We believe that worship is best when it is intergenerational, with ALL AGES present. While there may be times when the younger children are "excused" due to the nature of the service theme or focus, this will be the exception rather than the norm. To this end, we will design our services so that they are accessible to all – so the children can take part as well as the adults. Worship may be the last truly intergenerational experience our culture has to offer.
Worship is not a spectator sport, it is a participatory event. One of our goals is to have every one of our members from 3rd grade on up serving in at least 1 worship ministry. The extent to which we come prepared to engage and participate in worship will very often reflect the extent to which worship is a meaningful experience for us and for others. Come with anticipation and expectancy. Be open to how God might use or direct you. Take part with your whole being. Leave with a renewed sense of mission and purpose.
We will use a wide variety of music, styles and expressions in our worship services. Worship is a time to celebrate and praise God, and we believe that God's tastes in music will always be much broader than our own. We will make regular use of the beautiful, time-tested hymns and the historic liturgy that are a part of our rich heritage of faith. We will use contemporary Christian music along with the newer, innovative service styles. We will be open to a whole range of postures, expressions and emotions in our services – giving permission for people to sit in meditation, to stand in awe, to kneel in reverence or confession, to clap their hands or tap their toes with singing, to raise their hands in adoration, and even occasionally to dance for joy – all to the glory of God!
Our congregation is a part of the historic Church – which is what the words “one, holy, catholic and apostolic” mean when they are spoken of in the creeds. For this reason, our worship services are centered in Word (Bible) and Sacrament (Baptism & Communion). As tangible signs of God's grace to us, the Sacraments will be part of the weekly gathering of the congregation. Because it is first of all God's saving act towards us, Baptism can occur at any age – though its preparation, practice and experience will vary with the age of the candidate. Likewise, Holy Communion is open to all the baptized who have received instruction on the background and meaning of the Lord's Supper and who share our faith that Christ is truly present "in, with and under" the bread and the wine. (And because we have people in our midst who are dealing with health issues, grape juice is available in place of the wine and gluten-free wafers instead of the bread!)
One of the "nicknames" for Ascension is that we are the "home of the 80-minute hour" which is a lighthearted way of saying that while we are time-conscious in our worship services, we are not time-driven. When you come to worship here, plan to stay a while. But please remember that worship can and should happen anytime, anywhere. It is so much more than what we do on a Sunday morning or Thursday evening. It is something God calls us to 24/7/365. It can happen in a church building, at our homes, in the woods; it can involve a large group, a small group, a couple, even an individual.