If you would like to worship in person at St. Peter’s, first of all: welcome! You will see that part of our property is under construction and looks a bit disheveled. We are currently renovating our fellowship hall so that it will be a bright and inviting space for people within and beyond the church to use. The projected completion is October 2023, but in the meantime, our regular pattern of worship continues in the sanctuary.
Worship times and parking
We worship at 8:30 and 10:45am, and the Sunday school hour starts at 9:30. There is parking all around the building, and a ramp is available at the main entrance (which is distinguished by a set of steps leading up to tall windows and doors) and flat, ground level entrance is available on the east side of the building (park on Elm Street). When you’re in the building, you’ll be greeted by volunteers who can direct you to the sanctuary, point out the restrooms and nursery, and give you a bulletin which you can use to follow along with the service. The words we use in worship are also displayed on a screen.
We follow a worship flow of Gathering, Word, Meal, and Sending, which includes confession and forgiveness, hymns, scripture readings, prayers, a youth message, sermon, and holy communion. The music follows a hymnody tradition, except for the fourth Sunday of the month when music is led by our house band in a more contemporary style. We also have a choir and bell choir which regularly provide special music in worship. We are truly gifted with wonderful music.
St. Peter's practices a very participational form of worship. People of all ages help lead worship each week, from youth reading scripture, to someone sharing a musical talent for a prelude, to people helping serve communion, to those faithfully working behind the scenes in the A/V booth for our online worshippers. It's important to us that worship be cross-generational. One of our guiding values is that each of us has gifts for sharing.
We believe that Jesus is the host for holy communion, and he invites everyone to partake of the bread and wine (or grape juice). When we get to this part of the worship service, a pastor and assistants will come stand in front of the pews, and ushers will come forward to guide people. There are usually two stations for holy communion. A pastor or assistant will place a piece of bread in your hands and say, “the body of Christ, given for you.” If you prefer a gluten free wafer, please let the pastor or assistant know. Then you will step to the side and dip the bread in either the wine or grape juice, whichever you prefer, and you will hear the words, “the blood of Christ, shed for you.”
You may also come forward to receive a blessing instead of bread and wine/grape juice. If you would prefer a blessing, just cross your arms in front of your chest when you come forward. If you are not ready to receive holy communion or a blessing, you can also stay seated in the pews.
Children in worship
We love having children in worship, and we take seriously our role of sharing God’s Word with them and making them feel welcome. There is a station in the narthex (a.k.a. lobby) where they can fill a canvas bag with kid-friendly items such as activity books, fidget toys, picture Bibles, etc., and they can bring those into the sanctuary. If an alternate space is needed for them, our nursery is close by and is staffed with an attendant at the late service. Parents can drop off their child(ren), if needed. At the early service, parents can stay in the nursery with their child(ren) and still hear and see worship. We also have a youth message after the gospel reading when children are invited to come forward for a special message by a pastor.
You may dress in whatever is comfortable for you. You’ll see people in jeans, suits, dresses, even shorts.
The most important thing
The most important thing is that you bring a heart and mind ready to experience God’s love. All the other details pale in comparison to that.