Hillsdale’s Orthodox Presbyterian Church is now offering a service for church members and students to gather together for Psalms and prayer before beginning the day.
At 8 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, Hillsdale’s Orthodox Presbyterian Church meets for 15 to 20 minutes to listen to an Old Testament reading, read Psalms in response, and pray together. The service, headed by Orthodox Presbyterian Church Deacon Eric Hutchinson, is only in its third week, but has already garnered the attention of several who now plan on attending.
“This is a way to start the day, for those who are Christians, for those who are part of our church or even not, to make sure that we’re putting our faith in God first,” Orthodox Presbyterian Deacon Adam Carrington said.
Carrington, who has not yet attended, said the service is to be similar to the worship he does with his family at home.
Senior and OPC attendee Margaret Odell explained that liturgically, the morning prayer is something students of other denominations may be familiar with.
“It’s pretty similar to how you would expect an Anglican morning prayer service to go, very similar liturgy, and we use a lot of prayers from the Book of Common Prayer,” Odell said.
Hutchinson added that they draw from the Book of Common Worship as well.
“I sort of combined and modified them just to have something that would be a little bit shorter, so that the time doesn’t become prohibitive for people who might be interested in coming,” he said.
Odell pointed out that the service is also open to students outside of the church who may be interested.
“I think people assume it’s from the OPC, therefore it’s only for that strain of Presbyterian denomination, but that’s not true. It’s very ecumenical,” she said. “I think it’s a really good thing that prayer services like this are starting to pop up, because it’s encouraging Christians as well as Hillsdale students to view the Protestant tradition as it is: rooted and grounded in tradition.”
Hutchinson, who leads the prayer and has been at the church since September 2007 said that the goal of the service is prayer, “the thing itself.”
“I think that it can be difficult for students when they get really busy to have any regular pattern of devotion during the week, and if you’re on your own, in my experience, often it’s not going to happen,” Hutchinson said. “But if you have a group to do it with, if there are others that are doing this thing together, then it becomes a lot more plausible, and can be a source of encouragement.”
Carrington called the morning prayer “a needed ballast.”
“The day can get very confusing and have a lot of challenges, and I think beginning with prayer is a good way for us to understand that this world isn’t our home, and understand that while we want to be good stewards in this world, ultimately God is in control.”