Please read below for descriptions of "normal" Sunday worship experiences.
How will I be greeted?
Our pastors or designated 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. The welcome desk in the entryway has "busy Bags" with children's activities, flyers, and cards.
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. About 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 and may volunteer to help with the livestream, sing in the Sanctuary choir, usher, or serve as 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 children’s choir and handbell choir share their music several times a year. 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.
From September through May, we offer a 9:00 service with hymns, prayers, and the reading of the day’s Scripture passage. 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 or special music during the collection of the offering, and worship then concludes with a closing hymn. September-May: Communion is offered on the first Sunday of the month. We also enjoy celebrating special occasions such as a baptisms, receiving new members, and confirmation.
During the summer months, we have only one service at 10:30 AM. Communion is offered each week, June-August.
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 welcome but not expected. We work to be good stewards of the financial resources which allow us to engage in our community, support service projects, and sustain our church, education, and our outreach efforts.
What is a Pew Register and how is it used?
The pew register pad is a black booklet 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 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 or guests 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. You will find Bibles in the pews and often the scripture is printed in the bulletin.
Who may receive Communion?
As a United Methodist congregation, we have an open table. All persons who are part of the Christian faith or desire to be so are welcome to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. Grape juice is used instead of wine, a long-standing practice in The United Methodist Church. All communion bread at St. Paul's is now gluten-free.
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. Street parking on Armory Avenue is allowed on Sundays and the front door is accessible by a ramp. 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 front 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 please note it is somewhat steeper than modern access regulations would permit.) There are large modern bathrooms and a Family Restroom 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).