Are you curious about what going to church is like today? Have you been thinking about giving Cedar Park United Church a try…but you’re just not ready yet? Before you put on your shoes to come on over, you might find it helpful to have more nitty-gritty information about what the Cedar Park United experience is like. Below we`ve done our best to provide answers to the questions we think newcomers like you might have.
But since we may not have addressed your specific question, please feel free to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will do our best to help you further.
FAQ: For newcomers (or anyone with questions!)
1. How long do Sunday morning worship services typically last?
We come together on Sunday mornings at 10 and the service normally last for about 70 minutes. If you need to leave before the end, that is fine.
That being said, lots of people stick around afterward to connect (sometimes until noon!) and to enjoy each other’s company over fair-trade coffee and tea in the Community Hall. It’s a great time to get to know each other more and support each other better.
2. Is it easy to park near the church, and can I reach you by public transportation?
Our adjacent parking lot has lots of space and, when it fills up, there is still ample street parking. In winter there are some restrictions on the north side of the street, opposite the church. And you don’t necessarily need a car to reach us – there are several buses that bring you within a short walk from us.
3. Can I worship with you and find out what you do without necessarily becoming a member?
Of course! Everyone is welcome, no matter what. Try us out and see how it feels. We invite you to bring your unique gifts and needs to our community.
4. My kids are young, and I’ve never brought them to a church service. What should I expect when I get there?
At Cedar Park United we do all we can to help parents and children feel at home in our space. We have a nursery at the back of the sanctuary for babies and toddlers, and a children’s worship experience called KidZone for children in preschool through 6th grade.
When you arrive, your child can choose a welcome bag to enjoy in the pew during the first part of worship. During this time, they join with the adults in song and prayer and exploration of Scripture, before going to the Community Hall to continue their Sunday experience with KidZone. As a parent, you are welcome to accompany your children if they need reassuring: or if you’d like to experience KidZone yourself.
5. I have babies and toddlers – are we really welcome?
Absolutely! You are welcome to sit in the pews with your infants, toddlers and children for all or part of worship. If your baby needs to be changed, or if your toddler needs to take a playtime out for a while, we have a nursery at the back where you can still hear worship while you care for your little ones.
6. What do people wear to church these days? I don’t want to be over or under dressed.
At Cedar Park, you’re welcome just as you are. Whether it’s jeans or shorts, a 3-piece suit or a jogging suit, just wear what you find comfortable.
7. You keep saying that everyone is welcome. But what if I tell you I’m divorced or gay or – it seems like so many churches have an exception to their welcome.
Cedar Park United is an affirming ministry that values inclusivity and diversity, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Our welcome has no little asterisk at the bottom listing those for whom the welcome does not apply.
8. I’ve never been to a church service before. Will I be able to follow the service – or do I need to have all kinds of things memorized first?
We aim to make our service extremely newcomer-friendly. You’ll be given a bulletin when you arrive, and it has every step of the service detailed in it (including hymn page numbers, words for prayers, etc.). You can also follow the service on the screen. And if you find you still have a question, our welcoming team members are always there to help you.
9. What about Holy Communion? When does that happen, and who is allowed to participate?
Communion (sometimes called Eucharist or Mass in other traditions) is celebrated on the first Sunday of every month. At Cedar Park United we believe that Jesus invites EVERYONE to come to the table to be fed, so this means children, adults, visitors – everyone! – is welcome to participate fully in this part of worship.
10. What if I come from a different faith tradition, or I’m not sure about my beliefs? Am I still welcome?
Absolutely. At Cedar Park United, we value spiritual growth and are seekers of understanding. We strive to provide a safe environment for exploring faith and spirituality together. As far as we’re concerned, there simply are no ‘dumb’ or ‘wrong’ questions.
11. What happens when the Sunday morning worship finishes?
Everyone is invited to pick up some fair-trade coffee and tea in the Meeting Room and gather for connection in the Community Hall. It’s very informal, and a happy time for kids to get their wiggles out (or play a board game) while adults enjoy mixing and mingling.
But if mingling’s not your thing, quite a few people stay in the church for a while and chat. You can also speak with the minister at the back of the church should you choose.
12. I can’t imagine adding church to my already-packed weekly schedule. Do people really come every week?
Many people actually do, and many others come more sporadically. No matter the frequency, what keeps people coming back is the sense of belonging and community they discover at Cedar Park United. When you’re not there on Sunday, we don’t judge you for not being there – we truly miss you!
People make time to come to Cedar Park United because they say it recharges their emotional and spiritual batteries and helps them make it through another week in this complex world of ours. For those who are living far from their biological families, Cedar Park is also a place where intergenerational caring takes place.
13. Does anything else happen during the week?
You bet! From Morning Connections on Wednesdays to Mini Connections playgroup on Thursday mornings, from choir rehearsals to Friday-evening Coffee Houses and F4, our monthly Friday evening in community, from Church 101 and Bible 101 courses to line dancing classes, Cedar Park United is a very busy place throughout the week.
Have a look around our website to learn more about what’s coming up at Cedar Park United – you might just find something you’d be interested in trying!