What To Expect

First, a word about what to wear. On a typical morning, you will find both casual and more formal attire. It’s really not a big deal with us, since worship is more about the condition of your heart than the clothes you wear. Dress up or dress down. Welcome!

We begin our Lord’s Day with a prayer service at 9:15am in the sanctuary. This is an informal gathering for prayer. We hear a brief encouragement from Scripture to frame our time together, then we pray for each other; we pray for the upcoming services and we pray for our world. All of this takes around 20-25 minutes as we close each gathering with a song on our lips.

Sunday school for all ages begins at 9:45am. There are usually three different classes offered for the grown-ups of varying styles and topics. As well, there are four classes for our youth: nursery age, pre-school, elementary and middle/high schoolers.

At 11:00am, we gather for worship. You will find that our style is a blend of contemporary and formal. The service is structured with a traditional Presbyterian liturgy. We come together with a Call to Worship followed by prayers of Adoration, Confession and an Assurance of Forgiveness. We then hear the challenge, as well as the responsibility of living into the Summary of God’s Law (i.e. loving God and neighbor - Matthew 22:36-40) and then fleshing out that confession out by Passing the Peace to our neighbor! (When you visit us, don’t hesitate to walk up to those you are worshiping with and proclaim, “The Peace of Christ be with you!”)

In the end, all worship is, as C.S Lewis famously said, “practice for heaven.” We are forgetful people, and so we need this cycle of confession and forgiveness often. This is why we do this every week; not so that it becomes a rote, mindless exercise; but to drive home the reality of who we are in Jesus Christ.

From there, we prepare to hear the Word of God read and proclaimed with offerings of special music. Just before the music, we often invite the kids forward to share a word with them that we call The Gospel for Everyone. We cherish this element in our service because it says to our children that worship isn’t just for grown-ups; it belongs to everyone, of all ages!

As for the preaching, you can expect a message that responds to the question some Greeks put to Philip in John 12:21, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Jesus is the focus and locus of the Scriptures (cf. Luke 24:27). Likewise, we recognize the truth of this pithy truism: "If you don’t know the Scriptures; you don’t know Jesus." So, it is Him in His Word we proclaim and unpack. You may call us evangelical. You may call us traditional. But what we really want is to be found faithful.

All in all, you can expect an average worship service to last an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. (Sometimes on Communion Sunday – the first Sunday of each month – it goes a little longer.)

Have a look around our website. Sample a few sermons. Check out the blog. Look at the pictures. Soak in the flavor of our church with the activities listed. And please be our guest if you happen to be in the Salem area on the Lord’s Day; or if you are looking for a church community with which to worship and to belong. Come on!