What to expect at Providence if you join us for Worship...
Well, it is our expectation that, no matter who you are or from where 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 were made in the image of God but are now poor sinners in need of salvation, a gift of God's grace. Since the saints of PRC have received that grace from a God who has welcomed us strangers (even enemies!) into His family, we are compelled to extend grace to those who visit us.
That said, if you are not familiar with confessional Reformed Christianity, a service of public worship at Providence may strike you as somewhat peculiar. So please read on if you'd like to know what to expect.
Some folks would call 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 will please Him, regardless of what modern society thinks of it. 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 God's Word. And we use an order of worship that is shaped by the contours of our covenant with God (Heb. 12:28-29), a relationship that involves us in real dialogue with God in a public worship service. Here is the basic "Order of Worship" used at PRC:
- 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 nourishment (1 Cor. 10:16; John 6:53-58). Convinced that this sacred meal is for believers who are in proper connection with 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.
God has always included the children of believers in His church and covenant; He means to bless them still by having parents involve their children in public worship (Luke 18:15-16; Eph. 6:1-4). Therefore, at PRC we worship as families, and encourage "parenting in the pew" for the training of covenant youth. However, wanting to help in maintaining general attentiveness during worship, we provide nursery care for children under 4 years. For nursing mothers and their babies we have a "cry room" which receives an audio feed of the worship service (this room can also be used by parents who have difficulty keeping their children quiet during worship).
After worship, the fellowship of the saints continues as we greet and encourage each other as members of God's family (Heb. 10:24-25). On the first Sunday of each month, we have a fellowship meal after the morning service. Moreover, after every evening service we share a meal together. We invite you to visit Providence for worship, and then to remain afterward so that you may take part in this Christian community that is united in one faith and in the love God has given us in Christ.