First Church Somerville UCC
First Church Somerville UCC

FAQs

faqWhat times are your worship services?

Our soul-nourishing Sabbath worship takes place Sunday at 10am. Sunday school with professional teachers also takes place at 10am, year-round. Once each month, usually the third or fourth Sunday, children ages 3 and up are invited to spend the entire worship hour with their families in All-Ages Worship.

For special services, watch our blog.

What happens during church?

As you enter the church, a friendly greeter will say hello to you at the front door and direct you to the sanctuary upstairs, where another greeter will give you a worship bulletin to orient you to the service. All of our services feature readings from scripture, preaching, prayer, and music. At times, you will be invited to stand, sing, pray, greet your neighbor, be in silence, or read in unison.

Communion is offered at Sabbath Worship on the first Sunday of the month. Our communion table is open to everyone—baptized or not, confessed or not, sure or not, saint or sinner or a little bit of each.

On particular Sundays we may baptize an infant or an adult; receive new members; offer a time for children; bless animals, a marriage, or backpacks before the first day of school.

At all of our services we maintain the ancient Christian practice of receiving an offering to support the church’s ministries. We welcome your gifts and encourage everyone to live a life marked by generosity. Every gift, of every size, is valued.

Do you offer childcare or Sunday school?

Children and families of all sorts are welcome and cherished at First Church Somerville. The nursery is open for children ages 0-3 at every Sunday service, year-round. Sunday school is offered for children in preschool through middle school year-round, unless it is an All Ages Sunday. More details are available here. If your children are more comfortable staying with you in worship, you are of course welcome to keep them with you. We are comfortable and used to a normal amount of kid-noise during worship. If your child becomes very upset, we have a livestream of the worship service in the parish hall downstairs, and activities for kids, so you can calm or redirect your child without missing anything!

What should I wear?

Some people come dressed in their Sunday best. Others wear jeans or shorts. We have even had a Pajama Sunday! 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.

How long do services last?

Sabbath Worship lasts between an hour and an hour and fifteen minutes, sometimes more if we have a baptism, communion, or other special event.

Is there a coffee hour or fellowship time after church?

We refer to coffee hour as our “second hour of worship.” We take our food and our friendships seriously, and coffee hour is where we share both of these gifts. Coffee hour happens after the 10am service, in the parish hall.

Coffee hour is provided by all those currently attending worship at First Church, organized into Coffee Klatches. Joining a Klatch can be a great way to get involved without a serious commitment, and to meet people as well. Let Rev. Jeff know if you’d like to join a Klatch.

We know it can be intimidating to walk into a room full of strangers (shades of the junior high cafeteria!), so on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, instead of a receiving line after church, the pastors and other worship leaders gather with newcomers at the front of the sanctuary. Coffee and a few goodies are provided so we can feed you and get to know you in a more relaxed setting.

Do you offer a Sunday Bible study for adults?

We offer Bible studies throughout the year, especially during the more reflective seasons of Advent and Lent. Sometimes they take place on Sundays, and sometimes on other days. We will often host a second hour program after coffee hour to acquaint folks with local justice work, or have deeper conversations about faith and theology and culture. Our Bible studies are geared to newbies as well as those who have a lot of experience with reading the Bible.

Is the church handicapped accessible?

Yes. There is an accessible parking spot closest to our entrance on Francesca Avenue. We have an accessible restroom and an elevator to the sanctuary on the ground floor. Wheelchair pew seating is available in two locations in the sanctuary, so that folks in chairs may sit side by side with their companions. Large-print bulletins are available. If you are blind and would like an electronic copy of the bulletin, you may ask for one ahead of time by emailing the church office. If you are hard of hearing, we will soon have assistive listening devices for the hearing impaired.

What about formal membership?

We join new members formally about three times a year, during Sabbath Worship. Before each joining, we have several gatherings: to explore the physical plant, to get familiar with the membership promises, and to hear the faith stories of the pastors and the other new members.

Membership has privileges: primarily, the right to vote in our annual meeting and other congregational meetings, and the ability to serve in more trusted leadership positions. Membership has expectations as well: a deeper commitment to serve the church, as well as support it with an annual pledge to our shared work. Many folks choose to remain a cherished part of our Beloved Community without ever joining formally.

We will never pressure you to join or be involved beyond your capacity; it should be your free choice. 

How can I get more information?

Please feel free to chat with one of our ministers after church, or at their weekly office hours. Rev. Henry has office hours by appointment, and Rev. Jeff has office hours at the Diesel Café in Davis Square on Thursday mornings from 8:30-10am. You can also email us here and we’ll make sure your question gets to the right place.