Worship

Sundays from 10:30 – 11:30 am

In-person and streamed live.

Streamed on Facebook Live
(click on the icon below)

integration, welcome, shaking hands

All are welcome here!

We believe in a community of faith which welcomes and serves all people in the name of Jesus Christ,
a church which does not discriminate on any level, and which invites all people to grasp
how wide and long and high and deep
is the love of God in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit! 
We are all on the path toward God’s will! 
You are not alone!
Come as you are!

Accessibility:

There is an elevator that has outdoor, street level access and has access to all levels of the church.  Street park around the church is available with handicap parking closest to the main doors.  Recited words and song lyrics are shown on a large-screen TV for visibility.  Duplicate printed sheets of the words are available for those with sensory sensitivity.  Copies of the sermon can be made for those with hearing difficulties.  Our service is amplified.  Our men and women’s restrooms are located in the downstairs fellowship hall, accessibility by elevator.

Worship Style:

Blended.

We strive to be multigenerational, with an arm in the past to grasp the best of our heritage and an arm in the future to reach for the fruit that God is bearing in our lives.  Our service follows a traditional “Word-and-Table” format.  Our music is chosen from The United Methodist Hymnal plus other songbooks that include more contemporary song choices.  Our service is dotted with prayers, scripture, and readings in a liturgical mid-church manner.

Order of Worship:

GATHERING:

    Welcome and Greeting
    A moment of centering
    Hymn of Praise

PROCLAIMING THE GOOD NEWS:

    Opening Prayer
    Reading from the Holy Bible
    The Message

RESPONDING TO THE GOOD NEWS:

    A Time of Music and Reflection
    A Time of Prayer (specific prayer requests are brought forward)
    Holy Communion – First Sundays Only
    Announcements / Birthdays & Anniv. / Sharing of God-Sightings
    Prayer of Thanksgiving and The Lord’s Prayer

GOING FORTH:

    Call to Discipleship
    Hymn of Mission
    Blessing and Sending Forth

What to Expect:

STYLE: Our worship strives to balance heartfelt congregational involvement with historic liturgy and order (“Word and Table”).  Traditional hymns on organ with an occasional contemporary choruses are used throughout the service.  Prayers on behalf of the Church, world, nation, community, and personal requests are offered each week.  The Scripture readings and sermon theme usually follow a series or the Narrative Lectionary (the Bible from beginning to end, September through May).  We normally read from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) or another contemporary easy-to-follow English translation.  The Church Year, with its Holy Days and seasons, orders the life of our congregation.

PARTICIPATION: Our honored guests are invited to participate as much or as little as they feel comfortable.  We do not make guests stand up and introduce themselves.  Bulletins are provided to help us all fully participate and feel comfortable together.  

GIVING: We believe your presence, as an honored guest, is blessing enough for us.  We do not ask that you give from your pocketbook unless you believe it is God’s will.  The offering plates are no longer passed through the pews.  A Guest Card will be handed to you during the opening of our service and we invite you to fill it out and return a portion of it to the offering plates (they remain stationary near the front doors).

ATTIRE: Casual!  We are a blue-collar and even no-collar church!  Come as you are!  You will be loved no matter what you wear!

For Our Little Ones:

     Children of all ages are welcome to our worship service!  Most of our members here have brought up our children and grandchildren and even great-grandchildren in this church.  This sanctuary has seen it all!  We believe there is great value in families worshipping together!  We value all the wiggles and giggles, cries and fits that God puts in them!  They are signs of life!  We believe children brought up in the church from an early age will be more likely to return to church in their later years (even if they fall away during their young adult years).  The consistency of children present in the worship setting does not make it possible to hold regular “children’s time” during the service.  But the pastor is always willing to give our young ones a fruit snack before the sermon begins.  There is a nursery available for you if you feel the need to step our momentarily.  It is stocked and well-cleaned but it is not staffed.  In lieu of a booming children’s ministry, we see ourselves as a group of grandmothers and grandfathers ready and willing to welcome you and your child(ren) with open hearts!

Holy Communion:

The Lord’s Supper is offered on the first Sunday of every month.  The People of The United Methodist Church practice Open Communion, welcoming all people to participate.  It does not matter your background, affiliations, beliefs or disbeliefs: “Christ our Lord invites to His Table all who love Him, who earnestly repent of their sin, and seek to live in peace with one another.”  Communion is most often served as Intinction (coming forward to receive a piece of bread and partially dipping it in a common cup).  You do not have to be baptized to receive Communion, but consider how Communion is “food for the journey” and baptism is the formal “entrance” to that journey.  Children are welcome to receive as well.

