Sunday Morning FAQ

When is church?

Sunday School (pre-k through adults): 9am – 10am
Sunday Worship: 10:25am

How formal is the service?

Our worship is best described as a ‘blended’ service. We follow a predictable format, we sing both hymns and contemporary music, we have both pre-written prayers and informal prayer time, and we read from a variety of bible translations. The atmosphere is, overall, very informal.

What should I wear? 

 Our service is casual and comfortable. Many choose to wear what’s most comfortable to them: jeans, t-shirts, shorts, etc. Some choose to dress up. Whatever you wear, you won’t be out of place here–we have no dress code and no assigned seats. Come as you are and sit where you like. 

How will I know what to do in the service?

 When you arrive, our greeting team will welcome you and give you a bulletin, which contains the service order for the day.

Most of the time, we give pretty clear directions when to stand and sit. Our services usually include some prayers that we say together, and some call-and-response portions, too. In all of those circumstances, the part said by the pastor or the liturgist (reader) is printed in normal text, and the congregational response is in bold type.

At the end of the Prayers of the People, the pastor leads us into the Lord’s Prayer, which is also printed in the bulletin each week.  Presbyterians typically say “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”  But, if you grew up saying “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” or “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us,” say either one.  Pray as you are comfortable.

Is there anything I’m not supposed to do, or any part of the service I shouldn’t participate in if I’m not Presbyterian?

There is nothing that happens during a worship service that visitors are not welcome to do with us.  In fact, we hope you will join us in every aspect! We hope you’ll sing with us, pray with us, laugh with us – and after the service – eat with us.

A lot of times, this question comes up because some churches limit participation in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper (also called Communion or The Eucharist).  At HPC, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of every month. We truly believe this supper belongs to Christ, and therefore absolutely everyone is welcome to participate as they feel comfortable. The opportunity to eat and drink with Christ is not a right bestowed upon the worthy, but a privilege given to all who come in faith and love. 

Is childcare available? Is my child welcome in worship?

Our congregation is blessed with many young children, and we are a community that loves the presence of youth in our church.  We welcome children of all ages, including infants and toddlers – and the joyful noises they make to the Lord – in the pews.

Children up to Kindergarten are invited to begin the worship service with their parents in the sanctuary. The service will include a Children’s Message, after which children of those ages will be led to the nursery for play and stories.

We also have a Wiggle Room available at the back of the sanctuary, fully equipped with audio, if parents need a quieter space for their little ones.

Are you accessible to the physically disabled?

Yes, our entire facility is accessible for those with disabilities. There are ramps that provide access to both levels, and our restrooms are accessible.  Accessible parking (HC) is located near the two accessible entrances. We also have wheelchair-friendly seating in the sanctuary. 

If the service is casual, why does the pastor wear a robe and stole?

During most of the year, our pastor robes for worship partially for her own comfort and ease (it’s a lot harder to have a wardrobe malfunction in a robe!), and partly to remind us that worship is a time set aside from our daily routines–a time set apart to grow closer to God and to one another. Depending on the church season or Sunday, her stole may be green, purple, white or red (and, just in case we are ever tempted to take ourselves too seriously, her Chuck Taylors are usually the same color to match!)

What are church seasons, and why do we celebrate them? 

The church calendar has developed over many centuries since the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ–and it is designed to help us remember that he is the center of our faith. We begin with Advent and Christmas – Advent is a four-week season that helps us get ready for the birth of Christ. We also celebrate Lent, the 40-day season of getting ready for Holy Week and Easter that mirrors Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness. Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit. There are many smaller celebrations, too, each marking an important event in Jesus’ life or the life of the church. The worldwide church assigns colors to these seasons and celebrations because we know that visual, tangible reminders are good for us! 

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