Worship

I will gather regularly with the church to worship God, share the good news, and continually examine its implications for my life.

Worship is an extremely important and central element in the life of Oakhurst. As part of our covenant, each member pledges to gather regularly with the church to worship God, share the good news, and continually examine its implications for one's life

Corporate worship, ideally, allows us to praise God and seek God's presence as children of God. Because worship is communal gratitude and love for God our creator, redeemer, and sustainer, it also allows us to gather with one another as sisters and brothers in Christ and celebrate our community. This means that worship is not a performance by the preacher, the choir, or the musicians. Worship leaders do not substitute for the congregation or stand between the congregation and God. All persons are participants in the worship services.

Worship is also where we gain knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual strength to carry out our discipleship in the world. To facilitate this at Oakhurst, we try to worship so as to involve the whole person: head and heart, thoughts and emotions through sermons, music, dance, drama, and other means. The goal is to provide opportunities in worship both to receive sustenance and to offer our gifts and abilities for service

For the most part, the church follows a three-year calendar of Scripture readings known as a lectionary, which is designed for people to hear a wide variety of biblical passages. It also corresponds to the major festivals of the Christian church year: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost. Occasionally the church diverges from the lectionary for a special theme and to celebrate other events, such as Covenant Sunday, Reformation Sunday, Peace Sunday, World Communion Sunday, Great Day, etc.

Most worship services are planned by the staff, but for seasons such as Advent, Lent, and special occasions, a group of members will meet with the ministers to plan the services.  This allows for a diversity of theologies and worship styles that reflects the diversity and inclusiveness of the congregation

Members often participate in worship by reading scripture or offering prayers.  For those who are accustomed to one person leading every Sunday, Oakhurst's cast of thousands may seem confusing. We believe every member is a minister, and so worship is led by staff members and by lay people. We have the same idea about serving the Lord's Supper. Both ordained clergy and laity are eligible to serve communion, because we believe that we are all called as God's ministers.

For centuries people speaking the English language have assumed that words like man and his could be used to indicate persons of either gender, women or men alike. At Oakhurst we are seeking to be sensitive to the fact that our language helps shape the way we see the world, and so we are working to make our language more available to all people regardless of gender, race, or other qualities. That is why some familiar hymn texts may be altered slightly, and why the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible is most often used

Music is an integral part of worship at Oakhurst. We seek to join together the music program with the ministry and mission of the church and to use the variety of musical talent within this fellowship in the worship of God. Central to our commitment to inclusion and diversity are the two adult choirs: the Sanctuary Choir, which sings each week, and the Gospel Choir, which sings once or twice a month. The different styles reflect the diversity of musical interest in our congregation. Occasionally the two choirs combine for an anthem or choral work.

The Carol Choir is for children in the 1st-5th grades and meets on Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m.

The choir schedules are:
Sunday

Carol Choir
 – 9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Gospel Choir—1:00-2:30 p.m.

Wednesday 
Sanctuary Choir—7:40-9:30 p.m.

Oakhurst's instrumental music features a self-contained 2-manual tracker organ (built by Dan Jaekel of Minnesota and installed in 1990), a harpsichord, a Yamaha grand piano, and a fine set of handbells. The church has hosted a variety of musical events and recitals.

The banners have been made over the years by Oakhurst members. We have found that worship is greatly enhanced when all our senses, including sight, are engaged. Banners are one way that we can focus our thoughts on the service and thus worship God and enjoy God forever.

On Sunday morning, God's people gather to worship. The good news of Jesus Christ is for everyone, regardless of age or ability to understand. Everyone can respond to that good news, especially children. We welcome children of all ages in our worship services. Extended Session (nursery) is always available for infants, toddlers, and 2 through 5-year-olds. However, 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds participate at the beginning of each worship service and leave for Extended Session at a time designated in the bulletin. Once a child enters the first grade, she/he is welcomed formally into worship on Christian Education Sunday.

Children learn to be a part of the covenant community as they participate in worship and by observing and imitating what other followers of God are doing. They can begin to see worship as a place and experience in which God may speak to them. They are a part of the Christian community and discover that they are valued by God and by God's people at Oakhurst Baptist Church.