What to Expect in Worship

Visiting a new church, or re-connecting after a long while, can be an uncomfortable, and often confusing, experience. We’ll work hard to make you feel welcome and to make your worship experience fulfilling. Here are answers to a few questions that may help you decide whether to come for a visit … and if you are unable to “do church” on Sunday mornings, check out our Messy Church experience.

What kind of church are you?

Community United is part of the larger United Methodist denomination. Each of our members and visitors is on a faith journey of some sort.  Many are mature in their faith while others are just beginning that journey … and we know that God meets us wherever we are on that journey. For a deeper understanding, please check out What We Believe.

What music do you play or sing?

Each worship service includes one or two congregational hymns from the Methodist Hymnal or from the more contemporary Faith We Sing and Worship & Song songbooks, accompanied by the piano or organ. The adult Chancel Choir sings an anthem, and once each month on different Sundays our adult bell choir, our Celebration (junior and high school) choir, and our children’s vocal and bell choirs join in the worship service. Also, once each month, our Worship Band participates in the services, providing contemporary praise music and accompaniment for the Chancel Choir.

What should I wear?

It doesn’t matter, and God doesn’t care. You’re welcome to wear whatever makes you feel comfortable … jacket and tie, a dress, a pant-suit, your favorite team jersey and ball cap or cargo pants and flip-flops.

Will I have to stand up and introduce myself?

No. Understanding that this makes most folks uncomfortable, we don’t ask visitors to introduce themselves during the worship service. You’ll find a Welcome Table on the patio where you can ask questions after your visit.

Do I have to become a member of the church?

Only if you want to. Throughout the year we offer membership classes for those who want to make the commitment to join the church as a member. When you decide to do this you are asked during a worship service membership rite, to commit to supporting the church by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness.

If you celebrate communion do I have to partake?

We celebrate communion one Sunday a month as part of the worship service. The Methodist Church has an open communion tradition in which anyone who seeks to be in a relationship with God is welcome at the table, but if you’d rather not receive communion, that’s fine. If you have trouble getting around, the communion servers will bring the communion elements to you.

Can I bring kids to the service?

Yes, infants and kids of all ages are welcome. For the younger children there is a Children’s Moment with the pastor, early in the service, and the kids are then dismissed to go to Sunday School, or they can return to be with the adults. There is a Nursery for infants during our second (10:00am) service.

Do you pass an offering plate?

Yes, an Offering of financial gifts is a formal part of the worship service, normally accompanied by contemplative music. But if you are unable or not inclined to offer a gift you may just pass the plate along to your neighbor. Some prefer to offer their gifts online, which you can do from our homepage “Online Giving” link.

Does your service include Bible readings?

Yes, there is normally at least one reading from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, both from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.

Does your service include a sermon?

Yes, the worship service includes a 15-20 minute message, normally delivered by our pastor. The message is scripture-based and ties in with the morning Bible readings.

Do you baptize people?

Yes, at any age. For those who are at that place in their faith-journey and ready to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, the Methodist Church has a formal baptism rite, normally conducted as part of a worship service. In the Methodist tradition, the baptism ritual is conducted by the pastor and includes placing a small amount of water from the baptismal font onto the head of the person being baptized.

Do you say the Lord’s Prayer in worship?

Yes, we recite the Lord’s Prayer during the Pastoral Prayer portion of the service, along with Prayers of Joy or Concern taken from prayer cards received from worshipers.

Is there Sunday school?

Yes, there are Sunday School opportunities for children through adults at 8:30am and 10:00am.

Do you offer Bible-study classes?

Yes, Bible study classes are offered during the week. Our calendar will show you details.

Can I come just for Sunday worship, or could I get involved in other activities?

You can be as involved as your time and energy and inclination allow. Some of our members and visitors cannot attend Sunday worship, but are regularly involved in church-related activities during the week, or in our monthly “Messy Church” fellowship experience. If you’re curious, take a look at our Connect and Serve opportunities.

My youngster loves to sing … are there choir opportunities for young people?

Yes, indeed! There are vocal choirs for very young children up through high school age. There is also a youth bell choir and a beginner’s chimes choir. Check out our Music Ministry page for details.

Is there someone I can contact for other information?

Yes, you can call our office at 714-842-4461. The office is staffed Monday through Thursday from 9:00am to 4:00pm and the system will collect your after-hours message. You can also email the Office Manager at cumchb@cumchb.org.