Worship with Shelby Presbyterian Church on Sundays is at 10 a.m. in the sanctuary and live online, with Sunday School starting at 9 a.m.
Each week, worship is intended to bring together all the people gathered in the knowledge first that they are loved by God and that they are called to share that love in the world today. Worship here follows a liturgy, or framework, centered on participation which connects our worship here and now with the great cloud of witnesses who have been the church for nearly 2,000 years. In addition, the church follows the historic liturgical calendar, with the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost and Ordinary Time, helping us to find our rhythm in the rhythm of the gospel story.
In most Worship services, we sing and pray in unison, reinforcing that we are not merely individuals, but a community that God has called. We are each different and unique, but we have a shared mission - God's will on earth as it is in heaven - and we share this ministry of service with each other and all who have come before us to boldly love God and neighbor.
You are invited to join in as you are comfortable. A bulletin is printed each week with prayers and the songs to help you follow along.
Advent and Christmas Eve Services
In the Season of Advent, Shelby Presbyterian Church anticipates the hope of Christ’s return and the incarnation with an annual intergenerational gathering on the afternoon of the first Sunday of Advent with activities geared toward setting the tone of the season. The church then gathers for a “Hanging of the Greens” in which members of all ages come together to decorate the church, worship together, and end the night decorating our outdoor Christmas tree. Each Sunday, we light the Advent wreath marking the season, while incorporating special music from our chancel choir, bell choir and children’s choir.
On Christmas Eve at 5:00 p.m., Shelby Presbyterian Church gathers for an intergenerational “Family Service” to proclaim the birth of Jesus through the word, hymns/carols, and a special adaptation of Tommy DiPaola’s “The Friendly Beasts” with farm animal puppets. The service ends with the singing of “Silent Night” by candlelight. This service is enjoyed by participants of all ages, but especially our children.
During the 12-day Christmas Season, at least one service usually centers on “Lessons and Carols,” to present the continuity of God’s story from the Old Testament to the New, with our favorite hymns and carols punctuating the story of God’s people.
Lent and Easter Week
The season of Lent begins each year with Ash Wednesday, with a special service at which the imposition of ashes will be offered to all who long to remember their need for God.
During Lent, the congregation is encouraged to find new ways of being mindful of God’s call on their lives, be it by adding a new devotion or positive habit, or cutting back on something that can be a distraction to our faith.
On Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, Shelby Presbyterian Church begins Holy Week with the distribution of Palms and a procession remembering Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem the week before he died and rose again.
On Maundy Thursday, the church celebrates communion, remembering that first night in which Jesus commanded his disciples to “do this in memory of me.”
On Good Friday, the church gathers in the chapel for a musical service featuring the talented offerings of members of the congregation, marking the somber truth of our Lord’s betrayal and death.
On Easter Morning, all who attend are invited to bring fresh cut flowers and/or greenery to put in the cross outside, before gathering for a celebration of the Resurrection and the sharing of Communion as one body, called by this momentous occasion to be Christ’s body in the world.
Heritage and Homecoming Service: The Kirkin’ O' the Tartans
Traditionally held in September, people of every cultural heritage are invited to celebrate our shared heritage in Christ with a special service known as the Kirkin’ O’ the Tartans, which celebrates our roots in the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
You do not have to be from Scotland to appreciate the sacrifices made by our Presbyterian ancestors. Their perseverance and dedication led to the establishment of Presbyterian congregations here in North Carolina and across the country. In the service we ask God’s blessing on the families, organizations, and districts represented by the tartans and on all who share and celebrate our Presbyterian heritage. The service includes an impressive processional and display of clan tartans representing our church families and associations.