How long do the worship services last?
The Sunday worship services are held at 9:30 and 11:00 AM during the program year. Both services are about one hour. On the first Sunday of every month from October to June, we celebrate “Spirit and Service Sunday” with one worship at 9:30 followed by activities for all ages. For more information about Spirit and Service Sunday please click here.
During the summer, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and occasionally on other special Sundays, only one service is held at 10:00 AM.
What do people wear? Do I have to dress up?
It’s pretty much up to you. You will see both casual clothes and folks dressed-up at both services.
Can I sit anywhere?
Certainly. If you are uncertain, just ask one of the ushers to help you.
Can we bring the children to worship services?
Of course; however, we have crib and toddler nurseries for younger children at all services. There are also Christian Formation classes at 9:30 for children to learn about the Bible, the Church, and so on. During the 11:00 AM service, children may attend with their parents.
What Christian Formation opportunities are there on Sunday mornings?
During the school year, the education hour is from 9:30 to 10:30 AM for children, youth, and adults. For adults there is an open class that emphasizes scripture as it relates to our lives in the world. There is also a small group ministry for groups of 6-8 adults who agree to meet weekly for Bible study, support, and fellowship. There are classes for all ages of children and youth, in addition to nursery care (infants – 2 years) from 9:30-Noon and youth fellowship on Sunday afternoon/evening. Check out our Christian Formation page for more information on current offerings.
Do I have to believe in a certain creed to come to your worship services?
No, but we hope you are seeking a relationship with Jesus Christ, even if you don’t know Him very well. We look to Christ to make him Lord of our lives. We seek to be as just and generous as the Grace of God is for all people. Therefore come as you are.
Do I have to stand and say anything?
Out of respect for our Lord, those who are able stand together at certain points in the service, to say what we believe and to sing. But neither of those is mandatory; it’s simply our way of affirming our faith in common with Christians all over the world.
Do you kneel?
No. But of course, anyone may kneel who is led to that expression of worship.
What are your customs with Communion (Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper)?
We celebrate Holy Communion at least monthly. All baptized people may partake of the bread and cup; you don’t have to be a member of Saint Mark or even a Presbyterian. If you are not a baptized Christian but seeking the presence of God in Holy Communion, the pastors will be delighted to speak with you about the next steps in your journey of faith. No one is required to partake. We use grape juice for our Holy Communion and our bread is baked by volunteers. We generally have our Communion passed in the pews, meaning that we pass trays with the bread along with separate trays filled with tiny cups of grape juice. It is part of our concept of service to offer the trays to each other rather that just pass them down the pew. Likewise, we wait until all are served to eat it together. Occasionally we use intinction where we are asked to come forward to the Communion Table and take the bread and cup together.
Do you take up a collection (and how much should I give)?
We include a free will offering in each service. We know that all we have comes from God, so this is a time when we can give back just a portion of what he has given us. No one is obligated to give. We believe it is a blessing to share our resources with others. You should give as much as you feel comfortable giving. Members make an annual pledge and honor it weekly or monthly.
Do you expect your members to come every Sunday?
We ask our members to be faithful, which is what God asks of us. Those of us who attend regularly are blessed by growing closer to God and to the love and power of Jesus Christ that shapes us into compassionate people seeking to love our neighbors in word and deed. It seems to us that the more we experience the love of God in Jesus Christ in worship, the more we want to be there on Sunday mornings. We ask everyone to sign our Friendship pads, which allows us to collect basic contact information, but if you want to remain anonymous you are free to pass it on. However, we would love to greet you by name and for the Pastor to be able to call you on the phone after your visit to thank you for coming.