Wesley’s traditional service is a wonderful worship experience grounded in our historic traditions. Trumpets, organ, choir, formal liturgy and meaningful sermons help shape this service. Students actively participate in all areas of this worship service.
The service takes place in Wesley’s historic sanctuary. The architecture, stained glass windows and original carvings are stunning features of Wesley’s sanctuary and help to create a feeling of being steeped in the ancient traditions of the church. The open and diverse congregation, the symbolically rich liturgy, and meaningful preaching however make Wesley a worshipping community that is fully present and relevant in the 21st century.
What to Expect at Wesley’s 9:30 Traditional Service
People begin to gather for worship. Some sit in the pews quietly, spending a few moments in reflection and prayer. Others greet one another, meet new people or catch up with old friends in the back of the sanctuary. As 9:30 draws close, the organist begins the prelude welcoming worshippers to find a seat amongst the gathered community. Wesley’s clergy process during the prelude, reaching the chancel steps in time to turn and welcome the congregation. “Wesley is a diverse and welcoming congregation,” the pastor says and the whole congregation responds together, “We welcome and extend the grace of God to everyone.” Our mission at Wesley is to be just that and we desire our worship service to reflect our vision of that kind of community.
As the service continues the congregation is invited to join in singing the opening hymn. Music is a very important part of worship at Wesley, whether it is congregational singing, choral presentations, solos or instrumentals. We value singing together and all the ways music moves and guides us in giving praising and thanksgiving to God.
Children are important in the life of Wesley Church and we reserve a special place in our service of worship to engage with the youngest among us. The children are invited to come forward after the opening hymn to meet with one of the clergy or one of the wonderful lay members of our church for a special time of learning and experience. Parents are invited to accompany their children if that is more comfortable for them. This time is often just as meaningful for the rest of the congregation as it is for the kids.
The prayers of the people bring the needs of our community and our world before God as we seek to express both our thankfulness to God as well as our requests. We believe God hears our prayers and is shaping us through this time into the community we are called to be. The reading of Scripture and the proclamation of the Gospel through thought provoking and action inspiring sermons are also shaping us into this dynamic community of faith and practice. We believe the words of the Bible and our clergy’s sermons inspire us to hear a message for day.
The time of proclamation leads into a time of response, as the congregation is invited to return our selves and our gifts back to God through offerings. At Wesley we recognize giving as a spiritual discipline that engages us deeper into the life of the church and moves us to meeting the needs of the world. Guests should not feel they have to contribute to the offering, but they are invited into this meaningful time of spiritual connection with God and others.
On the first Sunday of each month the congregation participates in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. This is a meaningful time around the Lord’s Table to which everyone is invited. At Wesley we practice open communion, which means you do not need to be a part of the United Methodist Church, or any church, to receive. All who seek Jesus are welcome to participate in the sacrament of communion regardless of your age, race, economic standing, sexual orientation, marital status, or physical condition. The bread and cup are the gifts of God for the people of God.
The traditional service concludes with a final hymn, and a spoken benediction. As the clergy recess the congregation is invited to greet their neighbors with the passing of the peace, one of the most ancient practices of the church. At Wesley we seek to be peacemakers in all we do, so this traditional passing the peace is how we choose to conclude our service of worship. We are sent out to be peacemakers in our daily lives.
Dress at Wesley
Dress is casual at all services, although there is a great mix of dress at the 9:30 traditional service. You, however, are welcome to wear whatever feels most comfortable for you.
All are invited for a time of refreshment after the 9:30 service in the Watseka Lounge from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. for continued conversation, meeting new people and catching up with old friends. Fair Trade Organic coffee is served along with home made cookies, etc. There is also fair trade coffee available for purchase during coffee hour at the west end of Watseka Lounge.
Special Worship at Wesley
Wesley finds great inspiration for today in the timeless and meaningful traditions of the ancient church. Wesley follows the church calendar year inviting the congregation into meaningful seasons of participation including Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week and Easter. Throughout the year, there will be several special services in addition to the liturgical seasons and special Sundays including Peace with Justice Sunday, United Methodist Women Sunday, Earth Day Sunday, World Communion Sunday, and several others.
*This is not an exhaustive list of all the special or liturgical Sundays celebrated at Wesley.
July is Music Month at Wesley with special services:
July 29th – Old Fashioned Hymn Sing – We’ll sing our favorites together in an all requests service.