Worship is a response of praise and thanksgiving to the God who created us, knows us, blesses us, and wants our lives to be whole and holy. We respond by giving our love and offering thanks to God, drawing from hymns, biblical texts, prayers and celebrating Holy Eucharist.
In the Episcopal Church it is said that "praying shapes believing." Worship is central to the life of our church. Our shared worship is designed using the rich resources in The Book of Common Prayer, which is also a treasure trove for personal prayer, study and spirituality.
Worship in the Episcopal Church is “liturgical,”
meaning we follow a set pattern of prayer and worship that doesn’t change greatly from week to week. Over weeks and months and years, this familiar rhythm of prayer does indeed shape our believing and our work in the world in Jesus’ name.
Our services are streamed on YouTube
"The Scriptures encourage us to ponder the works and teachings of God and Jesus with His people. The beauty of the Scriptures is that it teaches and reaches people wherever they may be, whenever they are read or heard. The same words read 3 years apart can reach the same person in entirely different ways."
- Bart M.
Liturgy also means the “work of the people.”
It is shared work and you will find yourself actively taking part in our worship service - standing to pray or sing, sitting to listen, and offering spoken responses to the priest. At first it might be confusing, so don’t hesitate to ask someone sitting next to you for help! And as you get more comfortable with the rhythm of liturgy, we pray you will find a comfort and familiarity that enables you to grow in love and worship of God.
We celebrate Holy Eucharist
We celebrate Holy Eucharist (also known as the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion) every Sunday. At St. Peter’s in the Woods, we invite folks to receive holy communion with these words from the Iona Community:
“Come to this altar, you who have much faith and you who would like to have more; you who have been here often, and you who have not been here for a long time; you who have tried to follow Jesus, and you who have failed. Come, it is Christ who invites us to meet him, here.”
Sacraments and Special Services
Our Book of Common Prayer defines baptism as “full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in baptism is indissoluble.” We baptize in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Through baptism, God adopts us into God’s family and makes us members of Christ’s body, the church. In Baptism, we join with Christ in his death by renouncing all that keeps us from God, and we join in his resurrection by being born to a new life in Christ. The Baptismal Covenant describes both the promises and responsibilities of this new way of life.
The Episcopal Church baptizes infants, children, and adults. Parents and Godparents make solemn vows on behalf of a child at baptism, and with the congregation, reaffirm their own baptismal vows, promising to raise the child in the Christian faith. Baptized children of all ages are welcome to receive communion. If you would prefer for your child to receive a blessing instead, please let the priest know when you come up for communion.
Older children and adults who wish to be baptized are sponsored by at least one baptized person who promises to support them by prayer and example.
A meeting with the clergy is required before scheduling a baptism, and some preparation is required, in order that persons receiving the sacrament understand the promises made by God and by the one to be baptized. All baptisms take place during the regular Sunday liturgy, not during a private ceremony.
If you have been baptized in another tradition but wish to join the Episcopal Church, or if you are in a place in your life where you wish to reaffirm your baptism, we welcome a conversation with you. Learn more here
For more information, contact The Rev.Susan Hartzell