Currently, Tustin Presbyterian Church has one worship service every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Worship is traditional in nature with the entire service carefully planned by the Pastor and other members of the church staff. Music is a very important part of our worship services, both in congregational singing and through the voices of our choirs. Most Sundays during the year, our Chancel Choir, a talented group of about 25 adults, sings a wide variety of music, accompanied by a 53-rank pipe organ. On special occasions, the choir is also accompanied by orchestral instruments.
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month and at other special worship services. (A complete schedule is shown below.) We also joyously celebrate the baptisms of infants, children, and adults when the opportunities arise.
Children are very important to our worship. Each Sunday the children attend the first portion of the worship service and then go to Sunday School after meeting at the front of the church for a Children’s Moment with the Pastor or another member of the church staff. Several times during the year the Children’s Choir or the Handbell Choir also shares their music during worship. For the very young children, nursery and toddler care is available during the worship services.
Communion Schedule for 2021
Recent studies have shown that many positive benefits accrue when families dine together frequently. The same may be said of our church family. We are enriched both as individuals and as a congregation when we break bread around the Lord’s Table regularly and often.
In 2021 we will continue to celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month. First Sunday communions will normally be served in trays in the odd-numbered months and by intinction in the even-numbered months. Our special evening communions (Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday) will be by intinction.
Thanks be to God. We have now re-entered our renewed worship space. As we look around perhaps we will see this space with new eyes, with renewed faith, with refreshed spirits. We see the central symbols of our worship as reminders that point us to our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Biblical images, many from the fourth gospel, focus our worship on Jesus Christ who is light of the world, living water, Word made flesh, Good Shepherd, bread, vine, resurrection, and eternal life.
The hymn, “God is Here,” describes beautifully the central values of our life together as believers. Our beautiful, historical, renewed sanctuary is the location, the place, where we gather to practice our faith, week in and week out. This sacred space is also the springboard that sends us out into God’s world to be Christ’s disciples by the power of the Spirit.
Reflect on these symbols in our worship:
The lectern is the place where Scripture is read and prayers are led. We believe the Bible to be the Spirit-breathed Word of God. As we gather, we see that God’s Word is our focus. We listen attentively to the reading of Scripture, hoping, expecting to hear God’s voice to us here and now.
The pulpit is shaped like the one we know, octagonal like the font, the lectern and the table, to remind us of the eight days of the new creation. Preaching is central to our worship and is something we do together. The preacher brings God’s Word to us, but it comes alive as we listen, hear, and respond in faithful living.
The candles, especially the Easter or Paschal candle, remind us of Jesus’ claim to be the light of the world. The light of this candle reminds us of the way the children of Israel were led through the wilderness by a pillar of cloud and fire, day and night. The light of this candle also reminds us that Jesus charges his disciples to be the light of the world. Christ’s light shines in the darkness of the world, bringing hope and joy, through us.
As water is poured into the font each week, we are reminded that baptism is the way we are welcomed into the church. We baptize infants and children, believing that they belong to God even before they know it. When we see the clear, clean water, we remember the simple, pure grace of God that cleanses us, refreshes us, renews us, welcomes us.
Communion, or the Lord’s Supper is a family meal, a thanksgiving meal for all believers. We now have a beautiful new mahogany table decorated with wheat and grapes, to remind us of the earthy gifts we bring to the table and the sacred gifts Christ offers us at the table—forgiveness, grace, a new beginning, renewed relations with God and one another, nurture and sustenance for our life together and our life of service. The chalice and paten remind us of these elements, signifying Christ’s body and blood given for us.
The brass cross is a Celtic cross, linking us to believers who have gone before us, all the way back to the cross of Calvary. This central symbol reminds us of Christ’s suffering love and of his resurrection. The symbol of the cross identifies us as Christians—Christ’s own—forgiven, redeemed sinners, now disciples.
The paraments that cover the lectern and the pulpit are changed to reflect the seasons of the Christian year. For example, green is the color of the season we call “Ordinary Time”, the longest season of the Christian year, a time when we seek to follow Jesus even in the ordinary moments of everyday life. The green paraments in our sanctuary during Ordinary Time were specially designed and made by fabric artist, Jamie Fingal.
