Why worship?


Worship is an old English word that means "to ascribe worth." To worship is to say, "You are worth it. You are valuable. I am going to show what you are worth to me."


When we gather for worship, we show that we value the one true God. We know his worth to us. We know what he gives us--forgiveness of our sins, life in him, and eternal salvation. So we set aside time every week for us to get together, praise God, thank him, pray to him, and most importantly, listen to him as he blesses us through his Word.


God tells us to get together and worship him (Hebrews 11:28). He promises to bless us when we gather for worship (Psalm 1). We rejoice when we have the opportunity to do so!

What is worship like at St. James?


God tells us to worship him, and in his Word he gives us some guiding principles in how to do that.


Worship principle #1: Worship is Christ-centered.

Every worship service will focus on Christ Jesus. He will be the highlight. He will be the focus.


Worship principle #2: Let the Gospel dominate.

Every worship service will have the Gospel good news in it--the news of how Jesus saves us from our sins. In every service, we hear the Gospel as we read and meditate on God's Word. Twice a month, we hear the Gospel in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. We hear the Gospel in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism whenever we have the opportunity to baptize.


Worship principle #3: Let the people participate.

Every worship service will be built for participation with songs, hymns, readings, prayers. You will have the opportunity to be a part of our worship instead of simply listening to an hour-long lecture from the pastor.


Worship principle #4: Let all God's gifts be used for his glory.

God gives his people incredible talents when it comes to worship, whether musically or organizationally or in some other way. We seek to show love to everyone by letting our gifts be used in worship--from using new songs and current members' musical gifts to using hymns and orders of worship that Christians have used for thousands of years.



So what does this all mean?

Our worship would best be described as "blended": we use the best gifts God has given us today along with the best gifts that God has given to those Christians who have come before us. All our gifts are used for God's glory!


Each worship service, we follow an order of worship as a game plan for that service. On a typical Sunday, we use an order of worship from our hymnal, Christian Worship. For special worship services, we may use an order of worship from another source or an order of worship which Pastor writes himself. We will sing. We will pray. We will listen to God's Word. And God will bless us in this!

Worship Questions? We have answers!


What time is worship?

During the summer (between Memorial Day and Labor Day), our Sunday worship services start at 10:00 am, and our Thursday services start at 7:00 pm. Times for special worship services, such as Christmas and Easter, are announced as we approach those services.


So what time should I show up for worship?

Anytime before the scheduled start of the service works. You might want to show up with enough time to say hi to some friends, grab a worship folder (which has an outline of our worship service, as well as weekly news and notes), find a seat, and say a silent prayer as you focus your heart and mind on worship.


Are there assigned seats?

Absolutely not! You may sit wherever you'd like. If you need help finding a seat, an usher will be happy to help.


I'm concerned I won't be able to follow what we're doing in worship.

That's a natural feeling if you've never been to our worship before. But don't worry; we'll make sure we're all on the same page about what is going on! You'll get a worship folder which contains an outline of our worship service, and Pastor will clearly announce what we're doing at each step in our worship service.


How long does worship last?

Worship generally lasts about an hour, but we don't have a set time for the service length. It may be a few minutes shorter or a minute or two longer than an hour. Easiest way is to plan for worshiping together for an hour.


What should I wear to worship?

God doesn't give us a dress code for worship, so we don't have a dress code either. Wear whatever you feel is appropriate. You'll probably find people wearing ties and people wearing shorts. Just make sure that your attire reflects your attitude toward worship and shows that we are gathering to worship the one true God who saves us from our sins!


I have a child. My child, like any child, can get a little noisy sometimes. Can I bring my child to worship?

Yes! Children are always welcome in worship! Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me," and so do we. We strongly encourage you to bring children to worship, no matter their behavior or volume level. If necessary, we have a parents' room with children's books and toys if your child needs to take short break before coming back in to worship.


Is your building handicap accessible?

Yes! Our facility is located entirely on one main level. We have a ramp which leads into our building. We have a handicap-accessible restroom.