During the course of the year, we set aside certain Sundays for special services as well as some midweek events that allow us to recognize or celebrate certain aspects of faith and fellowship. Please check the calendar page for exact dates for these, but here is a list with a brief description of special services held at First Presbyterian.
GIFTS OF WOMEN
WORSHIP AT THE LAKE
- During the season of Lent (from Ash Wednesday to Easter) we hold mid-week worship services. Each Wednesday we gather for Soup and Sandwiches at 6:00 p.m., followed by a worship service at 7:00. We share this series of services with our brothers and sisters from the United Methodist Church and Trinity Episcopal Church. All are welcome to join us but be sure to check the church calendar for the location as we rotate services between the three churches.
GIFTS OF WOMEN
- On or near the second Sunday of March, the Presbyterian Church (USA) sets aside a worship service to recognize the special gifts women have and continue to contribute to the church. At First Presbyterian, this means the women will take on the bulk of the duties involved in any worship service; reading, ushering, giving the sermon, special music, etc. This does not suggest that the women are not a vital part of worship all year long but does acknowledge that for centuries they have not been recognized for their critical contributions to the Church.
- We hold a Sunrise service early on Easter morning. Weather permitting, we meet in our Prayer Garden but most Easters, we gather in our sanctuary to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. The early service reminds us of the women who went to the tomb early on that first Easter to find the tomb empty. A time of coffee and fellowship follows and our regular Easter service at 10:00 includes a celebration of the Lord's Supper.
- Our Holy Humor service is a time of joy and laughter celebrating the victory of Jesus over sin and death. Members of the congregation participate in a worship program that encourages laughter; it may be a skit or jokes or games but it reminds us that laughter has a place in the worship of God.
- One Sunday during July, the sermon is a time for music and singing. Members have the opportunity to select their favorite hymn and it is included as part of the sermon and praise hymns.
WORSHIP AT THE LAKE
- The second Sunday of September finds us gathering at the west end of Lake Ripley to kick off the Sunday School year with games, a picnic and worship in the great outdoors. We sing and pray and praise the Lord with the beautiful blue waters and green grass and majestic trees as our sanctuary.
- In November, our congregation brings our worship service to the chapel of Ecumen, the assisted-living facility located across the street from our church. We share our church family with them. The choir sings, there is a children's sermon, and hymn singing as a way to give residents the flavor of a church service as it might have been when they were growing up. We share coffee and fellowship before the service and enjoy the mixing of traditions and generations.
- We celebrate Thanksgiving with an ecumenical service on the Tuesday evening of Thanksgiving week. The site is shared by the United Methodist Church, the Trinity Episcopal Church and our own First Presbyterian. It is a time to gather and reflect on the blessings of God, giving thanks to our creator and redeemer.
- Christmas is known as a time of great joy, but for many who are suffering loss, it can be a time of sorrow and sadness. This service is held to allow each of us to acknowledge our feelings if we've suffered the loss of a loved one, are encountering hard times or just feel blue. We include readings, some light music and the opportunity to light a candle to show hope in a time of darkness.
- Christmas Eve is a special time to recognize the birth of our Savior. Late afternoon, we gather for the Christmas story told in scripture and in music. We share a communion service reminding everyone of why the baby came, to be Savior and Lord. And then to the beautiful carol Silent Night, all lights are turned off, the flame from the Christ Candle is passed from person to person and we celebrate the Light of the World born to be our King.
- The youth and adults of our congregation join together to present a program that brings the Christmas message of hope, joy and peace to all who gather. We sing carols and the program is the sermon.
- The last Sunday of the year our sermon is presented in the music of the season. Based on the readings of the day, the message of the gospel is shared is the traditional and newer songs of Christmas. Joy to the World, the Lord is come!