Worship Service and Study Times
(All on Saturday)
- 9:00 AM – First worship service in-person in our church sanctuary
- 10:15 AM -Bible Study Classes in-person/indoors for all ages in our church building – and – Bible study classes online
- 11:30 AM – Second worship service in-person in our sanctuary (this is also our livestream online worship service, which can be viewed on our website’s homepage) – and – our outdoor/in-person worship service starts at SVAE (for directions to SVAE, click HERE).
Coming to a new church for the first time can make you nervous, can’t it? You’re not sure where to park, where the drinking fountain is, or what kind of people you’ll meet.
The good news is, we know how you feel!
Each of us had first-time jitters when we first came here, too. So here is a description of what it was like to worship with us on Sabbath (Saturday) in our church sanctuary (which is our main worship room) before COVID-19 hit. As you read, you’ll quickly catch on that some things have definitely changed since then! But we’re leaving the description below for you as-is in the hope that we will soon be able to meet in-person again as we did before COVID.
(Want to know what to expect currently with COVID restrictions still in place? Check out our homepage to find out all you need to know!)
Here’s the classic version of “What to Expect When You Visit”:
|Hmm, What Should I Wear?||First of all, we believe God is more interested in your heart than in what you’re wearing! So simply wear what you would to a meeting with someone special, like the mayor of your town or city. Some people here wear business-casual clothes. Some people wear dresses and suits and ties. Some come in nice jeans and shirts. Most choose to dress in ways that are modest, so as not to distract from the worship of God. But the most important thing is that you come, regardless of what’s in your closet that morning!|
|I Found the Church! Now What?||As you enter the parking lot, you may wish to drop off your passengers at the overhang entrance on your left. You can then proceed to the reserved parking spots immediately to your right (our parking lot can get very full–we don’t want you to have to park a country mile away to get to church!). You can also park anywhere else available in the lot. Our church facility and parking lot are accommodating to those who are disabled or in a wheelchair. (Hearing devices are also available at the A/V booth in the back of the sanctuary for those with a hearing deficit.)|
|At the Door…||At each of the church entrances, greeters will shake your hand and offer you that day’s bulletin (that’s a brochure filled with great information about where things are, what’s going on in the church, etc.). The greeters will also ask if you need directions. If you arrive in time for group Bible study (we call them “Sabbath Schools”), they will guide you to these smaller study and discussion classes. All classes begin at 10:15 AM. The greeters will also show you our Resource Center, which is filled with current and classic spiritual reading materials (most of which is yours to take, free of charge!). On your first visit you will also receive a Welcome Packet.|
|Children are Welcome!||Your children will not want to miss their Sabbath Schools either, which again start at 10:15 AM and are organized for all children by ages as young as infancy. The greeters will show you the right class for your children’s age group. During the worship services before and after Sabbath School, there are “quiet bags” filled with engaging activities for children 4-9 years (available next to the back wall of the sanctuary). There is also a Mother’s care room for crying or unsettled children on the west wing where you can still hear and see the worship service. For your convenience, there is also a changing table for infants in the women’s bathroom on the west hall.|
|The Sabbath Morning Schedule||The morning begins at 9:00 AM with our first worship service in the sanctuary. All are welcome! Then, as was mentioned above, at 10:15 AM, we have Sabbath School classes for both adults and children. These classes meet throughout the church facility, and the greeters can help you find the right one for you or your children when you arrive at the church building doors. When all Sabbath School classes end at 11:15 AM, there’ll be a 15-minute break to pick up your kids, get a drink, etc. If you wish, you may make your way into the sanctuary (the main worship room) for the second worship (though remember – the second service is substantially the same as the first worship service – we simply offer two worship times for your convenience). This worship service begins at 11:30 AM and ends between 12:30 and 1:00 PM. (Your bulletin outlines each service so you can see what’s coming next.) On most Sabbaths, after the worship service comes a free and very tasty lunch. Follow your nose to the Highway 211 end of the church and be our guest! All food and utensils are provided, so don’t worry about bringing anything.|
|When You Enter the Sanctuary||You may sit anywhere you choose in the Sanctuary (again, that’s our main worship room). If you need assistance, ushers are available in the back. We are a family-oriented church with more than 300 children under the age of 18, and you will sense their energy when you enter the sanctuary! The structural design is such that one can hear and see well from any position.|
|What’s the Preaching Like?||Our pastors describe their sermons as Jesus-centered, practical, encouraging, and real. The Bible is their guide and referred to consistently. The delivery tone is positive, persuasive, and engaging, interspersed with humor or interesting stories that help illustrate biblical concepts. Sermons are designed to be seeds of transformation, maps for finding freedom in Jesus!|
|Can I Participate in the Worship Service?||First, we respect your right to simply sit and watch! Your level of participation in our worship service is completely up to you. But if you wish, there are many ways you can participate. For instance, there’s excellent music of some sort at each worship service, including vocal performances, handbell choirs, full orchestras, contemporary worship music, pipe organ selections, string groups, and more. Most of these musical presentations are times when people attending worship can sing along. Words to songs will either be in the song books (called “hymnals”) in the back of the pew in front of you or on a projector screen over the stage. Prayer is led by worship leaders up front, and we welcome you to pray with them in your heart as they do so. Tithes and offerings are collected before the teaching lesson, giving each attendee a chance to help support God’s work if they wish. Each week the “loose offering” (the money given that’s not in a special envelope available in the back of each pew) is designated by denominational leadership for specific institutions or missions around the world. As our guest, we do not expect you to contribute to the offering. Feel free to sit back and relax as the offering collection plates are passed. And of course, during the sermon time, feel free to use the Bible in the back of the pew in front of you (page numbers will be given so you can find the right spot). We invite you to listen carefully, for the Bible is the book that has pointed millions of people to freedom and fulfillment in Jesus for thousands of years!|
|After the Service, Lunch is Served!||After the closing prayer, the pastor usually walks down the center aisle to greet people at the lobby door. During that time we quietly continue in thoughtful meditation until a music change signals that the service is over. Though completely optional, we would love it if you would introduce yourself to the pastor and others who are available at the doors of the sanctuary. Again, there usually is a fellowship dinner in the Fellowship Hall on the Highway 211 side of the church that you are invited to, so listen to the announcements and check the bulletin for that notice. Feel free to stay the afternoon. Any of our members are available to answer whatever questions you might have. We are glad you came and hope you come again next week!|