We’re glad you’re thinking about coming to church some Sunday. We’ve tried to answer some of the practical questions here.
Where should I park?
If you drive to the church on Sunday morning, you’ll find a small parking area on the left, directly across from our front door, as well as another area a little further up the road on the right. If those spots are full, feel free to pull up along the road on the side of the church. The roads are dirt, so no spots aren’t marked; just use your best judgment. If you need to be close to the door, feel free to park as close as you can to the walkway.
Who will be here?
If you’re a regular churchgoer, you may know that churches with fewer than 100 members are often referred to as “small churches”–by that standard, we are a “micro-church.” We are a very small congregation, but we represent a fairly wide variety of family backgrounds, church backgrounds, ages, and interests. We have professors, carpenters, musicians, therapists, teachers, and retirees among us, as well as both contemplatives and energetic volunteers.
Will I feel welcome?
In the early years of our new century, we voted unanimously to declare ourselves an “open and affirming” congregation of the United Church of Christ. We welcome all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and regardless of age or physical and mental ability. And we do mean “all.”
Is the church accessible?
Our church was re-built in 1990, in compliance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We have an enclosed lift, an accessible bathroom, and movable chairs rather than pews; people in wheelchairs have found our space quite welcoming. Our sanctuary is small and acoustically live, so we don’t yet have a sound system. We are quite willing to offer large-print bulletins and to print sermon texts to help those who would like them.
What should I wear?
It’s never fun to go someplace new and feel like you’re sticking out like a sore thumb, is it? We are a very casual community when it comes to clothing. While you might find a few people in their Sunday best at any given service, you’ll probably see more people in jeans. Wear what you want; we think you’ll fit in.
What about my children?
Because all our own children are teenagers or older, we don’t have a children’s program during worship at the moment. When visitors with children worship with us, we can offer a comfortable environment, a children’s sermon (the “Message for All Ages”), coloring materials, and plenty of room for children to relax, listen, and participate (if they wish). We’re a pretty patient group with happy baby sounds… and feel comfortable with parents taking their children downstairs if sitting through a worship service proves too much.
Is there any part of the service that is for members only?
No, we believe that Jesus welcomed and included everyone, and we try to do the same. We celebrate communion on the first Sunday of each month, and we hold an “open table.” We invite everyone present to receive communion; if you feel called to participate, we hope you will–no one will ever question you. When the time comes, after the pastor says the words of institution, those who want to receive communion come forward, take a bit of bread (regular or gluten-free) and dip it into the chalice (we use “unfermented wine,” aka grape juice) and quietly return to their seats. If you don’t want to participate in the sacrament, just remain quietly seated. You probably won’t be the only one who does.
How can I get to know the people I see in the service?
Following the service, we gather in our community room downstairs to enjoy refreshments and get to know each other better. Worshiping with us is a great start, but we’d enjoy getting to know you in a more casual setting, so if you have time, stick around!