Music plays a large role in our worship. In a typical worship service at FPC, as much as fifty percent of the service may involve some musical activity! Music has an important place in worship, not for artistic or aesthetic reasons alone, but because God desires it. Psalm 98, for example, is God’s command for His people, and all creation to praise Him.
"Oh sing to the Lord a new song...Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord...Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together."
At FPC, we believe in the regulative principle of worship. This principle states that the only elements of true worship are those specifically identified by God through His Word. The singing of hymns and songs is one of those essential elements (as well as the reading of holy Scripture, prayer, the preaching of the Word, the presentation of offerings, the confession of faith, the observance of the sacraments, and on special occasions, the taking of vows.) But, how do we choose the music we offer?
We use three basic criteria to select our worship music: Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. All three must be present before a piece of music is considered for choir or congregational singing. Following is a brief explanation of each of these three criteria:
All sung music, whether for choir, soloists, or congregation must have text based on the truth of Holy Scripture. The texts cannot contain heresy, or be in conflict with our Reformed doctrines, which are based on Scripture. This first criterion is the most objective of the three. Either something is true or it is not.
Because our music is sung in the worship of God, the texts should also have a dignity that reflects the character of God. When combined with beautiful music, the poetry of the text will stimulate thoughts and emotions appropriate to worship without resorting to undue sentimentalism. The music also will be characterized by high musical quality and aesthetics. This criterion is more subjective.
The music must be singable, within the abilities and experience of those participating in worship. A Bach Cantata, for example, certainly fulfills the criteria of truth and beauty, but the complexity of the musical form (not to mention that they are in German!), would make them unsuitable for congregational worship at FPC. This criterion is perhaps the most subjective.
What is most important is that we sing for God’s enjoyment. That is the bottom line for Christians desiring to please God through His sung praise. God never accepts worship that is presented as empty ritual (Isaiah 1:10-15). Before we can bring our sacrificial offerings of prayer and praise, we must first love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We believe that by carefully using our three criteria (Truth, Beauty, Goodness), we have a basis for singing that will be genuinely energetic, enthusiastic, beautiful, and pleasing to our Lord.
We offer our regular music series to inspire faith, reverence, and joy in our FPC family and local friends, using music to move hearts. We share the musical gifts of our own congregation and invite outside artists to perform music both from our own faith heritage as well as from our world culure. It is our sincere hope, that through these concerts, we are able to introduce our community to our church family, to the gift of music from God, and to God himself through our work. We want to share the joy that we have in Christ. Although a love offering is usually accepted, the concerts in each series are free and open to the public - a gift from our congregation to our community.
Choirs and Instrumental Groups
Under the direction of Rev. John Moore, there are several choirs and instrumental groups that regularly enhance our congregational worship:
(Adults and children from 7th grade and up) – Meets every Wednesdays from 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM in Room 145
(All instruments) – Meets in the sanctuary on select Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM or at specified times for Christmas, Easter, and special concerts
Meets on select Sunday afternoons in the sanctuary from 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Sanctuary Concert Choir
Meets on select Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM for individuals who would like to sing at our church, yet are unable to attend regular Wednesday choir practices.