"You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you."
-- Augustine of Hippo
Perhaps the most important thing we do at APCH is worship. We come together on the first day of the week, Sunday, resurrection day, to worship God. We also gather for special service for Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
Why do we worship?
We worship God because of the good news, the gospel. Our worship is a response to our heavenly Father for all that He has done for us in Christ. Worship is our response of gratitude to God’s grace. Worship is an offering to God, “a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving” made in and through Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Over time, worship shapes us. It shapes who we are, how we think, how we live and act in the world.
What happens in worship?
We sing. We sing because we love God. Augustine said it best: “To sing is the work of a lover.” In one service we sing accompanied by a band with drums and guitars. In other services we sing with a choir and with an organ. What matters most, is that we express our love and gratitude to God in song.
We hear the good news. An important part of our worship service is a sermon. This sermon will explain a passage from the Bible. The Bible is the story of God. The story of God’s search for us. During this sermon you will discover how God rescues, reconciles and redeems us. The Holy Spirit produces faith in our hearts through the preaching of the gospel. Because of this, each week you are invited to accept the gospel promise in true faith. The Word of God not only tells us about the promises of God for us in Christ, it also directs all our living -- what we think, say, and do.
We celebrate the sacraments. At APCH we also celebrate the sacraments of communion and baptism. The sacraments help us see and understand the promise of the gospel more clearly.
Just as water washes away the dirt from our bodies, so our sins are washed away with Christ’s blood in baptism. When we are baptized, the Holy Spirit renews us and we are set apart to live a new life.
In Communion, (sometimes also called The Lord’s Supper) we are reminded that we have been completely forgiven through what Jesus Christ did on the cross once and for all. As bread and wine nourish our physical life, so too Jesus’ crucified body and poured-out blood, really nourish our souls for eternal life.
We pray. When we pray to God, we express our gratitude and our need for Him. We voice our childlike awe and trust that God through Christ has become our Father. We are sure that God listens to our prayer. That is what He promised us in His Word. Our prayers tend to use the language of the Bible. You will hear words like “grace”, “sin”, “confession”, “redemption”, “help, save, provide”, “promise” and “forgiveness.” This is the language of love and growth between believers and God.
We give. Every week we take up a collection in our worship service. We give generously, so that the church can be strong and thrive and so that we can share with those in need. Because of what God has done for us in Jesus, we are eager to do whatever we can, for our neighbor’s good.