Planning to Visit

What to Expect in Worship

Visiting a new church, or re-connecting after a long while, can be an uncomfortable, and often confusing, experience. We’ll work hard to make you feel welcome and to make your worship experience fulfilling. Here are answers to a few questions you may have.

What kind of church are you?

Christ First is part of the larger United Methodist denomination. Each of our members and visitors is on a faith journey of some sort.  Many are mature in their faith while others are just beginning to explore faith … and we know that God meets us wherever we are on that journey.

What music do you play or sing?

We draw from a rich heritage of traditional hymns as well as some spirituals and contemporary songs. We have an adult choir which sings during the 10:30am service (beginning Sept 2014) and a bell choir which performs periodically. Hymnals are located in the pews for the congregation to sing along and words are also provided on a large overhead screen.

What should I wear?

It doesn’t matter, and God doesn’t care. You’re welcome to wear whatever makes you feel comfortable … jacket and tie, a dress, jeans, your favorite team jersey and ball cap..

Will I have to stand up and introduce myself?

No. Understanding that this makes most folks uncomfortable, we don’t ask visitors to introduce themselves during the worship service. After the service, the Fellowship Hall, located through the door in the back of the sanctuary, is open for light refreshments each Sunday. You will meet many members of the congregation during this time and get to know us better.

Do I have to become a member of the church?

Only if you want to. Throughout the year we offer membership classes to explore membership and what it means to promise to support the church by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness.

If you celebrate communion do I have to partake?

We celebrate communion at least one Sunday a month as part of the 11:00 worship service and weekly at the 9:00 service. The United Methodist Church has an open communion tradition in which anyone who seeks to be in a relationship with God is welcome at the Table, but if you’d rather not receive communion, that’s fine. If you have trouble getting around, the communion servers will bring the communion elements to you.

Can I bring kids to the service?

Yes, infants and children of all ages are welcome. For the younger children there is a Children’s Moment with the pastor, early in the service, and then kids 5 and younger may go back to the Nursery or remain with their families. The Nursery is available during both services.

Do you pass an offering plate?

Yes, an Offering of financial gifts is a formal part of the worship service, normally accompanied by contemplative music. But if you are unable or not inclined to offer a gift you may just pass the plate along to your neighbor. Some prefer to offer their gifts online, which you can do from our homepage “Online Giving” link.

Does your service include Bible readings?

Yes, there is normally at least one reading from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.

Does your service include a sermon?

Yes, the worship service includes a 15-20 minute message, normally delivered by our pastor. The message is scripture-based and ties in with the morning Bible readings.

Do you baptize people?

Yes, at any age. For those who are at that place in their faith-journey and ready to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, the United Methodist Church offers baptism, normally conducted as part of a worship service. In our tradition, the sacrament of baptism is conducted by the pastor and usually includes placing a small amount of water from the baptismal font onto the head of the person being baptized, either by pouring or sprinkling. We also practice immersion baptism, at times.

Do you say the Lord’s Prayer in worship?

Yes, we recite the Lord’s Prayer during the Pastoral Prayer portion of the service, along with Prayers of Joy or Concern voiced from the congregation.

Is there Sunday school?

Yes, there are Sunday School opportunities for children, youth and adults between services, from 9:00am-10:00am during the school year. Sunday school will break for summer.

Do you offer Bible-study classes?

Yes, Bible study classes are offered during the week. Our callendar will show you details.

Can I come just for Sunday worship, or could I get involved in other activities?

You can be as involved as your time and energy and inclination allow. Some of our members and visitors cannot attend Sunday worship, but are regularly involved in church-related activities during the week. If you’re curious, take a look at our Outreach Programs and Ministries pages to see where you can serve God in the community and around the world.

My youngster loves to sing … are there choir opportunities for young people?

Yes, indeed! There are opportunities to sing for children of all ages. Music Director, Amber Sumner, will have opportunities during the year for children to learn songs and perform before the congregation. Check our calendar for more details throughout the school year.

Is there someone I can contact for other information?

Yes, you can call our office at 907-376-3109. Office Hours and Tuesday - Thursday, 10:00-2:00 and our secretary is wonderful about responding to messages left on the answering machine.