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Worship at FOGCC

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Worship…
The purpose of worship at FOGCC is to enable people to encounter the Living Word. It is not that we just want people to hear the truth; we want them to hear it as true for them. Not just as accurate information but as gospel -- which means good news!  Our task is to create worship services which open us to the Holy Spirit who fosters these encounters and makes the good news come alive in each of our lives.

The primary ways in which we encounter the Word are preaching and the sacraments. Nearly everything we do beforehand strives to prepare us for this encounter: gathering in praise and anticipation, confessing the guilt or fear weighing on us, and hearing God's pardon. We then close with praise and a blessing before being sent to live out this good news in all we do.

In terms of music, our services draw from many diverse sources. Incorporating classic hymns, contemporary praise choruses, and sometimes a song from another part of the world helps us to celebrate as the family of God--realizing that each person has likes and dislikes!  The music in worship is a bit like the different parts of a family dinner--hopefully, there is something for everybody!  We strive to have our music enable us to sing in response to the good news of Jesus Christ.

Leading Worship…
While we strive to have different voices lead parts of our worship, preaching is usually done by our pastor, Rev. Barbara Boss.  Barb is a graduate of Western Theological Seminary and ordained by the Reformed Church in America.  Before getting her Master of Divinity at WTS, she served a church as Director of Christian Education and previous to getting her M.Div. also had a Masters in Religious Education.  Please know that Barb is available to you whenever you have questions or suggestions concerning worship, sermons, or your experience joining us to praise our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.  One of Barb's favorite parts of worship is the Children's Time.  Each Sunday, our children are invited to come forward and think with Barb about a particular Bible story or what it means to be a child of God. Often, the children's time reminds us that we are all children of God and are encouraged to trust and obey!

Children in Worship…
Following a Children's Time, our children (ages 3-3rd grade) leave our worship space to attend Children In Worship.  In their own worship center, they hear stories from the Old and New Testament and experience God through story, response, prayer time and music.  Younger children are well cared for in our nursery.

Responding in Praise and Prayer
In addition to the central acts of listening to God’s Word and participation in the sacraments, we also include expressions of praise and prayer in our worship services. These are offered as a response to God’s Word. They are communal expressions of prayers we offer as individuals and households throughout the week.  Both joys and concerns are shared with our sisters and brothers in Christ, reminding us that God never calls a "person"--He calls a "people."  These shared prayer requests, as well as the sharing the peace of Christ, remind us of the gift that we have in being the family of God. 

Celebrating the Sacraments
A second important act of worship is participation in the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These acts involve very physical elements—water, bread and cup—that powerfully remind us of God’s grace and ongoing activity in our world. The sacrament of Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday morning of each month. 'When communion is celebrated, we often refer to it as the Table of the Good Shepherd.  Sometimes, we come forward to receive the bread and the cup--and sometimes, people remain in their seats and are served the communion elements.  At FOGCC, children are welcome to share in communion--this is left up to the discretion of their parent/s.  We hope that, no matter at what age you share in communion, it is a meal that nurtures your faith and also, reminds you of the mystery of God.  The sacrament of Holy Baptism is celebrated as needed. 


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