We realize that it can feel awkward to attend a new church for the first time. We want you to feel comfortable when you are here with us, so here are some FAQ’s:
What should I wear?
We hope you will feel comfortable here, no matter what you wear. Some people wear suits or dresses; others come in casual slacks, jeans, or shorts. The Saturday evening is our casual service time, while Sunday morning is our traditional service time. Whatever you wear, we will welcome you.
Where can I park?
The church faces Oak Hill Rd., and there is parking on virtually every side of the building. Our main entrance is our Welcoming Area, located off Whetstone Road. It has a covered awning for drop off, pick up, guest parking spaces and handicapped access. As you enter any door, there are signs that will direct you to various parts of the building.
Where are worship services held?
Our Saturday evening casual service is held in the Welcoming Area, while Sunday you will find us in the sanctuary.
Is the church accessible to the differently-abled?
Yes. The entire church is accessible. Under the covered awning (that gives access to the Welcoming Area), there is a power assist door. No matter what entrance or level you enter the church, there is access to the elevator.
We have large print programs for those with visual impairment.
Where should I sit?
You are welcome to sit anywhere in the worship areas. An usher will gladly help you find a seat if you wish.
How will I know what to do in the worship service?
As you enter, an usher will hand you a program which lists the parts of our service. Everything you need should be printed in the program. In the traditional service, songs are either printed in the bulletin, or referred to by number, and can be found in the hymnal in the seat pocket in front of you. In the casual service, words to songs are projected onto the screen in the front of the worship area.
What happens in worship?
- We usually begin our services with announcements, and then, sing songs of praise to the good and loving God of all.
- There is a time for children to talk with our pastor or children and youth leader; our lay reader will read from Scripture and the chancel choir or praise singers will sing a musical offering.
- Then, Pastor Emily gives a message focused on the weekly Bible reading. Following the message, we take time to pray about our joys and concerns.
- We receive an offering, then we close with a song, and the minister offers a closing good word.
Those are the essential components of worship. Sometimes we arrange them in a different order to try to keep things fresh.
Do I need to make a financial offering?
No. The offering plate is passed and online giving is available at bethlehemucc.org, but we do not expect our guests to make an offering. For us, the offering is our way of saying thank you to God for the many blessings we have received from God. We understand giving to be a spiritual act of dedicating what we have, and who we are, to serve God. We consider offering our gifts to God more than a financial issue. We invite people to offer their spiritual gifts, or whatever gift they feel moved to offer.
Are children welcome?
Absolutely! Children and young people are welcome in the worship service. During the Children’s Chat, the pastor spends a few minutes with our children talking about God and faith issues.
On Sundays, the children (grades K-3) are invited to go with our teachers to Children’s Church after the Children’s Chat. We have nursery facilities for children under 5 on Sundays as well. Bethlehem has a written child protection policy, available for your review.
If your child stays with you during worship, there are children's activity bags available at each door, or you can ask an usher for help. We also have a cry room off of the sanctuary for parents who might need a quiet place to comfort their children and still hear the worship service.
How long does church last?
Our worship services usually last about one hour.
When is communion offered, and should I take it?
Communion, the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist is offered periodically throughout the year. We welcome all people who are seeking a closer relationship with God to share in communion with us. If you choose to not receive communion, that is fine, too.
ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?
Just call (812-867-2497) or email the church office, and we will gladly try to answer any questions you have. You may also contact specific staff members through our website.