FIRST TIME VISITOR?
Visiting a new church can often be unnerving. Here are some FAQ's to help you on your first visit with us:
Q: How do I get into the building?
A: Our parking lot wraps around the south side, back, and north side of our facility. You can enter either in the peach colored doors on the south side (that's where our sanctuary is) or through the glass doors on the north side (that's where our fellowship hall is.) We also have glass doors at the front of our facility that have steps down to the sidewalk, but they aren't used that much, so we often keep them locked.
Q: Is your facility accessible for the disabled?
A: Yes, it most certainly is. Both entrances are disabled accessible, but we tend to think the glass doors on the north side are the easiest to use.
Q: How long is your worship service?
A: Our service lasts for about one hour and fifteen minutes, starting at 10 am and ending at 11 am. We always follow worship with a time of fellowship and hospitality, including coffee and snacks. On the first Sunday of every month, we have a potluck lunch where all are welcome.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and good about yourself. Some people wear suits each week, some people wear jeans and cowboy boots, some come in to pick up clean shirts and socks to wear. If you're wearing clothing of any sort, we doubt anyone will take notice of what you actually have on, unless it's to compliment you. (And if you're not wearing clothing, we'll help you out with that too.)
Q: What is the worship service like?
A: Our service is what some people call a "blended service." In our order of worship, we call one another to meet God, 'fess up what we do wrong, remember that we are forgiven and are called to forgive, listen for God's truth, and respond to God's Good News in Jesus by singing, praying and giving in joy. We use guitars, piano, organ, a choir, bells, soloists, and joyful noises of all sorts, some of it traditional and some of it not.
Q: Do I have to be a Presbyterian to worship with you? I don't know what a Presbyterian is.
A: No, you do not have to be a Presbyterian or know what a Presbyterian is in order to worship with us or participate in our community. Being Presbyterian means that we are "theologically reformed," believing that the church should always be reforming, that we are connected to God by grace through faith, and a lot of other orthodox stuff that teaches us about God's love for the world. Being Presbyterian also speaks to the way we govern ourselves as a church. If you want to know more about being reformed or Presbyterian government, give us a call...but you don't have to know the answers to be part of our community.
Q: Do you serve Communion (or the Eucharist)? Who can participate in that?
A: We celebrate an open table at Grace. If you want to be in God's presence, then you are welcome at our table--you don't have to be a member or a regular attender or earn that right in any way. We believe Jesus earned that right for you.
Q: I have kids. What do I do with my kids at your church? They can be noisy.
A: We have kids too. Our kids can also be noisy, but that doesn't bother us. Your kids are welcome to participate in whatever ways are comfortable for you and your family: they can stay in worship, or they can leave during the sermon to attend a special children's lesson. We have childcare for kids preschool age and younger, and children's lessons for kids aged Kindergarten-5th grade.
Q: I'm in the military.
A: You're in good company. We're your neighbors here in Northeast El Paso, and so a lot of us are military too. We are a community that seeks to support military families in the many ways they need support, including supporting military spouses when partners are deployed and helping as a family would help when the ones we love are far away. Just let us know you're military, and we'll be glad to join you in your journey (whatever it might bring.)
Q: What other activities does your church have for my family and me?
A: Right now, we have a regular Sunday morning bible study that goes chronologically through scripture. We also offer short 2-5 week classes on special topics every other month or so on Sunday mornings before worship, talking about things like social justice, stories of darkness in the Bible, and Christian history/present/future, to name a few. We have youth group every Thursday evening from 6-7: 45 pm. We have #GraceB4Work every Tuesday morning. We have craft and quilting groups, Presbyterian Women, and MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers.) But, as we said, we're still new at this, so it's best to check in with the office or sign up for our email newsletter if you want to keep up to date on the latest happenings and events.
Q: What is your policy on weddings?
A: Well, first off, congratulations on your plans to get married! As a community church, Grace does not require you to be a member or regular attender to be married by our pastor or to use our facilities, which include an indoor sanctuary, and outdoor sanctuary with a view of the city, and a covered patio with a fountain and view of the city. We believe love is from God and is always worth a celebration (the Bible tells us so), and so we do not discriminate against age, race, gender or sexual orientation. All couples who wish to get married at Grace are welcome.
Q: What about funerals?
A: Again, as a community church, we are dedicated to supporting you in every way we can throughout your life, including when you lose a loved one. Our tradition believes that death is an occasion to celebrate the life and resurrection of the people we love, regardless of the circumstances that brought death to their door. If you wish to celebrate the life of your loved one in the context of faith, our pastor is happy to assist you in every way she can, as is our facility and our church members.