What to expect at Providence if you join us for Worship...
Well, it is our expectation that, no matter who you are or whence you come, you will be met with a very warm welcome, since we at Providence are convinced that what makes us all similar to each other is far more important than what makes us different. We are all creatures who have been made in the image of God, but who are now poor sinners in need of salvation, a gift of God's grace alone. Since the saints of PRC have received that grace from a God & Savior who has welcomed us strangers (enemies!) into His family, we are compelled to extend that grace to those who visit us.
That said, if you are not familiar with confessionally Reformed Christianity, a service of public worship at Providence Reformed may strike you as somewhat peculiar . . .
Some consider our worship style traditional as opposed to contemporary. But since the God we worship is timeless, and His people span all the centuries, we avoid such labels, and seek to offer God worship that is pleasing to Him, not to one generation or another. The fact is, God is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). Therefore, at Providence we strive for biblical worship that fully accords with the truth of God's Word, and we have an order of worship that is shaped by the contours of our covenant relationship with God (Heb. 12:28-29). That relationship involves us in real dialogue with God in a public worship service:
- God Calls Us to Worship (Ps. 95)
- Prayer of Invocation (Ps. 63)
- Song of Praise (Col. 3:16)
- God Greets His People in Grace (1 Pet. 1:2)
- The Reading of the Law (Josh. 8:30-35)
- Prayer of Confession (1 John 1:8-9)
- Declaration of Forgiveness (John 20:23)
- Song of Thanksgiving (Ps. 32)
- Confession of Faith (Rom. 10:10)
- Congregational Prayer (1 Tim. 2:1-2)
- Reading & Preaching of the Word (1 Tim. 4:13)
- Song of Application (Ps. 119:129-136)
- The Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-26)
- Offering (1 Cor. 16:2)
- Song of Praise (Matt. 26:30)
- God Gives Us His Blessing (2 Cor. 13:14)
The first Sunday of each month we celebrate the Lord's Supper, by which we not only remember our Lord's sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins (Matt. 26:28) but also receive Him by faith for our spiritual life (1 Cor. 10:16; John 6:53-58). Convinced that this sacred meal is for believers who are in proper connection to the church (1 Cor. 11:27-29), our elders meet with visitors before the worship service, and welcome to the Supper only those who can attest that they are baptized believers who have publicly professed their faith, and belong to another Christian congregation where they are in good standing (not under discipline).
Congregation as Choir
PRC understands that God especially desires praise from the hearts and mouths of each person in the worship assembly (Col. 3:16). We read and pray the Psalms, but we also sing the Psalms. In fact, as much as we love good biblical hymnody, the Psalms have the principal place in our worship, since this is the songbook which God has given His church.
Nursery care is provided for children under 4 years, and we have a "cry room" for nursing mothers and their babies. But PRC does not have age-segregated worship. We believe that God, who has always included the children of believers in His church and covenant, also means to bless them and involve them in public worship (Luke 18:15-16; Eph. 6:1-4). Therefore, we worship as families, and encourage "parenting in the pew" for the training of covenant youth.
After worship, the fellowship of the saints continues as we greet and encourage each other as members of God's family. But on the first Sunday of the month, we have a fellowship meal after the morning service; and after every evening service we share a meal together. We invite you to visit Providence for worship, and to remain afterward so that you may be included in this Christian community that is united in one faith and in the love God set upon us in Christ.