What to Expect on Sunday
A warm and enthusiastic welcome
As you will hear at the beginning of the service, ALL are truly welcome at First Church regardless of identity, status, belief, and/or life experiences. First Church joyfully welcomes everyone of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, ages, races, and ethnicities, economic and social statuses, physical, mental and emotional abilities, faith backgrounds, marital standings and family structures into our community—to share in the FULL life, leadership and ministry of First Church.
A worship service including prayer, music, responsive readings, scripture and a sermon
The Sunday worship service begins promptly at 10 AM, and runs approximately 65 minutes. Communion Sunday is observed on the first Sunday of the month (more details below). Other special moments in the life of the church, such as baptisms, confirmations, and the welcoming of new members are woven into the Sunday services throughout the year.
An open Communion on the first Sunday of the month
The open welcome extends to Communion Sunday: ALL are invited to the communion table regardless of faith, membership, age, or any other distinction. Children may participate, and the Church has recently “renovated” its communion service to more fully embrace all ages in worship. Featuring an interactive sermon incorporating story-telling and direct congregational involvement, this service also includes extensive congregational singing from a variety of world cultures. Both the Chancel Choir and the Children’s Choir provide musical leadership with piano accompaniment.
Communion is offered toward the end of the worship service, and consists of a piece of bread (gluten free is available) dipped into a chalice of non-fermented grape juice. We practice “intinction” which means you come forward by row to receive the bread, then dip it into the cup of juice, to be eaten immediately before returning to your seat. Those unable to come forward may have Communion served to them at their seat. When the communion server offers you the bread and the cup, they will each say a phrase of invitation, such as “the body of Christ”, or “the cup of blessing”. You are welcome to respond by saying “Amen” or “Thanks be to God,” words of your own, or silence.
11-5-17 Communion Service
11-5-17 Communion ServiceChildren led Service, guided by Rev. Ian Holland. Followed by Communion. Sample of servcice, approx 1 hr long.
A note for parents
For children 0 to 2, Nursery care is available in the lower level of the church during the worship service. If your child stays with you during the service, there is a small rest and respite room available for parents and babies, right next to the sanctuary (to the left as you exit) with a changing table, rocker, comfortable chairs, and a bathroom. Children 3 to 12 are invited to participate in Sunday School downstairs during the early part of the worship service. On Communion Sundays (the first Sunday of each month) children are invited to remain in the sanctuary for the full service, and to join their families in Communion. There is no Sunday school on Communion Sundays.
Handicapped parking is available in front of the church. There is a ramp leading into the main part of the church building with access to the sanctuary, fellowship hall, and an accessible restroom. A special section of one pew is set aside for wheelchair access. If you need to step out for a moment or are unable to sit in the pews, the worship service is shown on the television in the Library, down the hallway to the left coming from the Sanctuary. In the Library, you can walk, stand, or sit as you need and still hear, see and participate in the service. Large print bulletins are available from the ushers. Outside the sanctuary, there is a box containing hearing aid devices, along with headsets and ear pieces, for those whose hearing is compromised.
Fellowship following the service
All are welcome to join us in Clarke Hall for chat, fellowship, coffee and treats following the worship service. Just follow folks down the hallway to the left as you leave the sanctuary.