Customarily, there are slightly more than a dozen elements in a Methodist service. At NSUMC, we traditionally open our worship service with a hymn, participate in the call to worship and then invite the children to the chancel area for a short children’s sermon. We end Children's Moments with the Lord's Prayer. Next our choir shares the anthem (song); our pastor reads scripture and presents the sermon. The sermon is followed the offertory prayer and singing praise to God after we have offered our gifts (Doxology) The service closes with a hymn, benediction and then an invitation to be in community with each other in the fellowship hall.
During Sunday School we teach the children about the items on and near the chancel area. These are items that are used prior-to or during the worship service. We enter the church through our narthex (lobby). Altar is a word that the children generally know but they think that the entire “stage” is the altar. Actually, the entire “stage” area is called the Chancel area and the table in the middle is the altar. We point out to the students that the Adult Chancel choir sits in the choir loft. There is also a door at the northwest corner of our Chancel area. That door leads to our sacristy. A sacristy can include the items needed for the worship service and the vestments that the pastors wear. The kneeling rail is a place that we may go to after we have taken communion. We may kneel there and offer our personal prayers to God. We also have a pulpit. It is located in front of the organ and it is where pastors and the liturgist can stand to present the scriptures and sermons.
This summer we are offering online Sunday School lessons as well as “Busy Bags” for our children to use (and then take home). These bags have activities for the children to use during the worship service. Additionally, NSUMC is offering “Sermon Notes” to the youth (ages 10-18). These notes are journal pages to be completed during the service. These pages ask I wonder questions, favorite hymn, favorite bible passage, their most meaningful quote from the sermon, etc. All items are free and can be found on the counter in the lobby.