Worship is the central act of all Christians. In our Protestant tradition, worship is generally held once a week, on Sundays. We also have worship services on special days, such as Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday (when Jesus shared the last supper), and Good Friday (when Jesus died on the cross). In the seasons of Advent and Lent, when we prepare for Christmas and Easter, respectively, there are often mid-week services offered.
Worship can be defined as the "work of the people", so there are parts of the service that call for the congregation's voice, as well as the worship leader's, or pastor's voice. Worship at Union Church is created by the pastor and the congregation, as represented by the Deacons. Worship also requires the work of people to be greeters, collectors, readers, and singers. Everyone is welcome to join in singing with the choir, which currently meets at 9AM each Sunday morning.
We seek to praise God in worship through song, words, silence, prayer, sacrament, and all the senses. Our worship space is adorned with art panels filling one wall. At the front of the church, hangings and the altar-scape will change throughout the year as a reminder of the season of the church year that we are worshipping in.
Children In Worship
Children are encouraged to be a part of the worshipping community. Children begin in worship every Sunday and then leave for their Sunday School classes. The exception would be the first Sunday of each month, when we normally celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion. On those days, children begin in their classes and then join the adults to celebrate at the table.
are the parents who believe worship is a family activity.
are the parents who establish regular habits of worship.
are the parents who understand that fidgeting is part of childhood.
are the parents who model participation in worship.
are the parents who teach children how to worship.
are the parents who give clear boundaries for behavior.
are the parents who encourage wonder and joy in their children.
are the parents who appreciate the gifts children bring to worship.
As a church in the Protestant tradition we celebrate many rites but consider only two as sacraments: those things which Jesus participated in and commanded his disciples to continue - Baptism and Holy Communion. Sacraments remind us of the unconditional love freely given by God that calls us to lead lives that reflect that love.
Baptism is a time when infants, children, or adults receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and become members of the Body of Christ. Following the example of Jesus, it is a time of making promises to God and receiving the promises of God. It signals a new life in Christ.
Infant baptism is by far the most common experience in our church. As with anyone, the one baptized is marked with water and called child of God, disciple of Christ, and member of the Church. Promises are made by both the parents and the congregation to love and support the baptized in such a way that they may one day affirm their baptism. For this reason, baptisms are held during worship, in the presence of the church family. Only special circumstances may dictate a baptism outside of the morning worship service. If you are interested in a baptism for you, or for your children, please contact Pastor Sarah to talk about the requirements and expectations.
Holy Communion is the remembering of the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples. In the breaking of bread and pouring of the cup, we recall his sacrificial love. We believe we gather at the table in the presence of the Risen Christ, and so like the disciples' experience on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), we are fed and our eyes are opened to the presence of Christ in our midst. Communion is also a meal of comfort and hope.
We believe the communion table is open to all. Our practice is to let all who desire to participate in Communion, including children. Parents always have the final say as to whether or not their children can partake of the elements.
We serve communion two ways:
At times the bread and cup are served separately. We eat the bread individually as it is served, and hold the cup until all are served so that we can drink together. This is to serve as a reminder that, at times, God comes to us where we are in our lives offering grace.
At times the cup and bread are served together. Each worshipper comes forward (if they are able) and dips a piece of bread into the cup and eats individually. For those not able to come forward, they are served in their seats. This is to serve as a reminder that, at times, we approach God in hopes of seeking God's grace.
Weddings and Funerals
Worship is a powerful event as we bring our life moments before God, especially in times of transition. The church offers faithful support and encouragement, especially in times of wedding and death. If you are interested in more information about holding your wedding at Union Church, please contact Pastor Sarah.