What to Expect on a Sunday
Going anywhere for the first time can be an intimidating experience, especially when that ‘anywhere’ is a new church.
All sorts of questions flood the mind: What will it be like? How long is the service? What’s expected of me when I get there? Do I have to dress nice? Will they tolerate my crying baby? Where does my 2nd grader go during the service? I don’t know anything about Christianity or God or anything…will I be totally lost? Hopefully this page will answer some of these kinds of questions.
The worship service is about 75 minutes long. If you get there late, don’t sweat it. Just come right in and find a seat. It is a casual environment as far as attire and such. You can wear whatever you’d like to wear. Come in shorts, a tee, and sandals; come in a suit; roll out of bed in a hoodie and sweats. Most people fall somewhere in-between. We have amplification so you’ll be able to hear everything from anywhere, although be aware that the music tends to be loud in the very front. You don’t need your own bible, but feel free to bring one. Also, if you don’t have a bible we offer them to all visitors. Most weeks, however, the bible text for the sermon will be up on the projector screen. There is coffee time in between services to hang out and get to know other people at Park.
The worship service is designed so that everyone should feel included, welcomed, and be able to follow the service. Even people who think of themselves as far from faith, un-knowledgable of Christianity, and non-fluent in ‘God-talk’ should be able to follow the service and its content. This is never perfectly accomplished, but it is a commitment of Park Church to do its best in this regard.
In any given service, we’ll sing about 6 songs. If you haven’t been to Park Church before, you may not know the songs. That is ok, you’ll pick them up as we sing. Most of them are taken from old hymn books and put to modern music. You can check them out here.
We’ll sing songs, have an opening welcome, a communal prayer, a sermon that runs anywhere from 25-45 minutes, we’ll share in the Lord’s Supper, hear announcements about what is going on at Park, and sing some more. Depending on the service there might be different elements of worship as well, such as baby dedications, ministry commissionings, baptisms, testimonies, congregational updates, and more. Most of the elements of worship are led by volunteers from the community, as we believe that worship is the responsibility of the whole community. There is no offering plate or basket passed around, but there is wooden boxes near the entrances where you can give. You do not have to give money to participate in Park Church and its worship. However if you are regular participant at Park Church, you are encouraged to so that Park can continue to do the good work that God is calling it to…and more of it!
One note: the Lord’s Supper can be confusing, as different church traditions have different ideas and procedures involved. At Park, everyone is welcomed and invited to partake in the Lord’s Supper. This is only because we believe that Christ’s death is for all people, and God has invited us all to Himself in Christ. It will be explained differently on each Sunday, but the procedure is the same at each service. If you choose to take the Lord’s Supper, all you have to do is walk down the aisle towards your server, tear a piece of bread off of the loaf, dip it in the wine/juice, eat it, and go back to your seat. There is a separate piece of gluten-free bread and juice if you have wheat or gluten allergies. This will be explained each Sunday.
WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS?
New to Park Kids?
We are so glad to meet you! Please visit the Check-in desk to register your children and pick up a welcome goodie bag. There will be someone there to direct you to the right classroom and answer any questions you may have. There are welcome brochures at the welcome desk and park kids policy booklets for you to take as well.
For the saftey of our children, we have a computer check in system at Park Kids. It is located right outside the entrance to the Park Kids common area. Before taking your child to class, please stop by the Park Kids Check in Desk each week to pick up your child’s label and parent pick up slip. Tell the check-in person your last name and the ages/grades of your children. Younger children receive 2 labels, one for the teacher and one for thier back as a nametag. You will bring the labels and your child to class and give the labels to the teacher. You hold on to your matching parent label to be used at pick-up.
Children Elementary and up will be brought back to the sanctuary after the sermon to sit with their parents for communion. Preschool and under children should be picked up immediately after communion. Don’t forget your parent label for your younger children to be picked up.
At the Sunday Worship Service:
At both the 9:00 and the 10:45 services, we have a nursery set up for kids who are between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. You can drop your child off at the nursery whenever you want, but the best time is before the service begins. If there are any special needs, please tell the nursery staff anything that they might need to know. There are hooks and labels for diaper bags. Because of allergies, please no food or dairy in the nursery. The caregivers are happy to change diapers. There is also a changing table available if you need to change your own baby’s diapers either in the nursery or both women’s and men’s bathrooms down the hall. For nursery mothers, you are welcome to stay in the nursery or nurse anywhere in the building you feel comfortable. The sermon is piped into the lobbies and cafe area as well.
2 Years Old and Up:
There are 6 separate classes that run for ages 2 years through 8th grade at the 9:00 service and 4 separate classes that run for ages 2 years through high school at the 10:45 service.
– Beginners: ages 2 and 3
– Pre-school: ages 4 and 5
– Lower Elementary: K-1st Grades
– Middle Elementary: 2nd-3rd Grades
–The Annex: 4th and 5th Grades (in conference room)
– Middle School: 6th-8th Grades (only at 9:00 service)
–Beginners: ages 2 and 3
– Pre-K/K: ages 4-Kindergarten
–Combined Elementary: 1-5th grades
These classes are led by volunteers and parents from the community. All of our volunteers, parent-volunteers, and caregivers have completed a child protection policy, and lead-teachers and caregivers complete fingerprinting.