Sunday Mornings - 9:45 AM
What should you expect when visiting us for the first time?
1. What is your contemporary worship service like?
Each Sunday at St. Stephens-Bethlehem you'll find a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with exciting, contemporary worship music. A section on the back of our program for notes and a large-screen PowerPoint presentation help you make the most of the practical and relevant message.
ALL CHILDREN ALWAYS WELCOME (yes the noisy ones, the happy ones, the snoring ones, the cranky ones, the ones who roam the aisles, and crawl under the pews) in church. Feel free to keep them with you if you would like. The crib room is there for families with young children who feel the need to take them there. You are by no means obligated to take your child there. We believe children are life, and we like to see, hear, and participate with them in church!!!
2. What will happen when I visit for the first time?
If you are visiting for the first time, you will be greeted at the door by a warm and friendly greeter, who will welcome you. You will be met at one of our three entrances into the sanctuary (church) by an usher who will hand you a program.
We will not embarrass you, have you stand up, or ask you to give money. We know that many people want to check out the church and "be anonymous" for a while—and that's fine with us! Come in, enjoy the reverent atmosphere, and see if this is the church for you.
Following the worship service, please join us in the cafe in the for a time of refreshments and relationship building.
To be honest though, we'll probably talk to you, we'll take a genuine interest in who you are and why you've come to church, and we'll take a few minutes to get to know you.
3. What do I wear to attend your contemporary service?
You'll find everything from casual clothes to business suits at our Contemporary Sunday service. This is a come as you are service, if you want to roll out of bed in your pajamas and come to service, that's ok! Come in what is comfortable for you, because St. Stephens-Bethlehem is not about what you look like or what you wear.
4. What is the contemporary worship like?
We invite you to join us each week as we worship together. Our services begin at the back of our church with coffee and the question of the day. A time for us to spend in relationship with each other while we begin to flesh out our thoughts and believes on the topic of the day. (This also helps any stragglers not feel like they have to do the walk of shame down the center aisle)
We then move into upbeat, contemporary christian music. We encourage everyone to participate. Don't worry, we didn't know the songs at first either. You'll notice that we devote a lot of time to worship. Worship isn't just a filler before the sermon time. it's the reason we come together! It's a powerful and personal way to connect our hearts with God.
The sermon time follows, and it varies week to week on its presentation, some weeks it maybe a lecture style sermon, you'd find in any church, other weeks it might be talk-back style sermon - where you can choose to participate. Other weeks it might be a hand on experience.
You'll also notice a lot of variety in how people participate in the worship time: some sit, others stand, some raise their hands. How you respond to God in worship is up to you; all we ask is that you go after God with all your heart, giving God your very best.
After we share some reflective time, and some prayers. We serve communion weekly, to each other in a circle.
5. Communion, what is communion, I am allowed to participate?
In the sacrament of Holy Communion, also called the Lord's Supper or Eucharist, meaning "thanksgiving," Christians hear, taste, touch and receive the grace of God (love of God) revealed through Jesus Christ in a unique way. Communion is:
a joyous act of thanksgiving for all God has done, is doing, and will do for the redeeming of creation;
a sacred memorial of the crucified and risen Christ, a living and effective sign of Christ's sacrifice in which Christ is truly and rightly present to those who eat and drink;
an earnest prayer for the presence of the Holy Spirit to unite those who partake with the Risen Christ and with each other, and to restore creation, making all things new;
an intimate experience of fellowship in which the whole church in every time and place is present and divisions are overcome;
a hopeful sign of the promised Realm of God marked by justice, love and peace.
At St. Stephens-Bethlehem UCC we celebrate an open table. That means you don't need to be a member of this church or of any church. You don't need to be baptized. You don't need even to be a believer. If you desire to commune with God, through Jesus, and this community, you are welcome all are welcome.