We live in a world that tends to barrage our brains, harden our hearts and stifle our souls. Worshiping together helps clear our minds, open our hearts and renew our spirits.
We try to create a worship atmosphere where we can truly come home to the One who knew us before we were born and who loves us without conditions. As we pray, sing and listen, we find ourselves awakening to who we really are–God’s own child, created in God’s image–with the capacity to love, create, inspire, and bring hope. Our eyes, minds and hearts are opened to our neighbors–whom we may encounter in the same pew, in the person we’re having the hardest time loving, or in the victims of distant wars and natural disasters. And we find ourselves being called and empowered to shine our little light into the world in the coming week.
How do we create that atmosphere at Henrietta UCC? We pattern our worship on the ancient but timeless movements of lifting our spirits in praise, humbly opening our hearts and souls to God in prayer, receiving God’s Word into our minds and hearts so that it can come alive within us, and rededicating our gifts and our lives to God.
- Music is rightly called “the language of the soul.” In our worship, we might experience it as an old revered hymn or a new contemporary song. It might be presented by our 25-voice choir, Hand Bell Choir, contemporary worship band, children’s chimes choir, youth choir, individual members of the congregation, or a You-tube recording with visuals as well as music.
- We try not to use “churchy” words, but we guide people into praying in words and images that are as real and immediate as today’s news.
- We don’t have a “secret dress code.” Most people dress casually and comfortably.
- The pastor’s message may be a sermon, a drama, a first-person portrayal of a biblical character, or a PowerPoint presentation with visual illustrations. All these ways can bring the words of the Bible to life for us and in us.
- We serve communion on the first Sunday of every month. Communion helps us re-experience the last supper that Jesus shared with his disciples before his death on the cross. We use gluten-free bread so everyone is included. There are no doctrinal, age or ethical barriers to anyone wishing to share in communion, because Jesus’ life and death embodied a love that knows no bounds or conditions.
- We have cut down a couple of pews to make room for wheelchairs, we have activity bags for children while they’re in worship, rocking chairs for parents with infants, we have a hearing loop for the hearing impaired, our sanctuary and classrooms are fully accessible from all our entrances, and there is a platform lift between our two main levels.
- After worship, most folks stay for hospitality and fellowship time, with coffee, juice, and light refreshments.
We all leave worship feeling renewed, recharged, inspired, and equipped to be Christ’s hands, feet and voice in our world for the coming week. You can find more information on our worship service here.