WHAT TO EXPECT DURING WORSHIP
Maybe you haven't been to church in a while. Maybe you have never been to church. Or perhaps you do go to church regularly but you've just never been to this church.
Visiting a church (any church) for the first time can be scary. Every church does things a little differently. What should I wear? How do I know when to stand? Am I allowed to take communion? What happens during communion?
Hopefully this will help you leave your anxieties behind so you can relax and enjoy the service.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING WORSHIP
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Dress is anything you’re comfortable wearing—you’ll see everything from shorts and t-shirts to suits and dresses, so come as you are. Remember to bring your mask!
WHAT SHOULD MY KIDS DO DURING THE SERVICE?
Children of ALL ages are welcome to sit with you during the service. The sound of children is not a distraction! We love to hear children worshipping with us! There are books, puzzles, crayons and coloring pages, and other activities in the back of the sanctuary. Children are welcome to help themselves and bring it back to the pew with them.
The nursery is also open during both Sunday School and the Worship Service. Gretchen, our nursery teacher, encourages play and also has age-appropriate lessons for the kids. When you drop off your child, you will have to option to take a pager with you up to the sanctuary. That way the nursery volunteers can reach you if they need to.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN TO STAND? (OR SIT DOWN?)
It can be stressful trying to figure out whether your should be standing or sitting. Thankfully the worship bulletin will tell you. If you see an asterisk (*) beside the item in the worship order, that means everyone is standing. If there is no asterisk, everyone sits.
Of course, if for any reason you cannot (or do not want to) stand, you are more than welcome to continue being seated. We want you to be comfortable, not pressured.
CAN I TAKE COMMUNION?
When we say that ALL are invited to the table, we mean it. ALL includes YOU.
If you are uncomfortable taking communion, do not feel embarrassed to pass the plate without partaking. It is there if you want it, but no one is keeping track of who does (or does not) take communion.
COMMUNION SEEMS IMPORTANT. WHAT IS IT?
As members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) we believe that the Lord’s Supper is central to our common worship. We cannot imagine one of our Sunday morning worship services omitting the sharing of this meal at Christ’s table. While we celebrate our diversity, it is our unity at the communion table that forms us into community. Because of this, our whole service is shaped around our communing with Christ, from the opening call to worship to the benediction and sending forth.
HOW DOES COMMUNION WORK? WHAT DO I DO?
Most of the time, communion goes like this:
The minister will invite everyone to join in communion.
An elder will say a prayer at the communion table.
The diaconate (the people serving the communion) will make their way down the aisles carrying one plate of bread and one plate of grape juice.
There will be one diaconate member on each end of the pew and they will gradually make their way down the sanctuary.
When they get to your row, they will pass a plate with plastic cups that contain a wafer and grape juice (the two plates of bread will meet somewhere in the middle) and then pass the plates back down the pew the way it came.
As the plate makes its way back, serve the person next to you. Then they will take the plate and serve the person next to them. Do this until the plate returns to the diaconate member.
You may eat the wafer and drink the juice whenever you are ready. Some people do it right away. Others prefer to say a little prayer before eating the wafer and drinking the juice. Either way is fine.