If you're visiting this page, you've probably got some questions about our church and you're looking for answers. We understand it can be hard to visit a church for the first time. A drive by, and newspaper ads just don't answer the many questions you might have. You might ask yourself, "What's going to happen when I come in the front door?" "How will I know where to go and what to do when I get there?" "What will I do with my children?" "What should I wear?" "What will the service be like?"
Unknown factors can make visiting a church for the first time uncomfortable or even intimidating. With this section we hope to answer some of the questions you might have about our church before you visit. All of us at First Reformed Church truly hope to make your visit with us an enriching one. If any of your questions are not answered below, please let me know so we can add whatever will be helpful to you in this visitor's guide, because that's why it exists--to help you, our guest. Above all, it is my greatest hope that when you will get to know Jesus, and through his love you will find life eternal and the abundant life which he offers. Thank you for visiting our website and we look forward to meeting you as a guest of our church family very soon!
A: Our Sunday worship services begin at 9am as well as 6pm. The first am service is followed by a Christian education hour with separate classes for children, youth, and adults. Our music ministry, which includes both traditional and contemporary forms of music, is a regular part of our Sunday worship experiences and we have a special alternative worship experience for younger age children during the am services called H.O.P. (House of Praise). You will find people coming from all walks of life, many who dress casually, some who are long-time members of our church and many who have joined us in recent years. Our congregation has an informal greeting time during the service one to another in Christian friendship. People will greet you and possibly introduce themselves to you at this time. We celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper about 10 times per year. We often schedule special educational programs or fellowship activities for youth and adults. You will always hear an invitation for our congregation to take part in one of the many service ministries and other fellowship opportunities. The early service has a traditional feel. The 11am service has a modern feel. In the evening we study through books in the Bible and study method is given special focus, for those who want to learn how to study the Bible.
A: You might wonder how you are expected to dress at a church you've never visited before. Since the Bible presents no dress code, except for simple decency and Christian humility, First Reformed doesn't make any rules either. Like most people, our members try to make their worship time at church a special time. This is often reflected in the way they dress. Still dress is a personal matter of worship before God. One person may dress casually and rejoice that our gracious Lord accepts us as we are, while another may dress to reflect the awe and reverence we have for our Savior King. On any Sunday at our church you may see running shoes and heels, jeans and suits, open collars and ties. Whether you choose casual or more formal, you will find both in abundance as we worship together.
A: a clear profession of faith in Jesus the Christ. We expect our church members to participate actively in the worship life and ministries of our church, to be our friends in Christ, to engage in spiritual practices that strengthen our Christian identity and service, and to support the work of the church through the giving of our time, our talents, and our money. Those who desire to join our church are invited to meet with the a couple of our Elders to make a simple profession of faith, or to transfer church membership or reaffirm one's previous affirmation of faith. We hope that those who join our church will get involved in one or more of the ministries of our church and engage in faithful service with us, as God has equipped them to serve.
A: "When will they take the offering?" "How will it be collected?" "How much am I expected to give?" "Are visitors expected to contribute too?" These are typical worries about church offerings. God's Word teaches that our offerings to God should reflect our belief that all we have is his gift to us. It teaches us that with our offerings we worship and honor God. Like most Christians, our members bring offerings to God through their church. Since offerings are gifts of love for God, no one dictates what each person is to give. These offering give them the opportunity to not only show love to Christ, but also to support the work of our congregation as we bring the Good News of Christ's love to more people. We have an open accounting system, which is published every year, so that the membership can see where the resources are spent.
Our major expenditures are on Staff, which support music, youth, congregation and worship, as well as local and international mission. If you would like a copy of our annual report, they are available at the information booth.
We pass an offering plate during the service so that our worship may include bringing gifts to God. We do provide offering envelopes to our members and to those who request one. They are used to keep our gifts a private matter known only to the Lord and the financial secretary who provides an annual accounting for your convenience. Many members have chosen to give electronically, and this can be set up through the church office.
Attending a church for the first time can be intimidating. Here are some common worries:
We can assure you, we won’t embarrass you in this or any other way. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible and at home with us. Time at church should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience. We promise to do all we can so you can learn about your Savior.
Our congregation is much like a family with infants and kids and teens and adults and elderly. It is not unusual to hear the cry of a baby mixed in with the sound of hymns or readings. We also have glass doors in the back of the sanctuary, so you can sit outside the sanctuary, and comfortably care for your children, while still engaging in the service. We also have an excellent Nursery and children’s Worship program.
We hope this visitor's guide has helped to ease your mind, but if you have a question, please ask someone for help. Don’t hesitate to say,
We can assure you our members are more than willing to help!
You are not alone! All of us, at some time, have felt this way in a new situation. We hope you'll see that the people at FRC are ordinary people like yourself. We want to accept you as you are and help you become what Christ wants you to be. We do not want to throw cold water on that with a critical spirit.
You could watch a service online first, if that would make you more comfortable. But, the services are very easy to follow along with, even for first time visitors.
You are not alone. This is one of the reasons we go to church to learn. You will be in good company with many others who don’t know that much about the Bible.