What are St Paul’s services like?
Pastor Steven, our Music Minister and organist, Martha Sitler, and all involved in planning and leading worship at St. Paul's seek to help people truly worship God. We sing hymns, we pray together, we recite the Apostle's Creed as a way of affirming our faith, and we listen to God's word. In fact, the Scriptures of the day are woven into most of the worship service from beginning to end. To some, our services may be more formal and traditional than what they have experienced before as the pastor, acolyte, and choir members usually wear robes and most of the singing is accompanied by organ or piano. Others, who come from more formal traditions, may be surprised to see Pastor Steven move about the sanctuary when preaching. Our congregation is a warm and welcoming one.
What time should I arrive?
We recommend that you arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of the service. This is especially important if you have children. Checking-in children to their age-appropriate environments, such as Nursery or Worshiphouse Kids, can take an extra minute or two. Feel free to introduce yourself to one of the greeters at the entrances of our Sanctuary. They will be able to answer any questions you may have and provide you with a welcome packet. Services are 8am and 10:30am from September – June. In the summer we meet for one service at 9:30am. Please check our calendar page for specific dates and times of services.
What entrance door should I use?
We ask that you use the main glass doors in the new section of our building on Sunday mornings. However, most entry ways around the building will be open for your convenience.
Is childcare provided during worship services?
Yes, our 10:30am service has nursery care for children five and younger. Typically on the third Sunday of each month a worship service called Worshiphouse Kids for grades 2-7 in our Chapel is provided during the 10:30am service.
Where is the nursery care located?
Our nursery is located on the first floor in the older section of our building. When you enter the main glass doors on the new section of the building from the parking lot, go down the stairs and make a right. Go through a set of double doors, and then make a left into a hallway. The nursery is on the left side of the hallway. Our nursery staff will be there to greet you and check-in your child.
Does your church have Sunday School classes?
Sunday School classes are provided for all ages – from preschool through adult. Classes meet from 9am to 10am Sunday mornings from September to June. Adult Sunday school continues through the summer from 8:30am to 9:30am. We also offer mid-week youth programs. Information on our youth programs can be found on our Youth Group Page.
What happens when I visit your church?
When you visit St. Paul’s, you will feel welcomed. Whether you are seeking a new church home, or simply desiring to know more about Jesus, you will feel like you are among family.
What kind of church is this?
St. Paul's UCC is a member of a denomination called the United Church of Christ. It is a denomination that is at the same time both very old and fairly new. The UCC was formed in 1957 when two denominations came together to make something new. One of the "parent" denominations was the Congregational Christian Church, which traced its lineage to England through the Pilgrims and Puritans who came to America beginning in 1620 on the Mayflower. The other "parent" denomination was the Evangelical and Reformed Church, which traced its lineage back to Germany and the Protestant Reformation. St. Paul's was originally named St. Paul's Reformed Church and was made up of German immigrants who came to this area in the 1700s. The United Church of Christ has a rich heritage. Its fore founders have always sought to live out their faith in society and were among those at the forefront of the movement to abolish slavery in the 1800s and to advocate acceptance of all people.
What should I wear?
Come as you are! God is clear in His Word that He does not look on the outward appearance but rather into the heart of a person. The dress and atmosphere at St. Paul’s tends to be a mix of casual-semiformal. Wear a tie. Wear jeans. Wear shorts in the summer! It’s your decision. We just want you to feel comfortable.
Is there something for everyone in my family?
Yes! We encourage you to explore this web site to learn more about our ministries for children, teens, young adults, adults and seniors.
Do you have small groups?
We believe that lives are changed in the context of community. Because of that, we offer various programs with a small group setting. These groups meet on a regular schedule throughout the week. The Bible is discussed, friendships are made, and lives are changed. Explore this website for information on our different youth and adult small group programs.
How do I get involved?
Everyone has gifts and talents. Those abilities have been given for the purpose of serving others. There are volunteer opportunities all over St. Paul’s. Joining a volunteer team is a great way to meet people and contribute to the mission of this church. A staff member or someone from our missions committee can help you get connected into the life of St. Paul’s.
What do you believe about baptism and communion?
At St. Paul's we recognize two sacraments established by Jesus for the church: Baptism and Holy Communion. We baptize because Jesus called us so to do (Matthew 28:18-20). We believe that a person needs to be baptized only once, because it is about God's work in us. We invite young people (beginning when they enter 8th grade) to participate in a special 2-year confirmation program in which they study the Bible, attentively worship, and practice serving others. At the end of that 2-year period, they have an opportunity to affirm their faith and commit to follow Jesus as their Savior and Lord. We also share in the Lord's Supper (Holy Communion) because Jesus called us to do so (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). We share in communion about ten times a year.
The essence of worship is making an offering of ourselves and the things we have to God. Sometimes we categorize what we have to give into three categories: Time, Talent, and Treasures. We believe that an essential component of loving and serving God is giving of ourselves to God and for others. During every worship service after hearing the Word of God preached, we are invited to make an offering to God. Ushers pass offering plates throughout the congregation so members can make a monetary offering (some come with a planned gift--a tithe--in their own offering envelope, but there are extra envelopes available for anyone to use). We know we are called to give joyfully to God and to the work of the church and this includes giving money (our treasures). But at the same time, we understand that God is calling us to give our whole selves to him and to use not only our financial resources, but the time God gives us and the talents God has given us for God's work. We know we can't put "time" or a "talent" into an offering plate, but we understand that during the offering, we are giving those to God as well.
How do I become a Christian?
Pastor Steven defines a Christian as "a sinner saved by God through Jesus Christ." By definition, a Christian is a sinner--but also one who realizes they can't save themselves and who has put their trust in Jesus to save them. Save them from what? Well, from a life without God; from being lost; from being unforgiven; from hell. They are all related. So how does one become a Christian? By asking Jesus to save us--then living it out. It only takes a moment to ask Jesus to save us. Theologians call that "justification." It is "just-as-if" we had never sinned--we are forgiven. But it also takes a lifetime to be saved. Theologians call this process "sanctification." God works in us to make us holy. We have found that part of the way God calls us is through the faith community--through members of the church as we walk together and seek to love God and serve God. We encourage you to talk with Pastor Steven or another member of the church if you aren't sure if you are a Christian, but are interested in becoming one. Pastor Steven can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.