Holy Baptism:

Holy Baptism is the necessary first step to becoming a member of any local United Methodist church.  In The United Methodist Church, we baptize infants and consider them fully baptized (non-voting) members of our church fellowship.  Confirmation is offered to those youth (preteen age) who were baptized in their younger years to confirm their faith publicly and become a professing (voting) member.  For youth, young adults, and adults alike the Discipleship Pathway is the course that must be completed to be a candidate for Holy Baptism/membership.  We reaffirm our Baptismal Covenant vows quarterly during the service (Baptism of the Lord Sunday–second Sun. in Jan.; Easter Sunday; Day of Pentecost; World Communion Sunday–first Sun in Oct.).

Please contact the pastor for more information about being baptized, reaffirming your baptism in a special way, or becoming a member of our church family.

COVID-19 Restrictions:

Our Worship Service now includes the following changes order to protect those most vulnerable among us:

1. Face masks are to be worn while moving through the building, fellowshipping, and singing.

2. The pastor will lead the singing by himself, 
inviting the congregation to sing only on the final verses.

3. The number of recited words (responses proclaimed together) have been reduced.

4. Holy Communion is postponed for now.

5. Offering plates and other items are no longer being passed among the pews.

6. Seating in the sanctuary is every-other-pew
and they are marked with an “X” to keep social distancing.

7. Our sanctuary is limited to 50 people or fewer (Stage 4).

8. Our normal time of refreshments (10:00-10:30 am)
has been cancelled until further notice.

9. Masks for adults and for children are available;
hand sanitizer is placed at every entrance
and throughout the building.

10. Fellowship before and after the service
should be limited and self-regulated.

11. The building is cleaned thoroughly and regularly
throughout the week.

12. Our service is now being live streamed on our Facebook page.

Annual Events:

Harvest Sunday – on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the Communion Table is laden with fruits and vegetables; sometimes with boxes of nonperishable foods.  Congregants are invited to take home as much as they like (the boxed foods are given to the local food pantry).

Community Thanksgiving Service – a Stonington Community Service.  This takes place on the Sunday evening before Thanksgiving Day.

Hanging of the Greens – the Christmas decorations are put up on the Sunday following Thanksgiving Day as part of the service.

Christmas Cantata – held at Edinburg UMC at 4:00 pm on the second Sunday in December.  Members of our church sing in it.  It is free and open to the public.  Refreshments always follow.

Christmas Children’s Program – an entertaining Sunday provided by the kids of the church, usually on the second or third Sunday in December.

Longest Night Service – a.k.a. “Blue and Busy Christmas” – a special service around the 21st of December (Winder Solstice) which is geared toward those having a blue (or busy) holiday season.  This is especially meaningful to those celebrating Christmas for the time without a close loved one.

Christmas Eve Service – a candlelight service on Christmas Eve (at 6:00 pm) featuring lots of holiday music and readings of the born of Jesus.

Epiphany Sunday – (first Sunday of the calendar year) – on this Sunday, each are invited to choose a “Star Gift” with a word on it that helps define the year to come.

Ecumenical Sunday – this is often a time for our pastor and a pastor of another denomination to “change pulpits” and preach at the other’s church.

Souper Bowl Sunday – On SuperBowl Sunday, we usually pick up soup cans to donate to the food pantry.

Ash Wednesday Service – on this day, Lent begins!  It is an evening service with a sober message: “to dust we were made, and to dust we shall return.”  Everyone is invited to receive the sign of the cross in ashes on the forehead.

Lenten Season – This season involves “giving up” bad habits and “picking up” spiritual disciplines.  This takes place throughout the 40 days before Easter.

Easter Cantata – held at Edinburg UMC at 4:00 pm on the Sunday before Easter.  Members of our church sing in it.  It is free and open to the public.  Refreshments always follow.

Maundy Thursday Service – the Thursday before Easter is when we commemorate the Last Supper (Holy Communion) and the mandate to “love each other.”

Good Friday Service – a Stonington Community Service.  On this day, we remember the depth of the love poured forth for us on the cross.

Easter SonRise – a second, early morning service that takes place at 6:30 am on Easter Sunday held in the sanctuary and led by the church ladies.  A breakfast by the men always follows and is a highly anticipated event.

Summerfest Service – an outdoor Stonington community service.  This is during our annual festivities.  This community service takes the place of our regular sanctuary service and takes place at the Ponting Field pavilion.

Service in the Park – a combined service with our sister church, Edinburg UMC, that takes place every August at the Stonington Ponting Field Pavilion.  A wonderful potluck always follows.  The service is always at 10:30 am.

Edinburg Labor Day Service – an Edinburg community service to which we are invited.  It is held at the Community Park Pavilion at 10:30 am.  This community service takes the place of our regular sanctuary service.  The service is always at 10:30 am.

Blessing of the Animals – this takes place around the 4th of October (St. Francis of Assisi Day) out at the Ponting Field Pavilion.  Your four-legged friends are invited to show up for a blessing.  All creatures and critters are welcomed: dogs, cats, lizards, horses . . . 

All Saints Day – this happens on the first Sunday of November; a reflective service to remember the loss of our loved ones.

We also observe civil holidays such as Memorial Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Grandparents Day, Veterans Day, and Independence Day.