We understand that visiting a church for the first time can be an intimidating and awkward experience. But knowing a little about what to expect can help set one’s mind at ease – and perhaps even lead to a more meaningful and enjoyable encounter. So, here we’ve tried to answer some common questions, but if you have others, please don’t hesitate to contact the church office, or ask a greeter upon your arrival.
What should I wear?
Come as you are and be comfortable. Some of our congregation enjoy dressing up for church. Others prefer jeans and a t-shirt. Either is fine, and so is everything in between.
Where should I park?
We have three parking areas as seen on the aerial map below. You can enter all three lots from Center Street. The areas marked by the yellow “HC” provide several spaces reserved for handicap parking. Streetside parking is also permitted on both Park Avenue and Center Street.
Where do I go?
There are several entrances that can be used to get to the church sanctuary. The three most common are indicated in the adjacent aerial map. The entrances indicated by the red and blue arrows allow entrance at the rear of the sanctuary. An usher will be near each of these entrances to give you a worship bulletin, answer any questions or provide additional directions. The yellow arrow indicates the entrance at the office and educational wing. Follow the signs and/or people to worship – and please don’t hesitate to ask someone for directions. The yellow and red entrances are street level and are handicap accessible.
What is the worship style?
We follow a fairly traditional Methodist service; ours typically includes a time of greeting, a group call-and-response Call to Worship, hearing of Scripture, a morning prayer and the Lord’s Prayer said together, a sermon, offering, and singing of hymns accompanied by piano and organ.
Upon entering the sanctuary you will be greeted and handed a bulletin that will guide you through the worship service. We use projection screens with clear graphics and words that help guide the service. View a recent worship bulletin to get an idea of the order of worship. You can also view a video of a worship sermon for an example of our pastor’s preaching style. We also live stream our entire service on the Internet which can be viewed any Sunday morning by going to our YouTube Live page. Our service begins at 10:50am and lasts until about noon.
Are children welcome in worship?
Children are always welcome in the sanctuary, and we offer resources to help them get the most out of their time in Worship. Children’s worship bulletins and worship bags can be found on the tables at the back of the sanctuary. The bags contain colored pencils or crayons and activity sheets. During the service, the children are invited to come forward for the pastor’s Children’s Time. This is a special time where the child who had the Jesus Doll for the week shares a photo of their adventures.
We have additional children’s ministries during worship you may utilize. Our nursery is available for children through age 3 which is equipped with pagers for parents who wish to use them. A preschool church is offered for ages 3 through pre-kindergarten on the second floor of the education wing which gives the children time to play, watch a Biblical video, and have a snack.
Will I be recognized as a visitor?
You will not be asked to stand up or to wear a red ribbon, but you may be greeted and welcomed by any number of our church family. We do ask members and guests alike to fill out the week’s Connect Card found in your bulletin which lets us know who attended. The ushers pick them up after the offering.
Do you have accomodations for the hearing impaired?
Yes! The Sanctuary is equipped with a hearing assistance system. Ask any usher for a receiver which allows you to adjust the volume for your individual need.
Can I participate in Holy Communion?
The table of Holy Communion does not belong to a particular church or group – it is the the Lord’s table. We practice open communion, meaning that you do not need to be a Methodist or a member of First UMC to receive the bread and unfermented wine (grape juice). Jesus Christ invites all that earnestly repent of their sins and seek a closer relationship with God to the Lord’s Table.
Do I have to join the church?
No, you do not have to join. You are always welcome to worship with us and participate in any of our activities and ministries. We believe that the Holy Spirit works within other churches. If you have previously been baptized we do not “re-baptize” you.
Membership is a choice and commitment which we want you to make only when the time is right for you. We encourage you to discuss any membership questions or plans you have with our pastor. You may indicate your desire for this conversation on your Connect Card or by calling the church office.
Learn more about our United Methodist ways from ‘Chuck Knows Church’!
Watch the video series ‘Chuck Knows Church’ to learn more about the United Methodist Church. There are over 100 episodes of Chuck explaining the United Methodist Church in his own….well, unusual way. These videos are entertaining and educational. Enjoy!