What to expect
Visiting a new church can be intimidating. It’s common to have questions about what the experience will be like. In the United Church of Christ we like to say, “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” It is our goal to make your visit a stress-free, enjoyable experience. We want to be welcoming for everyone – whatever your background, or current or past lifestyle, including those who have never been to church before. So, if you’re visiting for the first time, here’s an overview of what to expect.
Where do I go when I get there?
Our main entrance is at 124 W. Washington Street in Burlington. If you don’t know where we are, our location page will show you the way. Parking is available in the church parking lot directly across the street from the church or in the Town Bank Parking lot next to the church.
As you enter the front door, you should find someone friendly to welcome you, answer any questions you have, and direct you up the stairs to the parlor and worship area. We also have an elevator should that be preferred. As you enter the parlor an usher will provide you with a bulletin which has information about the morning’s service and other current information about the church. Ushers can also answer your questions and guide you to a seat should you like assistance. No worries though, you can sit anywhere.
The parlor is an area to gather and chat before the worship service starts as well as the gathering area after the service where coffee and treats are served.
What’s the service like?
If you’ve been to other Congregational or Protestant churches, our services should feel familiar. If this is all new to you: We start with pre-service music followed by a call to worship, typically there are 3 hymns in the service, readings from the Bible, a sermon, a time of prayer, and special music by our choir or guest musicians. We pass the peace of God to the people around us by shaking hands and saying, “Peace be with you,” or simply, “Peace.”
How long are they?
Our services usually run a little over an hour. Special services can run perhaps an hour and 20 minutes.
What is the style of worship?
Our worship is a blend of traditional and contemporary. We have a traditional choir as well as a bell choir and praise band performing on an alternating basis. Organ, piano and guitar music is incorporated into most services.
What about children?
During the school year nursery care for infants through preschool is available. Children in kindergarten through elementary school begin worship with their families, have a children’s time during the service and then leave for Sunday School. They rejoin their families following worship. During the summer, the nursery room is available for parents but is not staffed.
We have a LOGOS ministry program during the school year for children as well as vacation bible school in the summer.
What should I wear?
Wear whatever you feel comfortable in. You are welcome just as you are. You’ll find that people dress in a variety of ways from dress shirts and slacks to t-shirts and shorts. So long as you feel comfortable, that’s all we’re concerned with.
Do I have to put money in the offering plate?
No. The offering plate is passed, but we do not expect our guests to make an offering. The offerings we do collect are used for the work of the church in the community and beyond.
Will I have to introduce myself?
You can expect a warm greeting from members of the congregation, but don’t fret! You won’t have to stand and introduce yourself or sing a solo while visiting us.
What about Communion?
On the first Sunday of the month as part of our worship, we celebrate Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper. Everyone who wishes to participate is welcome. Communion is a sacrament of the church, a special place of meeting with God and an experience of unity with each other. ALL are WELCOME at the table without regard to church membership or belief.
Coffee and conversation
After worship, we hope you’ll join us for a cup of coffee and a snack. This is a time for conversation and fellowship and we look forward to meeting you. We hope you really experience warmth and friendliness at Plymouth.