VISITOR’S GUIDE

In worship, we gather as a community of faith to praise God, to pray, to give, to hear and respond to God’s Word, and to celebrate the sacraments. The worship hour is perhaps the most significant hour of the week, for it sets the tone for our worship of God in all we say and do.

Our worship focuses on the challenges of contemporary life as we seek to know and follow God. Shaped by worship, we seek to share God’s grace through education, fellowship, music, and inclusive outreach ministries to those in physical and spiritual need. Beneath our similarities FPC Searcy members express and respect a diversity of approaches to belief. Most are seekers, confident in our beliefs but open to new revelations and deeper levels of spirituality.

The sermons honor the best of Biblical scholarship along with the compassion of Jesus and in prayer and sacrament we find the Risen Christ present.

Music at FPC Searcy borrows the best from our tradition while remaining modern and lively. By following along in the worship bulletin, the first time worshipper can easily navigate the service. On a second visit, you’ll know exactly what to do.

Times

We offer worship services each Sunday. At 10:00AM Seasonal worship services occur on important days of the Christian year, such as Christmas Eve, Easter Sunrise, Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday/ Good Friday.

Dress

You will find a wide range of dress on any given Sunday. Suits and ties are worn by many, collared shirts by others. Many women wear dresses while others wear pants. Please feel free to come in a way that you feel comfortable.

Child Care

Child Care is provided by two part-time employees who are wonderful with the children of FPC Searcy. Childcare is provided on Sundays from 9-11am and throughout the week for special services and activities as needed.

Worship Music

Our part-time Director of Music leads a fully developed music program of adult and children’s choirs, occasional orchestra opportunities as well. The sanctuary instruments include a baby grand piano, and occasionally an electronic keyboard helping to provide musical support for worship. Our Chancel Choir sings each Sunday and children’s choirs participate monthly.

Outline of Church Service and individual Meanings

The services follow a traditional Presbyterian order of worship. We seek to be faithful to Scripture and the Reformed tradition while embracing the best of contemporary insights on worship.

  • Welcome and Announcements: This is a time in Worship in which announcements are made and opportunities to be included in ministry are offered.
  • Call to Worship: A responsive reading that is inspirational in some way to begin to ready our hearts and minds for worship.
  • Confession/Assurance of Pardon: Unique to Presbyterian worship is the Call and Prayers of Confession. The purpose is to ready yourself to hear Gods Word by first confessing of Sin. Together we say a communal confession that states the sinfulness of mankind, second you are asked to take a moment to consider in silence your own personal prayers of confession, and then we are assured in worship that God has indeed granted us forgiveness. This frees us to focus in Worship and not on our shortcomings but Gods word and possibilities for life.
  • Passing of the Peace: The congregation shares with one another words of peace, saying together:
    Leader: The peace of Christ be with you.
    People: And also with you.
    There is time here also for the congregation to greet those around you with appropriate words and gestures.
  • Time for Young Disciples: Our FPC Children come to the front of the Sanctuary for a short time of learning and discussion usually on a topic that fits the theme for that days worship.
  • Sermon: This is Gods Word to us. We prepare ourselves to hear it. We ask God to Speak and our Teaching Elder delivers a message from Gods Word. We are then asked to respond to God’s Word through the giving of offerings or participation in the Sacraments.
  • Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer: This is a short time in worship when we lift up the prayer concerns of those in our congregation, community and in the World. We go to God in prayer together as a family of faith asking for God’s divine intervention and then say together the Lords Prayer.
  • Presentation of God’s Tithes and Our Offerings: The presentation of offerings in the Presbyterian tradition is seen as an act of grateful response to God. (Visitors should not feel obligated to contribute.)
  • Charge and Benediction: A blessing that is to send us into the World to continue our worship in service and love to others.

Weird Presbyterian Things/Words

  • Minister’s Robes: Our Ministers also called Teaching Elders wear black clergy robes in worship for two reasons. One is to emphasize the importance that the Presbyterian Church holds in the education of its ministers. PC(USA) ministers are required to hold at least a Masters of Divinity and pass a series of educational and theological exams before entering the ministry. Secondly the worship robe is used to hide the clothes of the minister and anything else that might be a distraction to the congregation reminding all that the minister is simply not in worship to show off or represent him or herself but instead present to represent the word of God proclaimed.
  • Elders: There are 9 Elders active on the Session at FPC Searcy at any given time. Both Men and Women are included as Spiritual leaders in the Church and help to lead in worship in various ways including the officiating of the Lords Supper.
  • Liturgist: The Liturgist is simply a congregant that is helping in worship to read a scripture and lead in a few prayers.
  • Acolytes: Acolytes are usually children in the Church that are charged with lighting the Christ candles in worship to represent the presence of Christ with us in Worship. They also help in various other ways during worship. Acolytes at FPC Searcy attend an Acolyte Academy in which they are taught the importance of Worship and its elements at a young age.
  • Sacraments: The PC(USA) has 2 Sacraments. A Sacrament is an act of symbolic faith that is set aside for believers in Jesus Christ. The 2 Sacraments we celebrate are:
    Sacrament of Baptism
    Often there is a baptism, sometimes an infant and sometimes an adult. Presbyterians believe that God loves us and our children, and that parents and the faith community are to educate and support the child in such a way that she or he will always be aware of God’s love and acceptance. Baptism is a way of saying, “You belong!”
    Sacrament of Communion or The Lords Supper
    At FPC Searcy the Lord’s table is not a Presbyterian Table but a table open to any and all who trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Bread represents the body of Christ broken and the Cup represents the blood of Christ shed for the forgiveness of Sins. When taken we are to Remember Jesus Christ.
  • The Gloria Patri and Doxology?: These are two traditional songs that are sung in worship.
    Doxology
    This song is an offering of praise sung by the whole congregation at the conclusion of the collection of Tithes.
    Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
    Praise Him all creatures here below.
    Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
    Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
    The Gloria Patri
    This is a song of thanksgiving that is Sung at the conclusion of the Prayers of Confession and the Assurance that God has forgiven us of our Sins.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, it’s now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen Amen
  • Creeds – The Things We Believe: This is an opportunity to say together a portion of what we believe. The text, printed in the bulletin, is typically taken from one of the creeds or widely accepted statements of faith of the church.

Other Church Activities

  • Potlucks
  • Bible Studies
  • Presbyterian Women
  • Snack Packs for Backpacks
  • Wine Club