If you’re coming to Gentle Shepherd for the first time on a Sunday morning, you can expect the following:
- a warm greeting at the door
- a worship service that starts at 10:30 am and ends around 11:45, followed by coffee/tea and snacks downstairs for those who are interested
What should I wear?
If you’re curious about the “dress code” at GSCC, there isn’t one—some people come in suits or dresses, while most tend to dress quite casually. Jeans and t-shirts are fine!
What does a church service look like?
You might be wondering what exactly happens in the service itself. Here’s a brief synopsis:
- After a few announcements, our time of worship begins with prayer. We believe the Lord is with us when we worship, and we offer our time together to him.
- We sing a few songs to celebrate God’s character and his work in our lives. We invite all to sing, but you won’t be centered out if you don’t. Singing is led by a few singers, piano, guitar, with cello and/or flute on about half of all Sundays.
- The children (elementary school or younger) are invited to the front of the church for a brief message and prayer before some of them go downstairs for a children’s teaching time. Most of our elementary children remain upstairs for the sermon, but those who don’t will be led by one of several volunteers who lead them in the basement for the last half-hour or so of the service. The kids are currently watching episodes of “What is God’s Plan?” (by Phil Vischer) most Sundays.
- The largest part of our service is the sermon, when the pastor speaks for about a half-hour on a passage or topic from the Bible. We believe God has spoken to us through his Word and given it to us in the Bible, so we highlight this time as a time to hear what God has to say to our lives.
- Before we leave, we sing a final song as a “blessing,” a prayer that God will be with us all until we meet again!
What about my kids?
We have an as-needed nursery downstairs for young children (under four years old), and a children’s program for age 4 to grade 8. We invite all families to bring their young children in to the service upstairs for the beginning of our service, up to the Children’s Message. Most of the small children in the nursery are cared for by one of their parents, but care can be arranged for your nursery-aged child upon request.
Once a month (usually the first Sunday) we celebrate communion. All who wish to participate (whether you’re a long-time member or a first-time visitor) as a sign of their commitment to Jesus are welcome to come to the front of the church to receive communion from our elders. Don’t worry: when we share communion, the pastor explains the procedure clearly, so you don’t need to lose sleep about being lost or confused about what to do!