Will I be welcome for who I am?
Open and Affirming
Becoming an Anti-Racist Congregation
Yes, we are an inclusive community with many activities and people of many interests. We look forward to welcoming you. Our faith commitment is to welcome and nurture all people. Please see our three covenantal statements:
Where are you located? Is there parking?
We are at 9525 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910, just south of the Beltway. Most of us enter the church from the back, from the parking lot. (Our Home Page shows the church from that angle in the picture at the upper right.) The parking lot has some spaces set aside for Sunday morning visitors. If the parking lot behind the church is full, there is additional parking across Indian Spring Road from the church, or on the street. Also see our Where to Find Us page.
Are you accessible?
Yes, the entrance from the parking lot is accessible. There are parking spots reserved for those with wheelchairs or otherwise needing accessible parking. We have an elevator to all levels of the church. The sanctuary is accessible by means of a ramp for wheelchairs or walkers.
What happens when you come for the first time?
When you enter the church from the parking lot, you will be in our entrance foyer. There you will be greeted by a member of our Board for Outreach and Engagement and invited to wear a name tag, if you wish. The greeters will point out the sanctuary entrance and also provide information about our programs for children during the church service, if you need it. See Christian Education.
What is available for my children? Will they feel welcome?
A full Christian Education program is available for children, with a nursery for younger children. Church school is conducted during worship, but at first children are with their parents in the sanctuary, then have “children’s time” with the pastor or other leader in the sanctuary, then go to church school. When you come in to the church, you can learn where all the classrooms are so that you will know where your children will be at the end of the worship service.
Will my teens find a place?
We have an active Christian Education program for youth in 6th through 12th grades on Sunday evening, beginning with a meal together at 5:30 p.m. in the Social Hall downstairs.
Is there Christian Education for adults?
Yes, there is and we welcome you to attend our Contemporary Theology Class for adults at 9 a.m. on Sundays (2nd floor, conference room), which explores Christian perspectives. We also offer 3rd Tuesday Gatherings for Spiritual Nourishment in the morning, as well as opportunities for Seasonal Reflections as we progress through the church year. There are also numerous small groups interested in a particular focus, such as protecting the environment, music, art, to name a few. See Christian Education | Adults [LINK].
Is there a program for young adults?
We are now focused on developing a way to provide an engaging and interesting program for young adults that would include educational, worship and social opportunities. For more information or to become involved in this growing ministry, please contact us at email@example.com.
What do people wear?
We are not a formal congregation. We want you to be comfortable and engaged in the worship service or other activities. If you are comfortable in a suit and tie, or a designer dress, you will be welcome. If you are comfortable in slacks and a sweater or a blouse and slacks or skirt, you will be welcome. Some people feel more comfortable in jeans and shirt.
Is there a music program?
We have a wonderful adult choir as well as choral opportunities for children and youth. There are also opportunities to participate in instrumental music during the church year, and the choir presents special music at Christmas, Easter and other occasions. Visit our music page for more information.
What is the worship space like?
Our church is part of the United Church of Christ, and our sanctuary is similar to many of the congregational-style churches in New England: white walls, fixed wooden pews, a wooden cross (made by a former associate pastor) at the back of the altar, with a raised altar area and choir space. We have a fine organ to accompany hymns and our choir is well regarded.
What is your worship service like each week?
Each week the service is similar but not necessarily the same. We try for variety from time to time. We sometimes have guest ministers. We are guided through the service with a worship bulletin. There are some common elements: welcome and announcements; prelude; call to worship and hymn of praise; prayer of invocation and Lord’s prayer; scripture reading; prayer of confession and reconciliation; passing of the Peace of God; children’s time; sermon; prayers of the people; offering including Doxology and prayer of dedication of offering; hymn of going forth; benediction; and postlude. During the announcements, you will be invited to fill out the pew register, a small tablet with space for your name, phone number and other information, so that we can be in touch with you, if you wish.
Will I be able to receive communion?
All are welcome to receive communion. Communion is usually received as congregants file to the front of the church to receive the Sacrament by intinction (dipping the bread in the cup). Communion is received on the first Sunday of the month in the 10:30 service, and each Sunday in the 9:00 service.
Will people be welcoming after the service or will I be able to head out if I need to?
After the service, you can be welcomed by the pastors or other members of the church. You can ask questions and join in our coffee time, which is either in the foyer or Social Hall downstairs. But if you need to leave promptly, no one will think it inappropriate for you to just make your way out.
Do you support any community missions?
Our congregation supports several local as well as national and international social justice concerns, including international projects in India and Africa, a local soup kitchen, a community ministry in downtown DC, and our county’s community ministry. Our social justice ministry is guided by our ministers and the church’s Board for Social Witness.
How are the programs and missions of the church supported financially?
We are an independent congregation, primarily supported by voluntary financial gifts from members and friends of the congregation. Visit our Stewardship Board page [LINK] to learn more.