What to expect
A DIVERSE CONGREGATION THAT LOOKS IT!
We dress in as many styles as we have people in the pews! Everyone wears what feels comfortable for them – you will see jeans and dresses, sport coats and even an occasional tie, windbreakers and corduroys.
Some churches, full of beautiful stained-glass windows and dim lighting and pews that all face in one direction, lend themselves to quiet introspection and hushed whispers. That can be moving and spiritually important to some people – but you won’t find that at West Parish! The many clear-paned windows bring a warm glow to the pumpkin-pine woodwork, the lay-out of the seats promote a sense of family and fellowship, people cannot help, as they wait for the service to begin, saying hello to each other. And we find that for us, this is just as spiritually moving in its own way.
CHILDREN NOT JUST TOLERATED — WELCOMED!
We don’t believe that our children and youth are “the future of the church” – they ARE the church. West Parish is a “NO HUSHING ZONE”, and while we count on parents to instill in their children, as they are able, good manners in terms of their conduct and boisterousness in church, we know that children can act like, well, children! So God bless them!
On Saturdays, children are with us for the first 25 minutes or so, and then join Pastor Reed Baer and his assistant teachers for Saturday School over in Jenkins Hall, where they read a Bible story, learn memory voices, and do an activity or craft building upon the lesson of the day. We use the Shine On curriculum.
On Sundays, children are welcome to stay for the entire service; there is church school on Saturdays at 4:30 if that is a desired option.
WHAT DOES A CHURCH SERVICE LOOK LIKE?
Sundays: We start at 10:00 and are usually done a little after 11:00. A typical service will begin with some announcements and sharing of prayer concerns, and then will include the singing of three or four songs, some prayers, a reading from the Bible, a message from the pastor of about 12-15 minutes in length drawing lessons from the reading for life today, and then a blessing to send the congregation out into the week. The music will be varied – sometime piano, sometimes pipe organ, sometimes the hand bell choir, sometime a guest guitarist, sometimes the adult choir – always relevant and inspiring.
Saturdays: We start at 4:30 and are usually done by 5:15. A typical service will include a number of songs led by musicians playing guitar or electric guitar, a reading from the Bible, a short address relating the reading to our lives, a time of prayer, and the sharing of communion. The children go off to “Saturday School” for the last 20 minutes of the service.
CAN I PARTICIPATE IN COMMUNION?
We celebrate communion, otherwise known as the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, on the first Sunday of each month, and on each Saturday. Our table is open to all who hunger for the presence of Christ.
WHAT ABOUT MONEY?
If you are a guest, leave it at home! Those who have come to call West Parish their spiritual home contribute to fund its ministries, to keep the doors open, to reach out in giving to the world beyond. Guests are not expected to fund those ministries, so please, just come and join us for worship.