On Sundays, we offer two worship services:
Connections is a more casual, informal service, held at 8:30am upstairs in Pioneer Hall, mid-August through May. Coffee and light breakfast are served buffet style, all are invited to sing with the band, and our pastor walks among us as he preaches. Our Connections Band currently includes keyboard, acoustic and bass guitars, and 6-7 singers. They sing and play varied music--new songs and old--from our Glory to God hymnal and beyond. The band rehearses on Thursdays at 6:00 pm in Pioneer Hall, and is led by our Director of Music, Laurie Nicholson.
Our traditional service takes place in our sanctuary at 10:55am (shifts to 9:55am during summers when our two services are combined). We are blessed to have a 19-rank mechanical action pipe organ, Letourneau Op. 133, which was installed in November of 2017. Our organist, Carla Sperry of Black Mountain, is a master of the instrument and plays service music including classical organ literature and hymn settings by current organ composers and arrangers. We also have a refurbished Steinway 1932 Model M baby grand piano which is often used to enhance the music in worship. Our dedicated Chancel Choir is currently 22-strong, a well-balanced group of singers who rehearse on Wednesdays from 6:45 - 8:00 in our choir room. Their anthems inspire our worship each week. Our congregation sings from Glory to God, the Presbyterian hymnal published in 2013.
We have an active Handbell Choir that rehearses September - May in the sanctuary, from 5:45 - 6:30 on Wednesdays. Bells are set up ahead of time so that we use the full 45 minutes for rehearsal. We ring five octaves of Schulmerich handbells and three octaves of Malmark Choirchimes. This faithful group plays in worship at least twice each semester and is currently ringing some challenging Level 3 music.
Our children’s music program is a part of our WPC Friends Wednesday afterschool gathering which meets from September through May. Stations include snacks, crafts, Bible and story time, and structured and free play. For music time, 3rd-5th graders sing and play Orff instruments from 3:15 - 4:00, and 1st-2nd graders sing and play Orff instruments from 4:20 - 4:40. In addition, all children preschool - 5th grade sing in the choir room on Sunday mornings from 10:00 - 10:15, as part of our Children's Church. All children who participate in either of these programs have the opportunity to sing and play with us in worship several times each semester, sometimes by themselves and sometimes in a joint anthem with the Chancel Choir. 4th and 5th graders and middle school youth also serve as acolytes, ring the Chimes of the Holy Trinity, and lead parts of the liturgy in our worship. Occasionally children who are piano students play a prelude. The inclusion of children and youth in worship leadership is a part of our commitment to nurture them in the faith, a pledge we make at their baptism.
For youth 5th grade and older, we have added a Sunday afternoon musical rehearsal, 4:30 - 5:30 in Pioneer Hall. Our Christmas musical is Arrest These Merry Gentlemen! by David Guthrie and Rob Howard, to be presented in Pioneer Hall at 4:00 on Sunday, December 15, 2019. Younger children will be included in singing several songs from this musical, which they will learn in their Wednesday and Sunday morning music time. In the spring of 2020, we plan to offer Mark Burrows' musical Called, in which several of our youth participated last summer at Montreat's Worship and Music Week.
For further information about any of our music groups, please contact our Director of Music, Laurie Nicholson. We hope you will join us!