What to expect:
Coming to a new church, whether you attend elsewhere or if it's your first time at a church, can make a person a bit nervous. Questions ranging from "What should I wear" to "What are they expecting out of me" run through our minds. Here are a few insights to put you at ease:
Dress: We are an informal group. You'll see high heels and flip flops in the same row as well as people in shorts and others in dresses greeting one another on a weekly basis. We get together each week to challenge each other to live a meaningful life centered on God and his Kingdom; whatever attire helps you do that is what you should wear.
Seating: You are welcome to sit wherever you'd like. There are no assigned or reserved seats.
Serving in the Service: We hold dearly to "the priesthood of all believers" as well as the belief that the Lord has gifted people, men and women, with the heart, the talents and the willingness to serve in such a way that strengthens and encourages the church. On any given Sunday you will see various women and men who are not the "official" minister serving, leading and facilitating the service in different ways. (Don't worry, we work this out in advance, so we won't come and tap your shoulder.)
We don't follow and official liturgy, but here are some things we do each week:
Singing: Music has an incredible ability to move into the deepest parts of our hearts and minds that speech seldom reaches, so we encourage everyone, regardless of ability, to sing with their voices and their hearts. (Song books are on the seats and an "Order of Worship" can be picked up at the door.)
Prayer: Of course we spend time in prayer each week. Prayer is a unique way in which we acknowledge our dependence on God by offering our gratitude, our struggles and our needs to him, celebrating and inviting him to work in ways that we know we cannot.
Communion: We do take time each week to remind ourselves of the passion and resurrection of Jesus through the practice of the Lord's Supper. You are welcome to participate and reflect on the life, the sacrifice and the victory of Jesus and what it can and does mean for you. (You don't have to get out of your seat. We'll pass trays down each row.)
Sermon: We spend about 25 minutes each week considering a text in the Bible, what those words meant to the original audience and how we in our time and context are being challenged to live out the wisdom we've encountered.
Contribution: Typically near the end of the service we take a few minutes to consider how we've been blessed and offer an opportunity to be a blessing yourself. We realize our ability to be a blessing takes many forms one of those forms is in contributing to the church. You are certainly not required or even expected to make a donation, but we do challenge you to find ways to give of your time, talents and resources wherever you find yourself or at Turnpike if you'd like.