What to expect:
We are so glad that you are interested in exploring our community of faith. We know that searching for a faith community takes a great deal of courage, and can be overwhelming. We honor that, so we want you to know what you can expect.
Overall, we hope that our services are vibrant celebrations of our love for God and God's great love for all. You’ll find a relaxed, casual atmosphere with genuinely warm and friendly people. There is no “dress code,” so wear what you feel comfortable in. As we gather, let us remember that whether we wear a Ravens jersey, a Hawaiian shirt, a suit and tie, or a bejeweled mask, God looks at our hearts and not our outward appearance. Dress comfortably, but above all else, wear compassion.
The service usually begins with singing, prayer, community highlights. The lyrics of our hymns and songs of praise are provided either in the bulletin or projected on a large screen. There are Bibles in your pews that you are welcome to use to read along with the scripture passages with the page number clearly marked. Sometimes the scripture is printed in the bulletin instead. Scripture readings and an engaging, relevant, sometimes funny sermon are followed by more music, prayers of the people, an affirmation of faith, and holy communion. We end with a final hymn and blessing.
The duration of our services are usually an hour. Our services vary a lot from week-to-week depending on the season, and to accommodate beautiful moments such as baptisms and other blessings.
We hope to see you Sunday.
A few common questions:
What do I bring?
Bring your full and authentic self! Bring your open heart. Bring your neighbor, your family, your friends, your kids.
Will we celebrate Holy Communion?
Yes! We celebrate holy communion each week and invite you to participate as much as possible. We believe this holy meal is God's gift to us, offered without a price and all are welcome to the Table. Simply come forward following the invitation, receive the bread and retrieve the cup from the server. You can consume the bread and juice there or at your seat, and place the disposable cup in the wastebasket provided.
Can we give online?
Yes! Your use of online giving is amazing and we hope that you'll continue to via eastportumc.org/give or via automatic bank drafts. We'll also have offering plates available during holy communion and a box to collect offering at the rear of the sanctuary so you can deposit it before or after the service.
Masks? Social Distancing?
Yes! Masks are no longer required, but please do continue practicing social distancing while you're indoors. Remember, not everyone is comfortable with "just a quick hug." Please be sure to respect people's boundaries and know that some have a limited "exposure budget." We are so glad for this to be a welcoming, comforting, and safe space for all.
What should I anticipate in the worship service?
We'll sing, pray, sing, and hear a sermon together, and sing some more! We are celebrating God's great love for us and for all with great joy. You are welcome to participate as much as you feel comfortable. If you have questions about the service, you can always contact our Pastor.
Since March of 2020 we have been gathering virtually for our primary worship service. Pastor Chris, JoAnn Kulesza (our Music Director) and a crew of dedicated volunteers have been working to lead us in worship from our living rooms, kitchen tables, offices, and cars. Each week on Sunday morning a new worship video was produced to guide us in prayer, song, scripture reading, and reflection.
Now this service is recorded live and later made available early in the week so you can watch it at your convenience.
We encourage you to create a sacred space, wherever that is, to help you participate in the service. Be sure to download the bulletin for the service so you can follow along, joining in the service whenever possible. We want this experience to be as interactive as possible, so light a candle as a way to bring the Light of Christ into your space; share the peace of Christ with your spouse, family, neighbor, a stranger on the street; and feel free to belt it out when singing with us.