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Guide to Worship

a guide to worship 2

Welcome to Grace Anglican Church!  We are so glad you have come to worship with us.  This guide explains our service to help you engage more fully in our worship experience.  As our guest, our hope is that over time you will come to know and love the beauty and reverence of our worship style and be drawn closer to God while here with us.

The Structure of Our Service

Our services follow a worship pattern that includes four main components: Gathering, Word, Response, and Sending.  This pattern for worship can be found in many Bible passages such as Isaiah 6:1-8 and Luke 2:8-18. Each part of our service is designed to engage your mind, heart, and actions.

Gathering: We begin by gathering in song as God’s people in God’s presence.  We ready our hearts for worship by expressing our praise, love, and devotion to our Lord.  We come together expecting to encounter the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit through worship.

Word: Next, we hear from God through the reading and preaching of the Scriptures.  We are a church that firmly believes the Bible is God’s Word and is authoritative in our lives.  Through the Word, we are reminded of who God is, who we are, what God has done for us, and how we can live our everyday lives in light of our renewed relationship with God and the world.

Response: Anytime God speaks to us through His Word, He invites us to respond to Him in several different ways.  We respond by:

  • Professing the Nicene Creed – We stand and as one voice affirm the essentials of what we  believe, using a statement of faith that was written by the early church and has been used in worship ever since.
  • Praying together as a church – We are a praying church.  Therefore, each week we kneel and pray silently as a member of the congregation leads each person to pray for the church, the world, and those in need in our community.
  • Confessing our sin – When we hear God’s Word read and preached, we are reminded of how we’ve sinned against God and hurt others.  Therefore, we kneel together, confess our sins, and are reminded of God’s forgiveness in Christ.
  • Offering – We also respond to God in worship through bringing him a portion of our financial resources, acknowledging that He is our ultimate provider.  During this time, a collection plate is passed to receive offerings.  If you are visiting, please do not feel obligated to give; your presence here is a gift.
  • God’s Table – We respond to God’s Word by going forward and sharing fellowship with God and His people through Holy Communion.  In the Gospels, Jesus invites his disciples to eat bread and drink wine, which are symbols of his body and blood offered to us as a gift.  Before communion, the pastor will always pray a prayer that recounts the salvation story, remind us of Jesus’ instructions concerning the Lord’s Supper, and ask for the Holy Spirit to be present through the bread and wine.  Instructions for how to come forward to receive communion are explained each week and in this Guide (see below).  During this time, we also respond to Christ’s love for us displayed on the cross by singing praises to God.

Sending: The final part of the service prepares us to be sent out into the world on mission with and for God.  We pray together, thanking God for speaking through His Word and nourishing us at His Table.  During this portion of the service we hear announcements about the life of the church and opportunities to serve those in need in our community.  We conclude with a blessing and a charge to go into the world and fulfill God’s Great Commission to “go and make disciples of all people” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Frequently Asked Topics

Sit, Stand, and Kneel- We encourage participation in worship.  We believe worship incorporates our heart, our mind, and our bodies.  Therefore, during times of prayer, we kneel as a way for our bodies to reflect the reverence expressed in prayer.  When we sing, we stand to praise God.  And when we listen to God’s word, we sit to hear and learn from Him.  Although these different postures are by no means required, it is a way to engage our whole personhood in worship.

Weekly Communion- Communion is done every week as a way to regularly focus our attention on Jesus and the great salvation He has won for us.  This meal of thanksgiving has at least three levels of meaning.  First, it’s about remembering Jesus’ death and resurrection by which we have forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God.  Second, it is about our union or communion with Christ and with other Christians.  The sharing of a common cup is symbolic of our unity through Christ’s sacrifice.  We believe it is a means of receiving His grace, which strengthens us to live a life of discipleship and mission.  We believe that Christ is really present to us in a mysterious way in the bread and wine though the Holy Spirit.  Third, communion reminds us of the hope we all share in looking forward to Christ’s return when we will live with him forever.  We are participating in an earthly way in the heavenly banquet that is prepared for Christ and His followers for eternity.

Directions for Communion- All baptized Christians who are seeking to follow Jesus are welcomed at God’s table, even if this is not your church home.  An usher will prompt your row to come forward and kneel at the rail to receive communion.  To receive the bread, place your hands in front of you, one over the other, and the bread will be placed into your hand.  A cup with real wine will be brought, and you can eat the bread and then drink from the cup.  Or you can dip the bread in the wine, and then eat the bread.  If you’d prefer not to take communion, you are still welcome to come forward to the rail and cross your arms.  You will receive a short prayer for God to bless you.

Different Services at Grace Anglican Church- We have three different services on Sunday morning.  All of the services are unified by the same four major components of worship (as listed above) but are diversified because each service has its own stylistic expression.  We encourage you to try our various services so that you can find one that is right for you.

7:45 AM – A smaller and more contemplative service that uses the 1928 Prayer Book language and hymns with organ music.

9:00 AM – A traditional service that blends choir-led hymns, contemporary music, formal procession, and vestments.

11:00 AM – A contemporary service with a worship team leading contemporary songs and hymns.

Children and Youth Programs- We are a church that loves children and youth!  We want families to grow together. Children’s programs are available at the 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM services in the children’s wing of the Administrative Building (located next to the Sanctuary).  Childcare for nursery through four-year-olds is available at both services.  The 9:00 AM service has programs for Kindergarten through 2nd grade.  The 11:00 AM service has programs for Kindergarten through 5th grade.  We also have Youth Programs (6-12th grade) offered during the week.  Please visit our "Children and Youth" page on our website for more information.

 How do I get plugged into Grace Anglican?  The first step is to fill out a Connection Card, which is in the pew rack.  By completing the form and dropping it in the collection plate, we will follow up with more information about the church.  Also on this card, you can sign up to receive our weekly newsletter “Wired.”  The next step to connect to the community is to attend the Newcomer's Luncheon.  At this luncheon, you will hear from the Senior Pastor about the mission and vision of the church and different fellowship opportunities and studies.  If you have questions about how to get connected, please email Nancy Stokes.

Interested in learning more about Anglican worship?  Our desire as a church is to be known first as Christians, second as people who share Christ’s mission to the world, and third as Anglicans.  Every semester we offer a class, which explains the meaning behind the Anglican expression of worship and faith.  Email Dan Wolf, Associate Pastor to register for the class or ask questions about Anglican worship.

Check out our website or look through the "Connection Guide" for more information on upcoming events and fellowship opportunities.  

We are always happy to answer any questions you have.  Please contact our Senior Pastor, The Rev. Mike McDonald for more information.