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What to Expect at an FUMC Worship Service

Visiting a church for the first time can be a bit of an adventure! Here's a bit of information to help you prepare.

What should I wear?
Be yourself. We’d love to meet you just as you are! Some people will be wearing suit-and-tie and dresses, and some people will be wearing t-shirts and jeans or shorts. Most of us try to “look nice” while still being comfortable, so just wear whatever that means for you.

What time should I get there?
Arriving ten minutes before the service would be good, to have a chance to check the place out before the service starts. Many of the “regulars” show up for the 10:30 service at 10:25 or later. And we usually stand to sing early in the service, so you can easily slip in without making a commotion if you’re running behind. There is usually a Sunday School time for adults before the service, from 9:30 to 10:15, but be sure to call ahead during the week as that schedule can be a bit random.

Is there going to be parking or transit?
There is plenty of parking on the streets nearby. There’s a tiny lot behind the church building, but it usually fills up quickly. Transit is close by, on the #8 Fraser St. bus, or on the #49 on 49th Ave, although they are both infrequent on the Sunday schedule.

Where do I go in and where do I sit?
Head up the massive stairs on 52nd Ave and in the front door. Someone will be there to say hello and give you a “bulletin” and then you can seat yourself. It doesn’t matter where you sit, although the back pews tend to be more crowded! :)

Is the church building handicap accessible?
Yes, to a point. The building is old and has three stories, meaning lots of stairs, but there is an elevator between the basement and the main floor. The main concern is that the bathrooms are in the basement and the elevator is not convenient to use during a service, so that may be a problem for some people. If you need to use the elevator, you can enter through the double doors on the west side of the building, from the alley between 52nd and 51st streets.

What’s the service going to be like?
Most services have a “worship leader” who will give a welcome to the group and a few words or Bible verses on the theme for the day. The music team will then lead everyone in 15-20 minutes of singing. Next is the passing of the offering plates—visitors aren’t expected to put anything in, just pass the plate on to the next person or to the row behind you. Next will be some scripture, maybe an “action word” of drama or puppets, followed by a 20-25 minute talk by a pastor or another leader. There may be another song before the “sharing time” where people can give requests for prayer or make announcements or discuss the day’s theme or message. During this time you’d be welcome to introduce yourself if you want, but you aren’t obligated to. After the sharing there will be a prayer, a closing song, and a some closing words. That’s how it usually goes, and anything out of the ordinary will probably be noted in the bulletin you get when you come in.

Is there anything I’m expected to do, or anything I’m not allowed to do?
Not really. We generally stand to sing and sit for everything else, and we try to give clear instructions from the front on the rare occasion that we do something unusual. Participation is always voluntary.
One thing that might be different is the passing of the bread and juice for Communion/The Lord’s Supper. We do this four times a year, and anyone who has been baptized as a Christian is encouraged to participate, regardless of denomination. Those who have not been baptized are offered a grape instead of the bread and juice. The whole thing is fairly private, so you can choose to participate or not.

Where’s the bathroom?
Downstairs, in the basement. If you can’t find it, just ask.

What do I do after the service?
After the service, we always have coffee and cookies downstairs, so feel free to follow the crowd down the stairs on the left hand side for some casual conversation and fellowship. If you would like to talk to a pastor, or are in need of prayer, just come up to the front after the service and someone would be happy to talk and pray with you. Sometimes we also have potlucks or special meals after our service, and you are doubly blessed if you come on one of those days -- we'd love to have you join us!

So come on over! If that doesn’t answer all of your questions, contact us and we’ll do our best to fill in the blanks...