Here are a few answers to questions we’re asked.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? We’re just an email or phone call away.
Am I really welcome? Yes. When we say that ‘All are welcome’ we truly mean it. We are an ‘Open and Affirming’ church that welcomes all people, regardless of any superficial human-made differences or distinctions. Our church family is made up of all kinds of people with a wide array of wonderful gifts they share.
Can my children participate? Children are an important part of our community. Please know that we are glad to have them in worship with us. It’s fine if they squirm and make a little noise. Following ‘Story Time’ (a short reflection geared for our younger ones doing worship), our children usually go downstairs to participate in their own way of being church. This often involves singing and craft projects, Bible stories and skits, games and service projects. If you feel more comfortable, or they feel nervous or shy, your kids can just remain in worship.
Do you offer something for infants and toddlers? Yes. We have separate Nursery care staff for infants and toddlers (up to age 4) during our Sunday worship service. The nursery is located downstairs and is adjacent to the Sunday School classroom. Our nursery has several cribs as well as safe, clean, and age-appropriate toys. It is staffed by a team of trained and highly skilled caregivers. Toddlers have a spacious play area with many fun, safe, and interactive toys.
What is the United Church of Christ? This is the network of churches to which we belong. A denomination is simply a network of churches with shared beliefs, history, or ways of being organized. In New England, most ‘Congregational’ churches joined the United Church of Christ in 1957 with three other smaller denominations. You can check out the UCC’s great homepage here: http://www.ucc.org
Do I have to belong to your denomination to attend church? Not at all! Most folks in our church actually have a background in some other denomination – former Catholics or Lutherans, Presbyterians or Baptists. We are a ‘patchwork’ church in which people with many different church backgrounds are woven together in our community. Once or twice a year we offer membership classes for those who would like to deepen their faith commitment by officially joining our church family.
How do I know what is going on? Each week we send out our now famous ‘Weekly Reader’ email. In it you will find a brief reflection on the upcoming Sunday sermon and any news about the worship service (special speakers, music, guest preachers, etc.). We also include a few upcoming events and opportunities for spiritual growth and education, service projects and community building. It’s the fastest, easiest, and best way to stay connected and informed. We also have a Facebook page that is updated. The Sunday worship bulletin (that outlines the worship service) also has most of the same information too.
Is there a dress code? Yes. We do require that you wear clothes. Really, just come as you are. Some folks dress casually while others get dressed up in their Sunday best. Just wear whatever you are comfortable with. The important thing is that you’re here.
Can a guest take communion? Yes. We usually celebrate communion on the first Sunday of the month. Communion is a tangible reminder and experience of God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ. We practice an ‘open table’ where anyone is welcome to share in communion, whether they are a church member or not. There are no prerequisites or requirements. Jesus didn’t make them, so neither do we.
What if I don’t know what I believe? You can belong even if you’re not sure what you believe. Lots of people have questions here. Faith is a journey of exploration and we are all in different places along the way. We don’t see doubt, questioning, or uncertainty as being an ‘enemy’ of faith as some churches do. Rather, these are the partners to a mature and meaningful faith. It’s only in questioning that we can really explore and grow.
Where should I sit? There are no assigned seats. You may sit wherever you like.
How much does it cost to go there? Nothing. We collect an offering every week, but it’s not for people who are checking out the faith or the church. We are a church that is 100% supported financially by the good people who have chosen to make this church their home. You’re not going to find us trying to squeeze cash out of you every time you walk through the door like some places. Our giving doesn’t flow out of compulsion or guilt, but rather out of desire to love God more fully, to practice greater generosity, and to be a part of what God is doing in and through the work of our church.
How long does your worship service last? We generally aim for a full hour. On Sundays with special events (baptisms, communion, extra music, new members joining, etc.) it sometimes stretches to an hour and fifteen minutes. After church all people are welcome to stay around for our coffee hour. It’s a great chance to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.