Everybody’s always welcome at any of our worship services. Here are some questions that people often ask us before attending:
- What time is worship?
10:30 AM every Sunday
- How do I get there, and where can I park?
Here’s the answer to both questions.
- Can I enter your sanctuary in a wheelchair?
Yes, through the patio (there’s a gate to the left of the main front door). There you’ll see large double doors through which to enter, as well as a restroom that is handicap accessible.
- What should I wear to worship?
Whatever you’re comfortable in. You’ll see some people in their Sunday best, others wearing jeans, and everything in between.
- Is their child care during worship?
Yes, there is a nursery for small children and Sunday School for children up to age 12.
- How will I follow the worship service?
There’s an order of worship printed on a piece of paper we call a bulletin (available in both large and small print versions). Someone will hand you one when you enter the front doors, and everything we do is listed there.
- Is there any kneeling, genuflecting, or signs that I need to know about?
No, Congregationalists only have two postures in worship: sitting and standing (we call it ‘rising in body or spirit’ because not everyone can stand physically). We have no special hand motions or secret handshakes.
- Is there lots of stuff to memorize for your worship service?
No. There are some things that we do every Sunday (such as the Lord’s Prayer), but the words are printed in the bulletin.
- Is your service complicated?
No. It is very orderly, and includes some standing (for those who are able). But it is not complicated. If there are any responses, they are in the bulletin in bold print, and the hymn numbers are listed in the bulletin as well as on a board at the front of the church.
- Where do I have to sit?
Anywhere you want. Nobody claims any of the seats (we call them pews) as their own.
- Do you single out visitors during worship?
No. We hope you’ll introduce yourself to the pastor and others before or after worship, but it’s not required.
- Will I be asked if I’m a Christian if I attend worship?
No. Your relationship with God is your own, and you won’t be asked about it unless you desire spiritual counseling or ask your own questions questions about it.
- Will I be pursued to become a member if I attend worship?
No. If you ask about membership, the pastor or others would be glad to talk about it. But unless you’ve been attending regularly for a while, you won’t be asked about membership… and even after a while, you are free to decline to join.
- Will I be hit up for money?
No. There is an offering each Sunday during which the plate is passed, but there is no requirement that you donate. And only members are asked to pledge money to the church—and even then, only once a year (only one person keeps track of donations, and it’s not the pastor, so don’t worry about financial confidentiality).
- If I donate, is my gift tax deductible?
Yes. If you donate by check, or place your offering in an envelope with your contact info (available in the pews), you will be credited with the donation and the church will provide you with IRS-approved documentation.
- How can I get to know the people who go to your church?
After the service every Sunday there are coffee, tea, and snacks in the social hall (facing the front of the church, any of the doors to your left will take you there). Don’t worry, there’s no charge for any after-church refreshments.
- Will I be the only visitor?
Even on Sundays when the crowd is small, there are always visitors, so don’t feel like you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. You won’t.
- What about special rituals? Can I attend church on Sundays when you’re doing those?
We have two special rituals, and everybody’s welcome to be present—nothing’s secret in our church, and nothing we do in the sanctuary is limited to members only. On the first Sunday of most months, we share in the bread and the cup for a ritual we call the Lord’s Supper. Everyone’s welcome to partake. We remain seated in our pews to eat and drink. And occasionally there is a baptism—usually of a baby or small child (but not always). This is always a joyous occasion for us, and your presence will be as welcome there as anyone else’s. In both cases, everything we do is printed in the order of worship, so you’ll have no trouble following (should you choose to participate). If you aren’t sure you understand or don’t want to participate, you won’t be singled out. Because we’re a small church, the pastor is usually readily available after church to answer any questions that arise during worship.
- Do I have to agree with everything you believe in order to worship with you or participate in other church activities?
By no means. Few of us agree on everything, and even agnostics are welcome to participate in our worship.