If you’ll be visiting us for the first time for one of our Sunday morning worship services, then here’s an overview of what to expect:
Where To Go
Whether you enter the parking lot off Spreading Oaks or through the cemetery, you won’t be hassled about where you park—just pick a spot! You’ll want to head toward the large drive through covering that is on the back side of our newest building. Come through any of the big doors there and you’ll find greeters who will point you in the right direction. Our worship room is directly beyond that entrance, and our nursery (for children infant up to 3 years) is through the coffee area and down the hall to the right. If you come for Sunday School (9:00 a.m.) all classes for preschool through high school are in the big building to the rear of the campus. We call it the Friends Center. Greeters will be able to point you in the right direction and anyone across our campus will be pleased to help you along the way. Adult classes are located in the Parlor (which is in the small building in the middle, enter through the glass doors under the breezeway) or in the Brides Room, which is in the main office hallway right next to the coffee area.
What To Expect In Worship
(Note: from now through the end of September we are in a trial period of holding one worship service at 10:00 a.m., featuring a blend of different styles of music. During September we will decide whether to keep that schedule or return to the two service format described here.) We have two worship services each Sunday. The first at 9:30 a.m. tends to be a bit more formal than the second. Music in this service is accompanied by piano and sometimes, organ. We sing songs mostly from our hymn book, but from time to time, we sing an old gospel song accompanied by guitars. The 10:45 a.m. service features music by a band. Congregational singing is largely of songs that are on the CCLI playlist.
Our worship services are informal compared to many other churches. We’re not liturgical (don’t use written liturgy in worship), but we take God and worship seriously. Our services usually last about one hour. They begin with a musical prelude and words of welcome followed by scripture reading and prayer. Next we usually sing several songs together (you’ll find words to the songs on the screen or in the song book). Our worship continues through the giving of our money to God through the church—this act is not expected from visitors, but is a way our regular members have found expresses their thanksgiving and trust in God.
A unique part of our worship is what we call “unprogrammed worship.” It is a period of silence in which we speak to and listen to God corporately. It is a pause from the words and noise that surround us all week, and it allows us to settle in a way that prepares us to sense God’s presence among us. Sometimes someone will stand and speak during this time. They might offer a prayer, or a prayer request, read from the bible, or give a brief message to the congregation. Since we believe all people are taught and instructed by God, and that all people are gifted and called to be ministers, we consider any message brought during this time of unprogrammed worship to be worthy of serious consideration.
Finally, a pastor preaches for 20-25 minutes. The sermons are focused upon a biblical text and work to help listeners understand how the biblical narrative informs and shapes us today. Sometimes, the congregation sings a closing song before we are dismissed from worship with prayer.
We dismiss children ages 4 – 12 about half way through our worship service to “children’s church.” Kids are welcome to go or to stay in worship, either way, but most children love to go. Our director of children’s ministry and trained volunteers direct children’s church. If you send your kids when they are dismissed, you can pick them up after worship in the Friends Center, which is the big building to the rear of our campus.
What To Wear
People in our worship services wear everything from coats and ties to shorts and t-shirts. You’ll find a wide variety of apparel is acceptable and no one is even particularly worried about how others look. The majority wear very casual clothes. Come dressed comfortably in whatever way you choose.
When you walk in the door, someone will greet you and hand you a bulletin with church news and announcements in it. Feel free to introduce yourself to others around you and ask questions about the church. Worship will start on time each week, so move to your seat by 9:30 or 10:45. A small register book in the pew in front of you offers you an opportunity to sign in your name and contact information if you’d like us to have it. You can also request a call from a pastor or more information about the church.
Fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you shortly. Or give us a call at 281-482-7821.