Worship is the response of God’s people to the grace and greatness of God. As a community of faith that represents the heritage of the Reformed branch of the Protestant Reformation, our worship is informed by the concerns of our heritage as well as our present setting.
Our response to God’s loving call…
When you come, you will find people from all walks of life. And since every worship service in every church has a structure, you will find that ours does as well. God calls us to worship and we respond with singing, prayers, and affirming our faith. We then hear from God’s Word and respond with a time of reflection, with our offerings to God, and with a reminder to walk in obedience and live for Christ.
You will find a service that is both ancient and modern. We desire to represent the beauty and wisdom of the past without feeling as though we need to repeat it. Some historic practices help teach us, like using different colors in the sanctuary to highlight God’s story of redemption throughout the year. We sing older hymns and new hymns and even older hymns set to new music.
We offer an optional time for children to learn on their level during our sermon. We call it “children’s church.” It is just outside the sanctuary and is for children age 4 through 1st grade. We also have a nursery for infants through age 3, and a room set aside for moms with young children. Our worship service can be viewed from each of these rooms via a tv monitor.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another…
The idea of serving one another is pretty prominent in the Bible. Jesus said that he came, “not to be served, but to serve.” (Matthew 20:28). There will be seasons of life when this is more difficult, like when you have a newborn or an illness. These become the seasons we get to serve you! Most of the ways we serve one another are done “behind the scenes:” preparing meals for families going through difficult times or transitions, giving someone a ride, visiting in a home, or simply listening. Others serve by helping lead our worship service musically, by greeting folks and handing out bulletins, or by assisting with our slides and sound. We also join together throughout the year to take care of the facilities and help with other service projects. As we do these things together, we get to know one another better.
We also serve one another by walking alongside our families with children to help pass the faith on to the next generation. We do this by teaching in Sunday School classes and children’s church. We also serve through our nursery, providing those parents who need some downtime a chance to learn or worship without needing to also focus on their child.
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ranson for many.” Jesus
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age…” The Apostle Paul
Grow in Grace
Learning how to live out our faith is a life-long process. It is also a community project. We desire to pass the truths of God’s Word on to the next generation. In order to do that, we need to know it as well! We learn together after worship in classes designed for different age groups. We also gather during the week in small groups so we can do the “one another” things we read about in the Bible: encourage one another, pray for one another, love one another, bear one another’s burdens, and so on.
Even with all our technology, we really aren’t that connected to others. We want to change that. Our classes and groups are not for super-Christians, but for normal people trying to figure this out. We do other things as well, from monthly Ministry to Men meetings to women’s studies to serving together. It is all designed to help us grow together as we grow in grace.
The mission takes place across the street and around the world. We engage in the mission locally as we share our time and money with the Wiregrass Hope Group, 2:20 Ministries, the Dothan Rescue Mission, and others. We come alongside our neighbors in service projects, and travel annually to Dalton, GA, to support the work of Rebuilding Hope Ministries and the Hispanic outreach of Grace Presbyterian Church.
We learn together throughout the year by reading books on the mission and hearing from local ministries as they share how God is at work. We celebrate what God is doing through our annual mission conference. We have this conference each spring and invite speakers who are making a difference around the world to help shape our hearts and minds. We also invite missionaries to join in and share how God is working in and through them around the world.
Missionaries Supported by Westwood:
- Harold and Sarah Schepian (Evangelism in USA)
- Peter and Ruth Mitchell (church planting in France)
- Wallace and Barbara Pouncy, (Retired, New Tribes Missions)
- Joe and Becky Harrell (church planting in Columbia)
- Tom and Teresa Wilson (church planting in Japan)
- Third Mill (Richard Pratt) in Orlando, FL (worldwide seminary training)
- Dothan Rescue Mission (Brad and Brandy Hardy)
- Wiregrass Hope Group, Dothan, AL
- Mission to the World, PCA
- Mission to North America, PCA
- Southeast Alabama Presbytery, PCA
“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slain, and with Your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…” Revelation 5:9
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1
and when you pray…
God has given us prayer to help us know him, bring our concerns to him, and join him in his mission. But sometimes we find it hard to pray or simply call out to Him. Other times we may be more confident about what to say. No one has this all figured out, which is why we provide opportunities to learn about prayer and put what we learn into practice. While there are times when people pray out loud, no one should feel any pressure to pray out loud. We take comfort in knowing that God knows our thoughts and delights in our prayers.
We have a “prayer emphasis week” each fall, as well as designated “prayer days” throughout the year. We pray out loud and privately from our hearts as we worship. Some gather during the week to pray together. Our elders and deacons gather on most Monday mornings to pray for our congregation by name. We also share prayer concerns throughout the week via email and pray for one another.
members of one body
We believe that the Church is the visible expression of the kingdom of God in the present age. Westwood is just one of many expressions of the broader Church. From the earliest years of the Church, people made public statements declaring their desire to be part of God’s people. We continue this ancient practice. As you connect through membership, you are making a public statement that you have called on Jesus as your Savior and desire to be part of his Church. Since we come from many different backgrounds, we recognize that there are going to be details and secondary issues we “agree to disagree” on. But we agree on the main issues, like those outlined in the historic creeds (The Apostle’s Creed, Nicene Creed).
“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” The Apostle Paul