Attending a new church for the first time can be intimidating. Let us walk you through what you can expect the first time you visit with our family.
Who can attend service?
That’s a GREAT question. The short answer is: EVERYONE. The long answer is: John Wesley and the early Methodists placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action, therefore we believe and work hard at embracing ALL people. EVERY person is a child of God, and we will accept them AS THEY ARE, regardless of race, national origin, status, economic condition, gender-identification, or sexual orientation. Basically, if you want to attend church, you should come.
For a full explanation, please review the “What we believe” link on the main web page.
Ok, but what if I haven’t been to church in a long time? Or I’m from another denomination? Or I’m divorced? Or I am LGTBQIA? Can I still come?
ALL ARE WELCOME IN THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH WITH OPEN HEARTS, OPEN MINDS, AND OPEN DOORS. We believe God’s grace is available to all people, no matter where you’re from, what you look like, or who you love. That’s why our communion table is open to all.
You aren’t going to make me stand up in service or do anything weird, are you?
No one will make you stand up and introduce yourself, or wear a special ribbon, or a big visitor nametag or anything like that. However, you may be greeted and welcomed by any number of our church family. During service an attendance pad is passed through the congregation during service, we do ask that you sign in to know that you visited us. You will receive additional information from our church and a note during the week.
Will I have to meet with the pastor or join the church?
Nope. Our pastor is usually available between services, and loves to speak with new people—but she will not ask you to join the church immediately, or ask that you get involved in any of our ministries right away. If you decide to join our church, she will want to speak with you to answer any questions you may have about the United Methodist church in general, and/or our church in particular.
When are the services? Is there a difference between the services?
There are three services on Sunday, and they are all in the sanctuary:
- 9:00 am – Traditional Service (hymns featuring a choir), communion service on the 1st Sunday of the month, and special holidays
- 11:15 am – Contemporary Service (modern worship songs featuring a live band), communion service every Sunday
Where are the services? You have several buildings… where should I enter?
All of our services are held in the Sanctuary—that’s the smaller building on the left side (as you face the front of the church)—and there are several doors by which you can enter. If you need to use a ramp you should use one of the handicap accessible entrances.
How should I dress?
We want you to be comfortable attending service. You will find our congregation will dress anywhere from business formal (suits and dresses) to quite casual (tee, shorts, and sandals). That said, you may see more formal dress in the traditional services and casual dress in the contemporary service. Honestly, we’re just happy that you’re here!
Do I need to bring anything? Like a bible?
If you would like to bring a bible, you are welcome to do so, but it is not required. We have bibles if you would like to use them, but they are not necessary for worship. We put the readings on the projected screen for all to read along.
How early should I arrive?
Just a few minutes before service. We have the opportunity for all attending service to mingle before and after service starts in the Family Life Center. We have complimentary coffee and breakfast items (usually donuts) available, but you’re always welcome to bring your own.
I have children, will they be welcome in service?
ABSOLUTELY! Children of ALL ages, abilities and gender expressions are welcome.
But what if they get fussy, or are loud, or even start crying?
When you are here, the church is filled with a beautiful, joyful noise, and we would not trade that for all the silence in the world. It might not seem that way in the moment, you might even feel like everyone is looking at you, but the presence of children in the church (regardless of whether they are quiet or loud) reminds us that worship is not about quiet contemplation and ceremony, but coming together as a community to share in the grace of God. They might not get it fully right now, but you’re helping to build a relationship between them and God, and that’s a good thing. This article (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-bruesehoff/parents-kids-church_b_3909085.html) is great for explaining why we love children in church.
What if I need to take my kid(s) to the bathroom, or change them?
What if I have to go to the bathroom during service?
You should absolutely take your child (or yourself) to the bathroom—we do not want to have any accidents or embarrassing moments because they’re afraid to “disturb” the service. The bathrooms in the Sanctuary/Fellowship Hall can be found here:
Can my children participate in service?
There is a designated children’s message time just before the sermon. During that time we normally breakdown the message of the sermon in a way that children can better understand. All children (young and old) are invited to come up and participate in this part of the service, and pick something from the “treasure chest” before returning to their seats. Preschool and nursery age children can go with our nursery attendant at the end of the children’s message, and be picked up after the service is over.
Where is the nursery?
All of our classrooms (including the nursery) are in the Family Life Center. If you enter the church through the Fellowship hall, it is the building across from the playground. You are welcome to leave your child (or children) with the nursery worker for the entire service, or just after the children’s message.
Where should I sit?
There are no assigned visitor’s seats in the church. You may find people who will sit in the same spots, but don’t be afraid of sitting where you are comfortable.
What if I don’t know the songs?
You don’t have to sing—but do remember that any noise (no matter how off-key it may be) is a joyful noise in God’s ears.
They’re passing a plate around for money, do I have to give money?
We are always glad to have any offering, no matter how small, but it is not a requirement of attendance. If you want to give, but don’t have the means to do so at this time, you can also give online via our website (look for the Online Giving link at the bottom of the pages).
Why is everyone holding hands and singing?
Joining hands and singing “God be with You,” is a tradition at our church. You don’t have to participate if it makes you feel uncomfortable—but it IS a lot of fun!