Attending a Sunday morning worship service is one of the best ways to get to know our church community. This introduction may provide a starting point for knowing what to expect when you choose to join us on a Sunday morning.
Our church is located in a residential neighborhood here in East Gloucester. As such, parking is sometimes challenging. Regular attenders are encouraged to find parking on Chapel Street and other nearby streets. But as a visitor, arriving 15 minutes early will most likely afford you a space in our rear parking lot. Then walk around to the front of the church to enter the sanctuary through the main doors.
ENTERING THE CHURCH
Coming up the front stairs, you should be welcomed by one of our greeters in the foyer. Mention to them that you’re new to the church, and they’ll be happy to spend a few minutes with you, answering any initial questions you might have. If you have children, ask them about the children’s programs, and they’ll direct you to the right place!
FINDING A SEAT
Coming into the sanctuary, you’ll be delighted by the 1970’s era green carpet and pews that greet you. If the main floor is full, there is a balcony. We encourage you to introduce yourself to someone, or to sit and prepare for worship in prayer – sometimes it’s a bit noisy, but don’t overlook the importance of quieting your body, mind and heart as we prepare for worship.
Our worship services tend to include an opening time of community life (some announcements, some focus on local church events, a ministry team report, or a time of congregational prayer), worship in song, and teaching from the Bible. Musically, our worship is usually led on acoustic guitar or piano, with bass guitar and a drum kit or cajon. It is predominantly contemporary, but evidences an appreciation for the power and theology of the older hymns that sometimes find their way into our worship with new rhythms or melodies. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month.
Our expository preaching seeks to study the Bible and highlight truth and application that is relevant to the world today and our lives as followers of Jesus. For most of our teaching series, we have a Preaching Team that meets each week to study and plan sermons together, as well as a team of preachers. You may or may not hear one of the pastors preach the first week you attend. We are constantly equipping and teaching lay leaders how to study and preach God’s Word effectively. Our style is casual, but we take God’s Word very seriously as we seek to encounter His glory and understand His encouragements and admonitions for us.
We see giving as an act of worship and gratitude to God, and so we choose to make the act of giving a significant element of our time together. If you are visiting, please don’t feel obligated to give; simply engage in worship and enjoy your time with us. But when the time for the offering comes, don’t be surprised when — right in the middle of a worship song — people get up, leave their seats and come forward to the front of the church to offer their gifts as a legitimate and meaningful act of worship.
AFTER THE SERVICE
We encourage you to stick around afterward and meet some of the people who call this church their home. We know this is difficult for some, but introduce yourself to someone; hopefully someone will introduce themselves to you. There’s usually coffee available somewhere in the building, and during the summer, we have an all-church cookout on the front lawn on the last Sunday of each month.
On a flap inside your bulletin is a CONNECTION CARD. We’d love you to fill it in and let us know who you are, and that you joined us for worship. You can give the card to one of the greeters, or simply put it in the offering plates on your way out. This connection card can be the next step in finding your way into a small group, or onto a ministry team, or just to let someone know you were here.
MORE THAN JUST SUNDAY MORNINGS
We also recognize that being a part of a church is so much more than just a Sunday morning experience, so we encourage you to find a member of our Leadership Team (they’re the ones wearing the lanyards with the white name tags) and pepper them with any questions you might have. They will be delighted to meet you and to answer any of your questions and to help you get to know our church better as we try to follow Jesus together.