In worship the Lord constitutes us as a covenant community. We gather together in response to God's grace and recognize ourselves as children of God. Worship expresses the dignity of humanity and secures the value and eternal worth of every human being.
Worship and Jesus Christ
We worship in response to divine grace. Worship depends first and foremost on God's desire to be in relationship with us. We do not worship in order to gain God's favor. We already have it. We do not worship to invite God to be with us. God has already chosen to dwells in our midst. We do not worship to see God's power at work. God's power is at works among us whether we see it or not.
In our worship we proclaim Jesus' self-giving love as the definitive expression of the heart of God. No one can deny your worth. Jesus' sacrifice for you is the measure of your eternal value. Worship is our “Thank you.”
Worship and Covenant
Worship nurtures the covenant relation we have with God and our neighbor. To be fully human it is not enough to believe in God. One must also honor God.
Likewise, to be fully human it is not enough to tolerate one another. We must honor others. When we worship with each other we reach out to our neighbor in recognition that each person shares the full dignity of what God created us to be, children created in the image of God.
Worship and the Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer guides worship in The Episcopal Church. It helps us avoid passing fads and popular impulses in our response to the eternal God. It is the red book in the pews where you sit. In our worship bulletins, it is abbreviated, "BCP."
The first prayer book emerged through England's struggle to reform the worship of the church in the 16th century. It captures the Protestant insight of how God works in Jesus to restore human dignity by grace. But it also preserves what was good and wholesome in the worship of the old Roman Catholic Church.
Thus worship in the Episcopal Church as "both catholic and protestant." People from Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist and Pentecostal traditions appreciate our proclamation of the Word and how we call people to faith in God's grace. People from the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions value our emphasis on the community gathered around the Eucharistic meal (communion).
The Book of Common Prayer preserves this middle way between the protestant and catholic traditions.
Worship and Diversity
Another tradition in the Episcopal Church that has come down to us from the reformation period is our commitment to worship "in the language of the people." Before liturgical reform came to the Roman Catholic Church (in last quarter of the 20th century),
Roman Catholics worshiped in Latin. One can still find Greek Orthodox Churches that still worship - even in the United States - using ancient Greek as their worship language.
Keeping with this tradition of worshiping "in the language of the people," we recognize that many people today do not worship "in the language of" traditional church music. We also believe that children have a language all their own that the church has neglected for too long.
For this reason we offer two worship services on Sunday, each using a musical language that reflects the diversity of our parish. Although the music and style of each of their liturgies are unique, the purpose for which we gather is the same as it has always been for as long as people responded to the invitation to live in faithful covenant relationship with God.