Baptism, Communion, Special Services
Baptism is a Sacrament in our church. Baptism usually takes place during a worship service when the infant is from one to nine months old and symbolizes his or her birth into the church family. By touching the baby's forehead with water, the minister reminds the members of the congregation of Christ's baptism and of our own baptisms, and our responsibility to take care of and raise this baby in our church family. However, people may be baptized at any age...and it is always a cause for celebration!
Baptisms at West Side usually take place once a month at the 10:00 a.m. service. Please contact the office for more information.
We trust in God the Holy Spirit who feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation...
These words from "A Brief Statement of Faith" reiterate the importance of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper for Presbyterians. They affirm that the initial action of this divine meal begins with God. God in Jesus the Christ offers the bread and the cup and bids us come.
Everyone who believes is welcome at the Lord's Supper, which is held on the first Sunday of the month at the 10:00 a.m. service, and every Sunday at the 8:45 a.m. Chapel service. You do not have to be a member of our church or any church. It is an open communion, regardless of your faith tradition or affiliation.
We who come need not be concerned about our personal appearance or aptitude. What matters is that the love, the grace, and the hospitality of the host create The unanimity among us. This meal is provided, not because we have earned the right to eat and drink with Jesus, but simply as an act of divine love. The service of thanksgiving and praise includes thanks for God's creation, for deliverance from sin, for the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and for the privilege of participating in the promised fullness of the kingdom.
Christmas Eve Services
There are two services on the day before Christmas:
- At 4:00 p.m., the Service of Lessons and Carols features the Youth and Senior High Choirs, handbells, and brass instruments, plus readers, and uses Scriptural passages describing the events of Jesus' birth.
- The 10:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Communion Service features the Chancel Choir, harp, strings, and preaching from the senior pastor. It is preceded by a half-hour of music from the handbell choirs and instruments.
We mark the beginning of Lent with the Ash Wednesday Service. This service, which begins at 7:30 p.m., includes imposition of ashes for those who wish it.
Holy Week Services
Holy Week is the concluding week of Lent and follows our Lord's journey to the cross:
- Palm/Passion Sunday, worship is at the usual times: 8:45 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. At the 10:00 a.m. service, the children's, youth and Chancel Choirs sing.
- Maundy Thursday worship is at 7:30 p.m., with music provided by the Senior High Choir. Holy Communion is served, in remembrance of Jesus' last meal with his disciples.
- Good Friday, the day of Jesus crucifixion, there two services. At 1:00 p.m. there is a Service of Prayer in the Chapel. At 8:00 p.m., West Side holds its traditional Service of Tenebrae, a dramatic service of readings and music with the children's, youth and Chancel Choirs, plus string ensemble.
Festival Easter Services with Holy Communion take place at 8:45 and 11:15 a.m. on Easter Sunday, with participation by the Chancel and Senior High Choirs, brass, and Westminster Bell Choir. The prelude begins at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m.
New Year's Eve
There is one last service as the calendar year comes to a close: the New Year's Eve Service. It is held at 6:30 p.m. on December 31st and followed by a brief New Year's celebration in the narthex...a great alternative for those who don't want to be out late!