Worship is at the very heart of the church’s life. All that the church is and does is rooted in worship. The community of faith, gathered in response to God’s call, is formed in its worship. Worship is the principal influence that shapes our faith, and is the most visible way to express it. Through proclamation of the Word and celebration of the Sacraments, the church is sustained by the presence of Christ. Joined in worship to the One who is the source of its life, the church is empowered to serve God in the world.
Here at St. Matthew, worship is one way in which we connect people and change their lives! Year-round two worship opportunities are offered weekly–at different times, in different styles–to meet the needs of the people who come through our doors. Central to all of our services is Holy Communion, the principal act of Christian worship. All who are baptized and commune in their home congregations are welcome to participate in the sacramental meal.
We invite you to join us wherever you are on your faith journey and whenever it brings you into our community!
A description of our services:
8:00 a.m. Reflective Worship
This service is designed to bring one into an encounter with God primarily through the spoken word and periods of silence for reflection on what we are hearing. There are 2 hymns and some instrumental music played during the offering and communion, but the rest of the liturgy does not require any musical knowledge or ability! The service begins with silence, and then enters into the four main parts of worship:
1) A gathering rite as we come into God’s presence, asking to be filled with the Spirit of Christ
2) A time for hearing the Word of God in scripture and sermon, offering ourselves to God in prayer and commitment
3) A time of receiving Christ in the sacrament of Communion, being fed by His grace
4) A sending rite, as we are empowered to be Christ’s people in the world
10:15 a.m. Liturgical Worship
Lutherans have a long tradition of liturgical worship, a style that follows an ancient pattern of praising God with responses made by the congregation throughout the service. These responses are often sung in musical forms which reflect the season of the Church Year. Some are more solemn, some more joyful, depending on the season. Hymns are an important part of this worship style, as is the response to God through other forms of music, such as choirs or the use of instruments. The structure of this service follows the same four parts of worship described above, but with more music.
Liturgy is a word that means “the work of the people” and we include many places where the people, not just the pastor, are involved in the praise of God. At this service we also intentionally include time for the children with a special “children’s time” message for our younger worshippers.
Nursery services are available during the 10:15 service. The nursery is staffed by two volunteer members of church that passed the PA and Federal criminal background checks and Child Abuse background check.
On the 3rd and the occasional 5th Sundays our 10:15 service is led by our Faith Alive Band.
The purpose of the Faith Alive Band is to provide an engaging, more contemporary sound to the worship of God, a change of tone from the traditional Lutheran liturgy and classical hymns so commonly used for worship.
This is a service which is designed to engage you in a different way than our reflective or liturgical services. As you experience it you will note that this service follows the general format of our other worship experiences: Gathering, Word, Meal, and Sending. But the music is different, and the intention is to have the whole of who we are involved in the worship of God more fully. There is no bulletin, so we are looking up rather than down at a page. There is not as much set response, so we can focus on what is being said. There are no italicized parts saying “stand” or “sit,” rather you are encouraged to allow the Spirit of God to interact with your spirit to move you to stand, sit, kneel, raise your hands, bow your head, as the words, music and community inspire you. Being still in the presence of Jesus is perfectly acceptable, as is swaying or dancing, if you are so moved by the Spirit! With this in mind, welcome to worship. Welcome to Faith, Alive!