I'M NEW HERE

Thinking about visiting us? Here's what to expect:

We invite you to come with an expectancy to receive from God. That’s more important than all the details listed below. Jesus promised his own presence in the church. We sense his presence when the message of songs or sermon touches us at a deep place. God’s Word is no longer dry Bible talk, but a living connection to our Creator and Redeemer. Come with an open heart and discover the beautiful, holy presence of the Lord.

It also helps to know exactly what to expect in this church setting. Maybe you’ve noticed that there’s a wide variation in the way church is done in different places! What will you find at The Fellowship? To begin with, we are not locked in to either what’s Traditional or what’s Trendy, but only to what is True to God and to the pathway He has led us on.

Congregation

You will see a wide variety of dress, from jeans and t-shirt to the occasional suit or dress. Whatever you wear, we want you to feel comfortable, because we are not here to gauge people by their clothes. You’ll meet a community made up of families and singles, young and not so young, and many skin colors and nationalities! Tradesmen, professionals, unemployed, retired folks, immigrants, homemakers, business men and women – you’ll notice a warmth about our community, a family full of grace.

There are several first time guests on most Sundays. You won’t be alone, you won’t stand out, and you won’t be stared at. You will be warmly greeted, but you’re not going to be made to stand up in front of everyone, or do anything strange.

Bible

You’ll notice that many carry a Bible, while others read Scripture from their smart phones or tablets. If you own a Bible, you will want to bring it. If you don’t own a Bible, no problem. There’s a bookshelf of Bibles and an usher will be happy to help you get one. The teaching is usually from the English Standard Version of the Bible. Many people carry the New International Version, or other translations. If you have a different version, that's fine too.

Special Needs

Entries on both levels are wheelchair accessible, and there is an elevator between levels. There are handicapped parking spaces near all main doors. There is plenty of space in the worship hall for wheelchairs to move and to settle in any section of the room.

If you are hearing impaired, ask for help from one of the volunteers at the tech booth just inside the entry to the Worship Hall. They can provide a small inconspicuous FM receiver with ear buds for your use.  Note, this is not a hearing aid (amplifier), but a small radio with an earpiece.
 
“Jesus Followers” is a group of mentally & emotionally disabled adults who take part in our worship services, and who have a weekly class of their own. We appreciate their lively contribution to the life of our community.

Gluten-free wafers are available during communion. We seek to accommodate food allergies at retreats and other meal events. When you drop your children off at a class, be sure to inform the teacher of any food allergies.

Before the Worship Service

Classes

We have classes for all ages which meet at 9:00. People choose one of the classes/small groups to attend at 9:00, then attend the worship service at 10:30.  There are classes for all age groups: adults, teenage youth, and children, including nursery. The volunteers at the Welcome Desk will be happy to help you find the right classrooms.

In the Worship Service

Flow

The length of the worship service is about 75 minutes. The flow of the service usually includes music, prayers, scripture readings, offering, and a practical message from God’s Word, the Bible. We have communion on the first Sunday of each month. Occasionally baptism is part of the service.

Music

To express our worship we rely mostly on congregational singing & participation. The music is typically accompanied by the worship band, but we also feature the piano.  We have a mix of contemporary music and hymns, and the words are projected on the overhead screens. Some people may raise their hands or clap, others don't. People are free to express love for God in the way most authentic for them.

Offering

Guests should not feel compelled to contribute to the offering. Those who make The Fellowship their church home count it a privilege to support the ministry here, as well as sending much of our giving outside the church, to our missionaries scattered across the globe. Some donors give in the offering plate when it passes by. Others give online or through their bank. In other words, you won’t stand out if you pass the plate on by.

Bible Message

The word pastor means “shepherd.” The lead pastor is responsible to feed the flock the Word of God. The basis of this is the conviction we have that the Bible is a message to us from God: entirely truthful, sufficient as a guide to living, and a channel of meeting with God.  You can listen to or download the pastor’s Bible messages here. But don’t come to church just to hear a man. Instead, come to hear God speaking to your heart through his Word.

Children & Youth in Church

Having children and youth in the main Worship Service benefits them and benefits the service. Youth frequently serve in different capacities during the service, and we welcome the presence of children, even if they are a little restless at times. Learning to sit in church is a process, and God welcomes the sounds of children. So do we. We are a family!

During our 10:30 service, we dismiss young children (age 4 to grade 3) partway through the service to go to Junior Church for a Bible lesson and activities geared to their age, although some parents choose to have their children stay with them in the service. We also offer a clean, well- equipped, well-staffed nursery for children from 3 months to age 3 for the entire length of the service.

After the Worship Service

Prayer Team

Do you sense a need for God’s help? Is that feeling heightened as you listen and take part in worship? Sometimes people are moved to seek help after the service from the prayer team, located in the Prayer Chapel at the left front of the Worship Center behind the piano. Whatever your prayer need is – forgiveness, illness, guidance, or a need in a loved one – they will pray for you. Or, if you would like a quiet space to pray alone, you can do that too.

Refreshments

After the service, coffee and light refreshments are available in the Commons at the coffee window. These minutes of conversation and sharing, meeting old friends and making new ones,  is a great time of fellowship.

Child Safety

In order to keep children safe, we utilize an electronic check in system that tracks not only the children, but also the volunteers who are working with them each Sunday. If you haven't already completed the Family Information Form, you can fill it out online ahead of your visit, which will greatly speed up your check in process. You can use one of the self-check-in stations, or ask one of our Check In Desk volunteers for assistance.

Parents and the child(ren) each get a sticker with a matching number, so that only you can pick up your child.  Only children, their parents, and our trained staff/volunteers are allowed in the Children's Wing on Sunday mornings, so we can enforce a layer of physical security for our children. Children in our Children's Wing have access to their own solo bathrooms. They will be escorted to the bathroom by a teacher or helper who first makes sure the bathroom is clear, then waits in the hall to ensure they're not disturbed. If a child needs bathroom assistance, or a diaper change, a parent is paged. Staff do not change diapers or assist children in the bathroom.

All children’s groups have two volunteers present in the classroom. All doors have windows so that there is always full visibility in classrooms and offices. Ceiling mirrors are used in places where a blind corner may exist.  Security cameras record the comings and goings in every hall and open space. Every children’s and youth worker is screened, completes a national background check, and is given safety guidelines and training.