North Presbyterian Church
New York, NY
Sample Order of Worship
Sunday Scripture Readings and Sermon Titles
Worship

Worship is central to the life of the church.  The congregation of North Presbyterian Church gathers on Sunday mornings at 11 o'clock for our regular worship service.  Anyone is welcome to sojourn with us for a Sunday or longer.

Christian worship joyfully ascribes all praise and honor, glory and power to the triune God.  In worship, we acknowledge that God is present in our world and our lives.  We respond to God's claim and redemptive action in Jesus Christ and are transformed and renewed.  As the faithful (even if we are not perfect and we aren't) we offer ourselves to God and are equipped to conduct God's service in the world.

God's Spirit quickens people to an awareness of God's grace and claim on our lives.  We are moved by that Spirit to respond by calling on God, by remembering all that God has done in our lives and down through the ages, and by committing our lives to God's reign in the world.  God takes the initiative just as our earliest accounts tell of God's encounter with human beings in creation and in covenant.  God calls us to repentance and offers forgiveness.  God plants and pucks up.  God judges and blesses. [Jeremiah 1:10]

Our worship as Christians can occur at any time and in any place as God has hallowed all time and all space.  During creation, God set aside one day for rest so we gather together for communal worship on the Sabbath, the first day of the week, the day of the resurrection, the time the people of the new covenant gathered to worship God in Jesus Christ.  Individually, members of God's family engage in daily worship, prayer and Scripture reading.

At North Presbyterian Church, we follow a calendar of events.  In this rhythm of time, we pass through seasons of worship (e.g. Advent, Christmas, Lent, Ordinary Time) and celebrate different festivals (e.g. Christmas, Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, Maunday Thursday, Good Friday, Easter).  We also usually follow a calendar of readings called a lectionary.  In the past, members needed to pass by the church to see the sermon title listed on the bulletin board outside our main entrance.  We still post the sermon title there, but the links to the left will allow you to see what the Scripture readings and sermon title is for a given Sunday.  If you would like to read the texts for a given Sunday from the NRSV translation of the Bible, they are available at this link.

Worship at North Presbyterian Church follows a basic format (see Sample Order of Worship).  Within this format, there are some readings that remain the same from week to week (such as the sung Doxology) while other elements change and are printed in the bulletin.  Along with many Christian communities, our worship includes the following elements:
  • Prayer - this is the heart of worship through which we respond to the movement of the Spirit among us and speak and listen to God (at times this is silent, at times spoken together, at times it is sung through songs we sing or have sung to us)
  • Scripture Read - typically we include three readings from Scripture, which is the Word of God written (readings for a given Sunday can be found here)
  • Word of God Proclaimed - the sermon is based on the Word that has been read and is meant to help everyone apply God's Word to their everyday lives (our minister often leaves us with things to think about here and occasionally the Word may be proclaimed through artistic expressions)
  • Affirmation of Faith - we express the Word through the reading and proclaiming using the words of one of the church's Confessions
  • Celebration of the Sacraments
    • Baptism: the use of prayer and water as signs and seals of welcoming an individual into the family of God, recognizing Jesus' redemptive act for their sins and rebirth into a new life to live knowing of Christ's resurrection (a person is only baptized once so this is not a frequent part of worship)
    • Lord's Supper (or Communion): the use of bread (the body of Christ that was broken) and grape juice (the blood of Christ that was shed) remembering the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples before being crucified as well as how he made himself known after his resurrection.  Through this sacrament we are united with all parts of the church and catch glimpses of what it will be like when Christ's kingdom comes at last.
  • Offering - of ourselves and of the gifts we have received, we are called to be disciplined and generous in our giving in support of our ministry together
  • Relating to Each Other and the World - we share joys and concerns with each other, take time to greet everyone else who is worshiping, reconcile among ourselves and with God as well as make new covenants and are commissioned for work in mission
We try to include things in the bulletin that may be unfamiliar to those new to worshiping with us, but if you have any questions please feel free to ask.  It is not uncommon to see longer term members helping someone else follow the service.  Some of our members who speak other languages also help others in that regard.  Children are also welcome in worship as they bring special gifts to us as a worshiping community.