Sunday Worship Service (see Worship Highlights for current information)
The Sunday worship service (10:30am) is a friendly meeting of people with the common interest of nurturing their spiritual life. The Chapel is non-denominational and welcomes people from any and all denominational backgrounds. The song books are Methodist, the Pastor is from the United Church of Christ, the Lord's Prayer changes in wording frequently, the music ranges from blues to classical, and the short, written meditations are based on e.e. cummings as much as Rumi and Jesus and many others.
Dress is informal, parking is easy and most services last about 60 minutes. Following the service, there are opportunities to greet the Pastor and enjoy refreshments. Every first Sunday, there is a celebration of communion, with people of all faiths invited to participate. The congregation has about 60 active members with typical Sunday attendance between 20 and 30 people. Sunday School is available upon advance request. Well behaved dogs have been known to attend the service.
Each service consists of the following order of worship:
I. We Gather Together
Each individual receives a bulletin which provides all information needed for the service. In the bulletin's introductory section, there is a short poem or statement meant to provide food for thought during the playing of the musical prelude by Tom Lawson, our music director. A recent service provided a short statement by poet e.e. cummings. The musical piece performed by Tom Lawson was "Forty Days," a composition of Dave Brubeck.
III. Listening For God's Message
This section of the service carries the day's main theme. It begins with a musical piece performed by Tom or another musician or group. On a recent Sunday, "Carrickfergus," a traditional Irish tune, was performed by local tenor, John Michael. Applause frequently follows. Then there is a pastoral introduction to the chosen Scripture of the day, then a reading by the Liturgist. The congregation then sings a "hymm of community" and the Pastor offers his message.
V. Departing to Serve
II. With Praise and Thanksgiving
After a welcome by Pastor Rick, the congregation reads responsively the Call to Worship, a verbal assertion of the purpose of the gathering, especially chosen for the day. Following is a hymn, frequently from a non-hymnal source, a silent prayer of meditation, then a unison written prayer and a musical response.
IV. Offering Our Gifts and Prayers
This section is a opportunity for members of the audience to share and contribute. After a musical piece, the offering plate is passed. A brief congregational song "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow" follows the offering. An especially powerful time occurs at this point when those who wish may briefly share their joys and/or concerns. There are frequently a half dozen people who speak from their seats. Then there are a few moments of reflective silence and a prayer by the Pastor. The congregation then proceeds with The Lord's Prayer which may begin with "Our Father," "Our Mother," "Our Creator," or "Our God," etc. followed by a sung response.
Announcements are made, a closing hymm is sung and the congregation receives the day's benediction. A musical postlude wraps up the service. Some people may chose to simply remain in their seats during the piece, while others may chose to greet each other or the pastor, who'll be standing at the door. Generally, there are refreshments either on the Chapel's patio or in the building (Fellowship Hall) next door.