What to Expect

Just coming to a new church the first time can sometimes cause a bit of anxiety. Please know that we are doing our best to make you feel welcome, so please speak up to your neighbor or an usher if you have a question or feel uncomfortable. We’re a friendly bunch.

On Sunday morning, come up the stairs to the main doors under the blue awning. You will be greeted and handed a bulletin containing the order of service. Head into the sanctuary on your left and sit wherever you are comfortable. Note if you turn to your right instead, you will find accessible unisex restrooms down the hall.

You’ll find the accessible entrance up the ramp on the west side (left as you face the building). The sanctuary is the first door on your right after you enter.

Sunday begins with the Jumpstart Breakfast, where early birds drop by for cereal, fruit and yogurt, toast or English muffins with jam, and coffee or tea.  Sometime our breakfast cook gets carried away and makes green chile scrambled eggs. Come in the west entrance up the ramp and follow the hallway back to Perea Hall where goodies await. 8:30 a.m.

Next comes the Sunday morning Bible-based class for youth and adults, 4-week (Lent and Advent) to 8-week units of lively, moderated discussion of books on topics ranging from interpretation of scripture to lives of religious thinkers, to evolution of church doctrines, to ways of doing God’s work in the world – stimulating whether you have read the chapters or not, whether you are a regular attendee or have dropped by for a single session. Meets in the East Wing at 9:15 a.m.

Our worship service is informal and focused on worshipping God in community. For example, during the Passing of the Peace (“Peace be with you.” “And also with you.”) we also say hello and check in with each other. The room bustles with people chatting and everyone trying to shake hands with everyone else. Then the pianist starts “Blest Be The Tie That Binds” to signal that it’s time to find our seats again.

We sing a lot on Sunday mornings. We sing a wide variety of songs and hymns, from old favorites to contemporary Christian; contemplative Taizé chants to world music from places like Africa, Asia, and Latin America. We have a lot of strong singers in our congregation, so you can usually hear someone to follow if a song is unfamiliar. Please enjoy the music in whatever way is comfortable for you.

We welcome children and infants at our worship services; they are a part of God’s family, too! A little extra noise or commotion is just part of life together and we don’t worry about it too much.

We have activity bags with crayons for children to use if they need a distraction from the adults. Please ask an usher if you would like one.

If you would like to take your little one to a separate space for a while during the service, we offer a nursery in the east side of the building, just beyond the bathrooms. An usher will be happy to show you the way.

Most Sundays we will have communion. Presbyterians have an open communion table, meaning (to quote one of our songs) “this is God’s table, it’s not yours or mine…” You are welcome to join us in communion if you would like to. You don’t have to be Presbyterian or a church member; you need only be seeking to follow God.

Sometimes we have communion by intinction, which means each row comes in turn to the front via the center aisle, then the servers offer each person the bread and then the cup. Just follow the person in front of you and you’ll be fine. You pull a smallish hunk of bread off the loaf, dip your bread into the grape juice, and then eat. Don’t be shy about the amount of bread you get; a small piece is hard to dip. You return to the outside of your aisle and find your seat.

When we don’t have communion by intinction, we pass communion plates in the pews. Servers come to each row and pass a plate with pre-cut pieces of bread. Take a piece and hold it until all have been served and the pastor tells us it is time to eat together. This process is repeated with small cups of grape juice. Take a cup and hold it until we drink together. There are holders in the back of the pew in front of you for the empty cups.

Our service includes short times of pure silence, and times of meditation when some instrumental music plays. These times are not structured. You can use them however is comfortable for you. They are an opportunity to be still and listen for God; to be open to whatever image or feeling God might be wanting to give you today. Ideally, this is not a time to go through your “to do” list for the day, or rehash the argument you had with your spouse that morning. But sometimes that sort of thing happens to all of us, so don’t stress if it happens to you.

If you feel a need to occupy yourself during the silence, try a Breath Prayer. Place your feet on the floor and relax your body, starting with your feet and working up to your head. Now, become aware of your breathing, just as it is. As you breathe in, imagine God saying “I love you” as God’s love comes into your body to nourish it. As you breathe out, imagine saying “I love you” in response to God as you give yourself to God just as you are — in gratitude or irritation, weakness or strength. Every breath. In and out. “I love you” from God and “I love you” in response. We think you’ll find the time passes quickly.

If you happen to visit on the fifth Sunday of the month, you’ll find something a little different. Near the end of the service, we offer an opportunity to recognize that we are all in need of healing of some kind. You are invited to come forward for anointing with oil, if you are comfortable. 

After the service, you are invited to join us in Perea Hall for some conversation and goodies, as well as coffee, tea and other beverages. Go out the door at the opposite side of the building from the one you entered. Perea Hall is at the end of a short hallway. Just follow the crowd and make some new friends.

We do not have a parking lot, so your first option is to park on the street. The Post Office across the street is closed on Sundays, so it is OK to park there for the Sunday worship service, though not on other days of the week.

There is one handicap parking spot in front of the church. This is left free for loading and unloading. Please come in via the ramp to the west door.