We were created to praise, to glorify and to enjoy God forever. So music is crucial to Christian worship and to the life of this congregation. Just as choirs have led the people of God in worship since ancient times, so our choir helps us sing our praises to God. Their faces, together with the musical instruments—the piano and organ—in our sanctuary are visual reminders of this high calling.
People of God
Finally, the people of God, our neighbors, our sisters and brothers in Christ, are incarnate reminders of God’s grace. We are, each one of us, unique, one-of-a-kind children of God. As C.S. Lewis once said, “Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” Together we are the very Body of Christ, and so look around and see what it means to believe, to follow, to be forgiven, to forgive, to love, to care, to share, to welcome, to encourage one another.
When the flooring in the Fellowship Hall was replaced in 2009, a labyrinth design patterned after the well-known Chartres plan was incorporated into the new flooring. A labyrinth is a complex and circuitous walk, a winding pathway that serves as an aid to meditation. Labyrinth patterns are universal. They are found in ancient cultures in basket weave designs, paintings and drawings all over the world. In the Middle Ages, labyrinths were made with colored paving stones in the floors of cathedral naves. People walked the labyrinth as a symbolic pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
To walk a labyrinth can be a journey, which leads to sensing the mystery of God at the very center of one’s being. Walking the pattern of the labyrinth seems to help people get into a meditative state very quickly – to find one’s center.
How to walk a labyrinth
Walking a labyrinth can model the three-fold spiritual path:
Purgation. This implies letting go of what blocks us in life. It is a way of emptying or releasing. Pause at the entry to allow yourself to be fully conscious of the act of stepping into the labyrinth. Allow yourself to find a comfortable pace and to stop and rest for a bit.
Illumination. This is usually found at the center of the labyrinth. After quieting the mind during the first part of the walk, the center can present a new experience. It is a place for meditation and prayer. Here you may receive an insight into a situation or clarity about a certain problem.
Union. This begins as you leave the center and start back. In communion with God you go back to your ordinary life renewed and empowered to act. You bring your gifts to the service of the world.
The labyrinth is an ancient tool. Not only can we walk it in faith with others around the world today, but we are also accompanied in our desire for transformation and holiness by those who have gone before us. While walking the labyrinth may be a private or a personal experience, it is also a global venture and a walk across time. Our very own labyrinth will be used for prayers and spiritual walking by young and old for a long time to come.
TPC Ushers Needed
If you like to smile, meet new people or say good morning to old friends, ushering may be a job for you! TPC is looking for volunteers to be ushers for Sunday morning worship services. If you would like to volunteer to be an usher, please contact our head usher, Jere Murphy, or, for further information, contact the church office at 714-544-7070.
Wanted: Sound Crew Volunteers
Do you come to church at least one Sunday a month? Can you arrive twenty minutes before the start of the service? Is your hearing, with or without a hearing aid, within the range of normal? Then you qualify to be a Sound Technician. We have a very simple system and will provide the training. An experienced technician will supervise until you feel like you are ready to fly solo. To volunteer or for more information, please call the church office at 714-544-7070.
Water Bearers Wanted
The importance of the sacrament of baptism is highlighted by the filling of the font at the beginning of each worship service. Children and adults participate in this ritual, one or two at a time. It is a meaningful opening to our worship and takes no extra time or training. We do welcome any volunteers who are willing to serve as water-bearer by carrying the pitcher of water to the font during the singing of the first hymn. Please contact the church office at 714-544‑7070 if you are willing to help.
Volunteer to Be a Greeter for Worship Services
The first thing we need on every Sunday morning, before the pastor, even before the choir, is one or two people to provide a cheerful greeting to members of the congregation as they arrive for the worship service. As a greeter, not only are you likely to get a chance to say Hi to somebody you have not seen for awhile, but you will probably get a chance to meet someone who is new to you. In any event, you will be playing an important role in our Sunday worship, one for which we need people every Sunday. All you have to do is show up about 20 minutes before the service and be ready to smile and say Good Morning!
Please stop by the Fellowship and Outreach Table, in the patio after the worship services, and sign up for a Sunday.