As you arrive
From the moment you park your car, we hope you feel our efforts to welcome and include you. There are three main entrances, but all three lead down hallways to the center… the Narthex. There you will find snacks and drinks, fresh coffee. Our greeters and ushers will gladly answer any questions, but won’t swarm you. You’ll bump into plenty of people getting ready for groups or worship. It usually happens that you see someone you already know!
Entering the Worship space
As you enter the Worship space, you’ll notice some traditional things, and some not-so-traditional things.
You will be given a bulletin, a program with the order of service. Inside you’ll see the flow of worship, from the opening songs to the closing benediction. You’ll also see a large screen at the front projecting images, song words, or other aids as we go through worship together.
You will see a pulpit, a font, and a table. The pulpit respresents the word of God, and from it, children, youth, and adults will lead us through worship. The font is the bowl, pitcher, and water, where we baptize. The table is where we remember how He broke bread and poured the cup as symbols of how he was broken and poured out for the world.
You’ll see we don’t have an organ, but we do have a powerful piano and pianist. We do have a choir, and some some folks who often ring handbells. You will likely also see few guitars, and maybe a fiddle or hammer dulcimer.
We don’t have pews or hard wood floors. The worship space is carpeted, and there are movable, padded chairs for the congregation, which we sometimes move around for special seasons or services.
When worship begins
Together, we will hear an old bell ring three times, calling out attention to what’s ahead.
Together, we will some fun announcements from the many different ministries and interests across the church family.
Together, we sing! Songs are printed in the bulletin, projected on the wall, or numbered and found in the purple hymnal, under the chairs.
Together, we read aloud words of prayer or praise! The leader (liturgist) will say some of these words. Then the whole congregation will respond or say other words, usually printed in boldface type. (By saying words of confession, affirmation, or scripture out loud, the words of faith begin to soak into us. But if certain words don’t fit or feel right to you, no biggie! Skip over them, and rejoin where you can!)
Together, we read God’s word. Follow along in your own Bible, your Bible app, on the screen ahead, or in a blue pew Bible, under chairs or from an usher. Our pastor or guest preacher will do their best to show us what those words might have meant in the original languages and in their ancient context, and then suggest what they might be saying today.
Together, we respond to the preacher and the word. If the preacher asks a question, feel free to toss out an idea in response! We hope you feel free to join in, but never pressured to do so.
All throughout worship, prayer, and study, there will usually be laughter, maybe a few tears, and quiet time for personal reflection.
Together, we give back to God some of who we are and what we have in offerings of time, talent, and treasure. All members are encourage to setup automatic giving of their “tithe”, with no strings attached. But then, we also give extra, as an offering, to ministries or missions that need extra help.
In everything we do, God is our audience, the one we gather to know, hear, and worship.
Folks and families might stay after for a meeting. They might go out together for a meal. They might continue the conversations about life and family that started before worship. They might check in with the pastor on a specific prayer need.
We believe that we don’t come to church. We come together to worship God. But when we go, we go to be the Church. Everything we do and say out there is representing God. The church is the body of Christ, and so we go from worship to be His hands, to speak His words to the world.