FPC Frequently Asked Questions

 At FPC Springdale we know that visitng a Church for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. You may see or hear things that seem unfamiliar and result in questions. What does that mean? What do they believe? What do I wear? We want you and your family to be comfortable and your questions answered. Here are a answers to some frequently asked questions that might help you to better get to know us as a Church family...

What is Worship like at FPC Springdale?
In worship, we gather as a community of faith to praise God, to pray, to give, to hear and respond to God’s Word, and to celebrate the sacraments. The worship hour is perhaps the most significant hour of the week, for it sets the tone for our worship of God in all we say and do.
 
Our worship focuses on the challenges of contemporary life as we seek to know and follow God. Shaped by worship, we seek to share God’s grace through education, fellowship, music, and inclusive outreach ministries to those in physical and spiritual need. Beneath our similarities FPC Springdale members express and respect a diversity of approaches to belief. Most are seekers, confident in our beliefs but open to new revelations and deeper levels of spirituality.
The sermons honor the best of Biblical scholarship along with the compassion of Jesus and in prayer and sacrament we find the Risen Christ present.
Music at FPC Springdale borrows the best from our tradition while remaining modern and lively. By following along in the worship bulletin, the first time worshipper can easily navigate the service. On a second visit, you’ll know exactly what to do.
 
What time do you Worship?
We offer worship services each Sunday.  At 10:30 a.m. Seasonal worship services occur on important days of the Christian year, such as Christmas Eve, Easter Sunrise, Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday/ Good Friday.
 
How do I dress at FPC?
You will find a wide range of dress on any given Sunday. Suits and ties are worn by some, collared shirts by others. Many women wear dresses while others wear pants.  Please feel free to come in a way that you feel comfortable.
  
What about Child Care?
Child Care is provided by part-time trained employees who are wonderful with the children of FPC Springdale. Childcare is provided on Sundays from 930am-1130am and throughout the week for special services and activities as needed.
 
I love Music, tell me more about the Music opportunities at FPC.
Our Director of Music leads a fully developed music program of adult and children’s choirs, occasional orchestra opportunities as well. The sanctuary instruments include a baby grand piano, and wonderful pipe organ to provide musical support for worship. Our Chancel Choir sings each Sunday and children’s choirs participate at least monthly. We also regularly highlight our Handbell Choir called the “Crandall Ringers.”
 
What is the Order of Worship? How is Worship Organized?
 The services follow a traditional Presbyterian order of worship. We seek to be faithful to Scripture and the Reformed tradition while embracing the best of contemporary insights on worship.
 
·         Welcome and Announcements:
This is a time in Worship in which announcements are made and opportunities to be included in ministry are offered.
·         Call to Worship:
A responsive reading that is inspirational in some way to begin to ready our hearts and minds for worship.
·         Confession/Assurance of Pardon:
Unique to Presbyterian worship is the Call and Prayers of Confession. The purpose is to ready yourself to hear Gods Word by first confessing of Sin. Together we say a communal confession that states the sinfulness of mankind, second you are asked to take a moment to consider in silence your own personal prayers of confession, and then we are assured in worship that God has indeed granted us forgiveness. This frees us to focus in Worship and not on our shortcomings but Gods word and possibilities for life.
·         Passing of the Peace:
The congregation shares with one another words of peace, saying together:
Leader: The peace of Christ be with you.
People: And also with you.
There is time here also for the congregation to greet those around you with appropriate words and gestures.
·         Time for Young Disciples
Our FPC Children come to the front of the Sanctuary for a short time of learning and discussion usually on a topic that fits the theme for that days worship.
·         Sermon
This is Gods Word to us. We prepare ourselves to hear it. We ask God to Speak and our Teaching Elder delivers a message from Gods Word. We are then asked to respond to Gods Word through the giving of offerings or participation in the Sacraments.
·         Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer
This is a short time in worship when we lift up the prayer concerns of those in our congregation, community and in the World. We go to God in prayer together as a family of faith asking for Gods divine intervention and then say together the Lords Prayer.
·         Presentation of God’s Tithes and Our Offerings
The presentation of offerings in the Presbyterian tradition is seen as an act of grateful response to God. (Visitors should not feel obligated to contribute.)
·         Charge and Benediction
A blessing that is to send us into the World to continue our worship in service and love to others.
 
Often times visitors ask questions about some of the things that make us unique as Presbyterians, here are a few weird Presbyterian things/words.
·         Minister’s Robes
Our Ministers also called Teaching Elders wear black clergy robes in worship for two reasons. One is to emphasize the importance that the Presbyterian Church holds in the education of its ministers. PC(USA) ministers are required to hold at least a Masters of Divinity and pass a series of educational and theological exams before entering the ministry. Secondly the worship robe is used to hide the clothes of the minister and anything else that might be a distraction to the congregation reminding all that the minister is simply not in worship to show off or represent him or herself but instead present to represent the word of God proclaimed.
·         Elders
There are 18 Elders active on the Session at FPC Springdale at any given time. Both Men and Women are included as Spiritual leaders in the Church and help to lead in worship in various ways including the officiating of the Lords Supper.
·         Liturgist
The Liturgist is simply a congregant that is helping in worship to read a scripture and lead in a few prayers.
·         Acolytes
Acolytes are usually children in the Church that are charged with lighting the Christ candles in worship to represent the presence of Christ with us in Worship. They also help in various other ways during worship. Acolytes at FPC Springdale attend an Acolyte Academy in which they are taught the importance of Worship and its elements at a young age.
·         Sacraments
The PC(USA) has 2 Sacraments. A Sacrament is an act of symbolic faith that is set aside for believers in Jesus Christ. The 2 Sacraments we celebrate are:
Sacrament of Baptism
Often there is a baptism, sometimes an infant and sometimes an adult. Presbyterians believe that God loves us and our children, and that parents and the faith community are to educate and support the child in such a way that she or he will always be aware of God’s love and acceptance. Baptism is a way of saying, "You belong!"
Sacrament of Communion or The Lords Supper
At FPC Springdale the Lords table is not a Presbyterian Table but a table open to any and all who trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  The Bread represents the body of Christ broken and the Cup represents the blood of Christ shed for the forgiveness of Sins. When taken we are to Remember Jesus Christ.
·         The Gloria Patri and Doxology?
These are two traditional songs that are sung in worship.
·         Doxology:
This song is an offering of praise sung by the whole congregation at the conclusion of the collection of Tithes.
       "Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
       Praise Him all creatures here below.
       Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
       Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen." 
      The Gloria Patri:
 This is a song of thanksgiving that is Sung at the conclusion of the Prayers of Confession and the Assurance that God has forgiven us of our Sins.
"Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, it’s now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen Amen"
·         Creeds: The Things We Believe
This is an opportunity to say together a portion of what we believe. The text, printed in the bulletin, is typically taken from one of the creeds or widely accepted statements of faith of the church.

We are called together by our Faith in Jesus Christ to Worship, Study and Serve