Worshiping at St. John’s for the first time?
If you’re visiting this page, you’ve probably got some questions and you’re looking for answers. We understand it can be intimidating to visit a church for the first time. You might ask yourself, “What’s going to happen when I come in the front door?” “How will I know where to go and what to do when I get there?” “What will I do with my children?” “What should I wear?” “What will the service be like?” All kinds of unknown factors can make church seem very intimidating.
We hope to answer some of the questions you might have about our church before you visit. All of us at St. John’s truly hope to make your visit with us comfortable and so that you can worship instead of worry when we meet one another for the first time.
What is worship like?
We hope to make our worship as “user-friendly” as possible. Each week the order of the service is printed in the bulletin along with our songs and lessons for the week. You will receive a bulletin and a warm welcome from one of our ushers when you first enter the door of St. John’s.
Our worship is liturgical, which means that we have a set order of worship every week.
At St. John’s you can expect to gather with fellow Christians to confess our sin and hear God’s word for forgiveness.
You will hear the word of God proclaimed in scripture reading, preaching, and song.
Every week we eat together the bread and drink the wine of communion and are connected intimately with the Divine, strengthened in faith, and pointed to service and love in the world.
We will pray for the needs of the whole creation and be empowered by God to be a living presence of faith, hope, and love in the midst of our community and the world.
We hope in experiencing God’s presence in worship with the community of St. John’s you will come to more deeply understand who God is and who you are and be opened to finding God’s presence in your day-today life.
How should I dress?
You might wonder how you are expected to dress at a church you’ve never visited before. Since the Bible presents no dress code, except for simple decency and Christian humility, St. John’s doesn’t make any rules either. On any Sunday at our church you may see running shoes and heels, shorts and suits, t-shirts and ties. When a person dresses out of love for his or her Lord, the choice of dress, be it casual or more formal, is acceptable to God . . . and us.
What about the offering?
Like most Christians, our members bring offerings to God each week. Since offerings are gifts of love for God, no one dictates what each person is to give. These offering give us the opportunity to not only show love to Christ, but also to support the work of our congregation as we bring the Good News of Christ’s love to more people.
As our guest, we will not expect you to contribute an offering, nor do we want to pressure you into doing so. You may wish to learn more about our ministry before bringing your offerings to God through our church, but you are welcome to participate as your heart leads you to give.
What is the worst that can happen?
Visiting a church for the first time can feel overwhelming. Here are a few of the worries we have heard from folks visiting St. John’s:
“I would just die if they made me stand up and say something.” We can assure you, we won’t intentionally embarrass you in this or any other way. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible and at home with us. Time at church should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience. We promise to do all we can so you can worship and not worry.
“I know my child is going to be too noisy.” Our congregation is a family and like most families we are a mix of infants and kids and teens and adults and elderly. It is not unusual to hear the cry of a baby mixed in with the sound of hymns or readings. We also have activity bags for children ages 5 and under for use during the worship service.
“I know I will feel out of place.” We hope this brief introduction worship at St. John’s has helped to ease your mind, but if you have a question, please ask someone for help. Don’t hesitate to say, “I’m new here. Can you help me?” We can assure you our members are more than willing to help!
“I’m afraid I’ll say or do something wrong.” You are not alone! All of us, at some time, have felt this way in a new situation. We hope you’ll see that the people of St. John’s are ordinary people like yourself.
We hope that this page has answered any questions or concerns you might have had. Please ask if you have any other questions. We look forward to welcoming you!