What to Expect at Worship
“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.”
We recognize that many people who visit a church for the first time do so with a bit of trepidation, but we hope that you feel warmly welcomed and comfortable at the United Church of Cookeville. We are a spiritual home to people from all walks and stations of life, believers and questioners, people from a range of backgrounds and faith perspectives, who come together to worship God, become more like Jesus, and serve God’s creation.
What happens at a typical worship service?
You’ll receive a worship guide (“bulletin”) prior to the service which will outline the plan for that Sunday’s worship. Most of the time this includes a mix of prayer, song, scripture readings, a sermon and opportunity for those gathered to share prayer requests with the congregation. Additionally, we offer Holy Communion at least once a month, typically on the first Sunday.
How long is a typical worship service?
Most worship services last about an hour. Many folks like to visit with others in the congregation before and after worship, so feel free to arrive early or stay late if you’re so inclined!
What should I wear?
Wear what makes you comfortable and dress as who you are. Members of our congregation come from all walks of life and you can see it in the way we dress. We believe that God cares more about the state of our hearts than the state of our attire, and encourage you to dress the way that feels most appropriate to you.
Do you offer childcare or Sunday School?
Children and families of all sorts are welcome and cherished at the United Church. Childcare is available for infants and toddlers. For children and teens we offer Sunday School during the worship service. For details about our offerings for children, visit the Children & Youth page.
Do you offer support for those with disabilities?
Our church campus is fully handicapped accessible, with reserved parking available adjacent to the front door.
Will I have to introduce myself?
You can expect a warm greeting from members of the congregation, but don’t fret! You won’t be asked to stand up and introduce yourself, nor will you won’t be asked to walk down the aisle and speak to everyone. Sometimes our worship services include the ancient Christian tradition of the “Passing of the Peace” as part of the liturgy, so you may get a chance to meet those seated immediately around you.
What’s the music like?
Depending on the Sunday, our music may feature guitar, percussion, piano, and other instruments. We use the United Church of Christ “New Century” hymnal, supplemented by both traditional hymns and contemporary worship songs from other Christian denominations.
Do I have to sing?
We certainly encourage everyone to join us in musical worship and celebration, but singing is not mandatory.
Do I have to put money in the offering plate?
You don’t have to give anything. Offering is a chance to give from your abundance and acknowledge the many gifts that God has given you. If you do share a gift, you can be sure it will be used for God’s work.
Do I have to be a church member to take communion?
At the United Church of Cookeville, everyone is welcome at the Table. No exceptions. Communion is a sacrament of the church, a special place of meeting God and an experience of unity with each other. ALL are welcome at the table without regard to church membership or belief. Read more about communion at the UCC.
I still have more questions.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Rev. James Bowman Harris: [email protected].