Sunday, September 24, 2017

Visiting the COP for the 1st Time

First Time Visiting Church of Peace UCC? Welcome! Here are some friendly tips.

What should I wear?
Wear whatever you wish. Church of Peace has no dress code. Most of us dress comfortably and somewhat informally—heels and bow ties are definitely optional. You’ll see some folks wearing suits and others wearing jeans.

In addition to the street parking available on 12th Street and 12th Avenue, Church of Peace has two parking lots “behind” the church off of 12th Avenue. When you park in the main parking lot, plan to walk around the church to the side doors on 12th Avenue or the front doors on 12th Street.

Entering the Sanctuary
The front door to the main sanctuary is on the corner of 12th Street and 12th Avenue facing east on 12th Street. The main doors are at the top of a set of stairs.

The handicapped accessible entrance is off of 12th Street. Come down the sidewalk toward the front of the building. Look left and find a short sidewalk leading to a reddish door. This door opens directly into the elevette. Honestly, getting in through this door can be a little tricky. Please find any Church of Peace member, and we will be glad to assist you with the elevette.

Fellowship Time
Church of Peace offers time for fellowship including refreshments at 10 a.m. prior to the worship service. Coffee fellowship is hosted in Fellowship Hall downstairs. If you arrive before 10:30 am, come on in the 12th Avenue door and right down the stairs.

10:30 am – main sanctuary — Approximately 1 hour.

Worship is the center of our church life, a time to gather together once a week and praise God. Church of Peace offers a traditional Sunday morning service using the liturgy of the United Church of Christ.

The morning service follows a warm, welcoming, and thoughtful “traditional” order of worship. It normally includes:

  • praise band and organ music
  • congregational singing of hymns, old and new
  • assurance of healing and pardon
  • a time to greet each other and share Christ’s peace
  • special music offered by bells, adult choir, children’s choir or soloists
  • children’s message
  • Bible readings that ground us in the story of God’s love
  • a sermon that connects the readings to our lives
    • prayers for the world, the church and ourselves, including the Lord’s Prayer (version using “debts / debtors” rather than “trespasses” or “sins”)
  • an invitation to give of ourselves and our resources
  • a closing blessing
  • Holy Communion is offered during worship on the first Sunday of the month, as is traditional with many Protestant churches, as well as during other services in the liturgical calendar. We offer bread or wafers, with gluten-free wafers available upon request. We also serve both wine (red) and grape juice (white). Typically, communion is distributed in the pews by ushers, though special programming may offer an alternative such as intinction.

Occasionally the morning service includes other practices and rituals—for example, reception of new members, healing prayers, baptisms and blessings for people leaving the community.

In each pew, you’ll find the New Revised Standard Version Bible (red) and The New Century Hymnal (black). The bulletin provided will note the page numbers for reference as needed throughout the service.

Our sanctuary and chapel are wheelchair accessible.

On Sunday mornings, large print service bulletins are readily available.

Families with children are very welcome in our sanctuary. We begin every worship service as a multigenerational community. After the children’s message, children ages 0-pre-K are invited to the nursery. School age children are invited to stay in the service. “Busy bags” are provided in the narthex with books, toys and other activities.

Special Services
The Bix Beiderbecke service in early August features the music of legendary jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke and other jazz musicians.

One Sunday each summer the church also opens its doors for a Blessing of the Animals, with cats, dogs, birds and other creatures joining us in worship (and often raising up their voices with us in “song”). Photos, toys or other symbols of animals who are at the service only in spirit also are welcomed for blessings by our ministers and lay leaders.

In the fall, we offer a service called Totenfest, during which we remember loved ones who have died in the past year.

Ways to get involved

Please sign our guest registry near the greeters at the front entrance when you visit.

Also, please find a guest card in the pew racks. If you leave your phone number or email address and place the card in the offering plate, we will contact you to answer any questions you might have about Church of Peace.

Should you wish to learn more about becoming a member at Church of Peace, please introduce yourself to Pastor Mariah. We offer church member classes periodically.

We welcome you wherever you are on life’s journey.