What To Expect/FAQs

We know that it's not easy to walk into a new place, especially a church, when you don't know anyone there. Even if you are coming with a friend, it can be intimidating. And that intimidation factor doubles if you didn't grow up in a church or it's been a long time since you've set foot a place of worship. So thank you for considering joining us for worship! We promise that you will be welcome here. Service begins at 10am but don't worry if you are running a little late. We'll still be glad to see you.

What should I wear?

There is no dress code at UCCSV. Some people dress up and put on their "Sunday best" and some people wear jeans and a t-shirt. One Christmas morning we even wore pajamas! Wear whatever makes you feel confident and comfortable.

What happens on Sunday mornings?

When you come to the front of the church enter in the large double wood doors that should be open in anticipation of your arrival. To your right will be a room that looks a little like a living room or parlor. This is called our Narthex and there an usher should welcome you into our sanctuary (worship space) and give you a printed order of worship (bulletin) that will guide you through the service from hymns to prayers to collection of the morning’s offering to the benediction. If you’d like, the usher can also find you a seat. If you’re shy, feel free to nestle in at the back of the sanctuary.  If not, come take a spot in the front pews. There is no assigned seating.

Worship begins with a Prelude usually played by Stefan Petrov, our Director of Music Ministry who is also a concert pianist. As you can imagine that means the music is usually pretty spectacular. Then our Pastor, Holly Jackson, will welcome you, invite you to leave some contact information (snail mail or email) in the red folder at the end of every pew and go over any announcements for the week. Finally, our worship leader will begin with prayer and off we go.

Worship usually consists of a combination of prayer (responsive and read), silence, music and hymns, scripture readings (sometimes dramatized), a sermon or collection of testimonies, and the offering (collection of monetary gifts used to pay for the church's ministries). If you have a prayer request that you would like included in the community pastoral prayer in the middle of the service, please fill out a prayer request on the yellow sheets of paper in the red folder at the end of your pew.

After worship is over people usually file out of the sanctuary either through the back door saying hi to the Pastor on the way, or out one of the side doors for a quicker exit. Coffee, food, and conversation can be found down the hall in our Gathering Room after worship is over. You are invited to come join us but we also know it can be overwhelming to stay for fellowship time when you are newly with us so we promise not to be offended if you simply head back out the front doors.

What if it's a Communion Sunday?

We celebrate communion on the first Sunday of every month and on certain holidays throughout the year. At UCCSV all are welcome to join us at the communion table, to share in the bread and the wine/juice in memory of Jesus Christ. There is nothing you have to profess or confess in order to be a part of this ritual. The Pastor will go over logistics when introducing this portion of worship and the Deacons and Ushers can guide you so that you know what to do when. Children are welcome to participate as their parents are comfortable. If you or your child would prefer a blessing, simply tell the Pastor or Deacon when you come to the front of the church and we will pray over you instead. Or if you do not wish to come forward simply stay in your pew and we'll just smile at you from afar.

I will have children with me. Will you welcome them?

Absolutely! Jesus welcomed and loved children and so do we! If you have a child with you for worship please be sure to ask for a tote bag filled with children's activities and/or a children's bulletin in order to give your child something to focus on as we make our way through the service. If you have a little one chances are that they are going to make some noise during worship. That's okay. Baby gurgles and toddler sounds tell us that we are a congregation full of life. If your baby begins to cry or you are afraid they are distracting the people in the pews around you, you are free to take them out to the Narthex (living room like area right outside the sanctuary) where we you will still be able to hear through the speakers what is going on in worship. You are also welcome to bring your baby or toddler to our nursery where our Nursery Care Provider, Uriah Sossou, is ready and available from 9:30-11:30am to help care for your child while you enjoy worship.

During the service (except for Communion Sundays) there will be a Children's Time when kids and youth are invited to come to the front of the church and experience a lesson just for them. (But don't worry, if your child does not want to come forward they can stay in the pew with you.) Afterwards most of the children and youth will leave worship for their classrooms. If you have children in preschool through high school they are welcome to participate in our Sunday School programs, but they can also stay in worship as you or they prefer. We have two Sunday Schol classes- a Preschool-Elementary Class that we call our Lower School Sunday School Class and a Middle/High School Class that we call our Upper School Sunday School Class. Both use curriculum that is fun, age appropriate, invites questions, and allows for interaction. On Communion Sundays there is no Upper School Class and the Lower School Class begins worship in the Sunday School classroom joining us later in the service for communion.During the summer months we do not have Upper School Class but Lower School Class continues to meet every Sunday.

Will I have to sign, say or give anything?

While we hope you will participate in the worship with us by singing and saying the prayers alongside us, you could be silent the entire time and that would still be just fine. And although we'd love to have your name to stay in touch with you we get that you may not be ready to leave any information with us and that's okay too. Finally, while we do collect a weekly offering, you are under no obligation to give and if you choose to give we invite you to offer only what you are willing and able to share.

Have additional questions or concerns?

Please feel free to email our Pastor at HollyRJackson@gmail.com. We promise she'd welcome your reaching out and would be more than happy to talk to you or meet with you as needed.

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