
A short sermon follows the reading of the Gospel lesson. We then recite the creed, pray together, and receive an offering.
The core of our service is Holy Communion, also known as the Eucharist. This sacrament derives from the supper, which Jesus held with his followers on the night before his arrest and crucifixion. Holy Communion involves the giving out of the bread and the wine. Upon invitation from the priest, the congregation walks up to the front of the church and kneels around the table, receiving the consecrated bread or wafer in cupped hands. For those with allergies, we also serve gluten-free wafers at the end. Please ask the priest for a gluten-free wafer when you come up. After you receive the wafer, a chalice bearer will offer you the wine. You are welcome to dip your wafer in the wine or drink from the chalice directly.
If, however, you do not wish to receive the bread, you may also come forward to receive a special prayer. You can let the priest know that you would like to receive a prayer instead by placing your arms across your chest. If you would like to learn about being baptized, please contact us.
All baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion!
The liturgy contains deep theological truths and offers us the richness of two thousand years of Church tradition. You will find that worship at St. John’s is a blend of ancient prayers and practices, hymns accompanied by the organ, and some contemporary music. It is a service in which we are given to Christ as we accept again the Christ given to us.
After the service is over, we gather in the Parish Hall for a delightful and fabulous Coffee Hour, which you will not want to miss. We welcome you to join us in worship this Sunday or whenever you are next in town!