Worship is an essential practice for any Christian. There are many ways to worship God with integrity. Here at Centenary our worship life has long been shaped by a commitment to the historic pattern of worship developed in the early church. This pattern of worship has four major components that shape what we do each Sunday. We gather as a community of faith, we hear the Scriptures read and proclaimed, we respond to the Word, sometimes through one or both of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and then we are sent forth into the world to serve God and others.

We believe we are who we are as a congregation today, in no small measure, because of the way we have worshiped God for many years here at Centenary. Here are some of our core convictions about worship.

  • Worship is first and foremost about God.
  • Our gathering in worship each week is essential for our identity as a church.
  • Worship is a response, and thus primarily thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.
  • Though worship is first and foremost about God, worship shapes and forms us as we are forgiven, healed, and empowered to bear God’s image to the world.
  • In worship, we learn to properly understand and envision reconciled relationships between God, the world, and ourselves.
  • We believe that our faith, both as simple trust in God’s grace, and as particular beliefs we come to hold, is shaped by worship.

We have two worship services each week. Our 8:40 a.m. service meets in the sanctuary. Our music leader for this service is Lee Covington, an outstanding jazz pianist. We sing a mixture of praise choruses, new, and old hymns. Our Praise Chorus sings in our early services eight or 9 times a year. We share joys and concerns and pray for one another. After the sermon, we celebrate Holy Communion each week.

Our 11:00 a.m. service is more formal. Stan Baker, our organist and choir director, does a great job each week preparing our choir to lead worship, as well as leading our singing through his masterful use of our Cassavant pipe organ. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month. The pageantry of this service in the beautiful setting of our sanctuary is a vital aspect of many of our members’ experience of God’s presence and a primary reason that many people make the trip downtown each week to worship.

Each week, our sermons draw from one or more of the lectionary readings for the day. The lectionary is a three year cycle of readings—one from the Old Testament, one from the Psalms, one from an Epistle or Letter of the New Testament, and a reading from one of the Gospels. We believe following the lectionary forces us to hear parts of Scripture in worship we might otherwise avoid. We discover that in surprising ways, the lectionary often speaks in timely ways to the events of the day. If you worship with us, you’ll discover that over time, you will become more and more familiar with the story of salvation in the Bible. 

We have other services throughout the year that are meaningful to many, such as a special service of Advent Lessons and Carols each December, Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Palm Sunday, and Easter Sunday.

As United Methodists, we celebrate two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that both these sacraments are means by which God grace is given to us. We baptize infants in the conviction that God’s grace is for even the most vulnerable among us. We baptize youth and adults who have never been baptized and make a profession of faith in Christ for the first time. 

In the Lord’s Supper, we remember all the works of salvation God has performed, particularly all that God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Anyone seeking God’s grace is welcome at our table.

We invite you to come and worship with us and discover God’s presence and power in your life, as well as to open yourself to hearing God’s call to service and action.