What to Expect in Worship at Fifth Street Presbyterian Church
In our worship, we strive to make the Word of God the center of all we do, and to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. We seek to sing the Word, pray the Word, read the Word, and preach the Word.
Our musical accompaniment is provided by an organist and sometimes assisted by talented members of our church who play violin, flute, or some other instrument that fits well with our style and approach to worship. Our choir also provides a great deal of help to our worship and they typically provide a choral introit and an anthem. Our congregational singing is also central to our worship and here too our style might be considered classical or traditional. We sing hymns from the Trinity Hymnal and we sing them with a good deal of enthusiasm and delight—they are the songs of our faith and we love them.
Our order of worship, in the morning service, is best described by encouraging you to take a look at one of our Sunday Bulletins also posted on this web site. It is fairly simple and straight forward including Bible reading and Bible preaching, hymn singing, prayer, confessions of Faith, the Lord's Supper on the first Sunday of the month and baptism as required, and a few other items that we believe also have biblical warrant for inclusion in worship. Our evening services are very simple including hymn singing (chosen by the congregation), prayer, and the preaching of God’s Word.
Our preaching is typically a study of a particular book of the Bible by a verse-by-verse exposition, following what we see in Nehemiah 8:8, that is, the Word of God is read and then explained. At the time of the writing of this little explanation of our worship our morning sermons are from the Psalms and our evening sermons are from The Gospel of Luke. Because we believe that the ordinary preaching of God’s Word is the primary means of the conversion of the lost and the discipling of the saved we place a high value on preaching and are committed to both Sunday morning and evening services of worship.
The style of our worship music is what many would call classical or traditional and while the use of such terms have their limits they are not an unfair description of what we believe best suits our views of worship and our desires to honor God in our worship. One of the things we love about singing hymns from a hymnal such as ours is that we are able to join our voices with the voices of multiple generations that have gone before us—we may in one service sing songs from Luther, Watts, the Psalter, and a contemporary hymn writer, this we count as a little taste of heaven. The hymns we sing are rich in theology, easy to sing, and songs written to drive us into God presence. And even though hymn singing has in many circles been replaced or overshadowed by choruses and contemporary music we would encourage you to join us for worship and sing some good theology and see for yourself that it is a lovely thing to join with the saints of many generations in song.
Our focus in worship is God. While there are many things we care about and many distinctions we love, we most of all understand worship to be a meeting of God with His people the church. It is a dialogue where God speaks to us in the reading of Scripture and the Preaching of Scripture and where we speak to God in hymns, prayers, and confessions. Our delight and desire is to praise and honor God, and our prayer is that our worship will be pleasing to Him because of Christ’s blood, and a blessing to us as the Holy Spirit makes use of His means to accomplish His declared end of transforming us into the image of Christ.
Our approach is simple and ordinary but not at all dull. Because we believe that God has ordained the use of His ordinary means of Grace, primarily the Word, sacraments, and prayer, we are committed to an approach to worship that is simple and hopeful. We feel no need to make attempts to manipulate the hearts of worshipers nor do we feel we must come up with new, exciting, and creative ways to worship in order to draw in outsiders or keep those now attending. God has promised to work through His ordinary means of grace and we are convinced that nothing else is of more use than these ordinary means that God makes use of in extraordinary ways. By God’s grace we will give ourselves to preaching, praying, and a right use of baptism and the Lord’s Supper and in the doing of these ordinary means we express our trust that God’s way is as always the best way and there is nothing dull about faithfulness.