What to Expect on Sunday Mornings
Education for Christian Living
At 9:15 am, we have Christian living fellowships for adults, youth, and children. In these classes, we study the Bible and enjoy being together in a smaller and more informal setting. At various times, we also offer our Inquirer’s Class during the 9:15 hour, where those considering SJC membership can learn more about our church.
Members and visitors gather after Christian living fellowships at 10:00 am in “Welcome Area” in the back of the sanctuary for coffee, oj, milk, and donuts. Our Gathering Time provides old and young alike the opportunity talk, get to know one another, and just catch up.
We worship the Lord together at 10:30 am immediately following Gathering Time. Our worship service is simple, traditional, reformed, and liturgical – centered around the Word of God, and focused on the Lord Jesus Christ. At St. James Church, we take advantage of the unique teaching opportunities available to us as we worship together as families. Children are more than welcome in our services, and even participate in such things as acolyting (lighting of the candles), children’s choir, and a Children’s Message. For little ones 4 years old and under who are not quite yet able to participate in the family worship service, a “Cry Nursery” is available at the back of the sanctuary, where parents may take their infants and small children if the need arises. This “Cry Nursery” is equipped with sound proof glass and speakers, allowing the parents to continue to participate in the worship experience, while staying with their children.
If you have questions about introducing your children to family worship, we would be happy to speak with you and provide you with some helpful resources.
Our worship service is filled with opportunities to lift praise and exalt our great God by singing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in our hearts” (Colossians 3:16). Our songs are primarily great hymns of the faith, rich in content and deep in meaning. Our music in worship allows us to glorify God with the whole person and proclaim the Gospel with creativity. One of the great blessings of congregational singing at SJC is hearing one another sing with loud voices and joyful hearts, as we use this means of grace so that the word of Christ would dwell in us richly. We are also constantly blessed as men, women, and children learn to serve and use their God-given creativity to glorify Jesus Christ through participation in vocal and handbell choirs, as well as special music.
Prayer is an ever present and always important part of our family worship service. We bring our prayers of adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication to our gracious Lord who hears us. We generally will open our service with a “Call to Worship” and “Prayer of Invocation” in unison to our Lord, as we read them together from the bulletin. We generally take a few minutes to individually and silently confess our sins to the Lord after the reading of Scripture. What a great joy it is to then hear the “Words of Assurance” from God’s Holy Word, encouraging us of our forgiveness in the Lord Jesus Christ!
One of the favorite times of the service for many is a family prayer time when members and visitors are given opportunity to voice their prayer concerns and praises before the congregation. This allows us to pray for one another, as the Scripture teaches. This prayer time is generally closed by the Pastor and the congregation reciting the Lord’s Prayer together.
Our worship service is saturated with the public reading of God’s Word. Many times we read a passage from the Old Testament or a passage from the New Testament, and the section of Scripture upon which the sermon is based. Our “Call to Worship” and “Words of Assurance” are also directly taken from God’s Holy Word.
Preaching at SJC is expositional and textual, which means that we seek to explain the meaning of a Biblical text, verse-by-verse and in context. Sermons usually last between 20 and 25 minutes. Our goal in preaching and hearing is to understand and apply the Word of God to our daily lives. The Good News of Jesus Christ is what drives our preaching.
The Lord’s Supper
On the first Sunday of the month and on other special Lord’s Days, we experience the Sacrament of Holy Communion together. This is a time of reflection, self-examination and communion with our Savior. The Lord’s table is a “family meal” that is open to all baptized individuals who claim Christ as Lord and Savior.
Offering & Giving
As followers of Christ, part of our service to the Lord includes worshiping Him through giving. During this time, members of the congregation give a portion of their weekly earnings to the church for the glory of God and for use in the ministry of the Gospel through our church. Visitors are welcome to participate in this time of giving, but are by no means expected or required to do so.
We end our worship service, usually around 11:45 am, with singing and a benediction. Although the formal time of our meeting is over at this point, one of the characteristics of St. James Church is that many folks stay and enjoy speaking with one another long after the worship service is over.