What are you doing during the COVID-19 shut-down?
Our church continues to operate, but with significant changes. The building will be closed and there will be NO in-person worship or other meetings until further notice. Worship services are available online through our Worship at Home page. The clergy and staff are working remotely and will have limited access to office voicemail; email addresses are available on our Meet the Staff page. The Connection during COVID-19 page has a list of other resources and will be updated regularly.
Please read below for descriptions of "normal" Sunday worship experiences, resuming as soon as it is safe to do so:
How will I be greeted?
You'll see a Visitor’s Center desk upon entering the building's front doors. Our greeters at Sanctuary entrances are there to say hello and welcome you. Ushers provide bulletins and can help if you need large-print bulletins, hearing assistance devices, or have other special needs.
What do people wear?
There is no specific dress code. Wear what you feel is appropriate. Some people are dressed in suits and dresses, others are in jeans and khakis.
How long is the worship service?
The 9:00 a.m. service is typically 45 minutes. The 10:30 a.m. service is generally an hour long.
What happens with the children during the worship service?
Nursery care for infants and toddlers is available during both services all year. During the school year, students age 2 through grade 5 can attend Sunday School during the 10:30 service. Once a month we have a “Children’s Sunday” when children attend worship for a special Young People’s Message and Children's Choir. Click HERE to learn more about Sunday School! Youth in grades 6-12 are in worship on Sundays, with many serving as acolytes, crucifers, communion stewards, and lay readers.
What kind of music is heard in the worship service?
Most of the hymns we sing are found in The United Methodist Hymnal, located in each pew. We occasionally feature hymns from The Faith We Sing and other resources. We are very proud of our Sanctuary Choir and often feature soloists and guest musicians. Our Youth Choir, Children’s choirs, and handbell choirs share their music once a month. Special music is a feature of our Easter Service, Music Sunday, Christmas, and special events. Click HERE to learn more about music.
What happens in the worship service?
Our worship services follow the ancient pattern of worship and include the ritual activities of
Gathering, Proclaiming the Word, Responding to the Word, and Sending Forth.
At the 9:00 service we open with hymns then move into a time of prayer and the reading of the day’s Scripture passage. A time of shared joys and concerns and prayer follows the sermon. The service concludes with Holy Communion and a closing hymn.
The 10:30 service typically begins with a Call to Worship, an opening hymn, and then a time of prayer. The morning’s sermon follows the reading of Scripture. The organist or Sanctuary Choir provides the anthem and special music during the collection of the offering, and worship then concludes with a closing hymn. We also enjoy celebrating special occasions such as a baptisms, receiving new members, and confirmation.
What is expected at offering time?
Offering is an opportunity to respond to God's many gifts with our gifts. As a guest, your presence is a gift to us. Monetary contributions are not expected. We work to be good stewards of all our financial resources which sustain our church and our outreach and service efforts.
What is a Pew Register and how is it used?
The pre register is a black booklets or pad found in each pew. In keeping with the "methodical" ways Methodist churches operate, we do ask everyone worshiping with us to sign the Pew Register, including our guests. If you so desire, this is also the place to provide contact information so our leaders may follow up with you, get to know you better, answer your questions, or simply invite you to join us again.
What should I expect from the sermon?
Most often the preacher will be one of our pastors, but there are occasions throughout the year in which gifted lay persons will preach. The pastors often use story and contemporary illustration to illuminate the meaning of each week’s Scripture passage and its relevance in our lives.
What version of the Bible is used?
We typically read scripture from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Other translations may be featured for special prayers or the Call to Worship. The scripture is printed in the bulletin and there are Bibles in the pews.
Who may receive Communion?
As a United Methodist congregation, we have an open table. All persons who are or desire to become part of the Christian faith are welcome to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. Communion at St. Paul’s is most frequently offered by “intinction” (the communicant receives the bread, which is then dipped into the chalice). Grape juice is used instead of wine, a long-standing practice in The United Methodist Church. Gluten-free wafers are also available upon request.
What about handicapped access for those with mobility issues? Are there other accommodations for those with disabilities?
Those who have difficulty navigating stairs should park on Mitchell Street or in the Armory/Town Hall parking lot, then use the side "Office" door to enter the building. Marked priority parking for seniors is available in our parking lot off of Armory Ave., but please note there are some stairs between the lot and our doors. Our elevator and chair lift enable people to move between the Sanctuary, the large fellowship hall, and the children's classrooms. (Our Fellowship Hall has an exterior ramp but it is steeper than modern access regulations would allow.) There is a large Family Restroom available down the hall from the church office with a baby changing table and plenty of room to maneuver wheelchairs, walkers, and other assistance equipment. The Sanctuary is equipped with a hearing loop so those with "t-coil" hearing aids can listen to worship services directly. Large print Hymnals and Bibles are available from the ushers upon request. If you have other needs, please contact one of our pastors and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Any other questions?
Please contact the church office through email at email@example.com or by phone (301-933-7933).