What is Worship Like at Gift of Grace?
Our worship service (called the Divine Service, more on that below) follows the traditional Christian worship service pattern (liturgy) handed down through the centuries. Our worship service culminates every week with Holy Communion. We invite children to stay with parents during the service.
We follow along with the worship together using a hymnal. This may be a different experience for some, but we believe that worship is a shared experience of God's people gathered in His Name, not an individual exercise. With the hymnal we are sharing in the praises, Scripture, and confessions together.
Throughout the service we sing hymns of the church, some of them centuries old. While we recognize that there are many solid recent hymns and worship songs, we focus mainly on the tried and true hymns that teach and confess the faith. Hymns can invoke a sense of wonder which produces profound emotions, but emotions are not the driving force in our worship.
We believe that Jesus gives us His body and blood in a real way when we partake of Holy Communion. When Jesus instituted His supper, He said "…this is my body…this is my blood" (Mark 14:22-25
), and we simply take Him at His word. As such, when one eats and drinks His body and blood in an improper manner–that is, without faith–he eats and drinks judgment on himself (1 Corinthians 11:17-34
). We, therefore, ask that anyone who wishes to partake of Holy Communion with us would first speak to our pastor beforehand.
What to Wear
Feel free to wear whatever is comfortable for you. You may find some of our members dressed more formally than others, but there is no pressure to wear formal clothing.
What is the "Divine Service"?
We believe that we can offer nothing to God in and of ourselves. God needs nothing from us to make Him complete. And, in fact, our Lord Jesus states that He "came not to be served, but to serve." (Mark 10:45
) Jesus still wishes to serve us, and He does that by gathering us together and presenting us with His Word, which delivers to us both His Law and His Gospel. Hearing God's Law, we recognize that we fall short of His commandments. However, we know that "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9
). This is the Gospel. The entire service then is hearing God's promises to us, and our response of praise and thanksgiving for all He has done. The "work" being done in the service is all God's doing. We do nothing in the service but respond with our thanks and praise. Many today view worship as something that we do to earn God's favor, or to make Him happy with us. We view it as simply a response to His goodness and mercy. Therefore, the service that is being offered here is not our service, but God's service to us, which makes it divine.