What to Expect on Sunday Mornings
We would love for you to join us on Sunday mornings at Alamance. At 9:00 a.m., several classes meet for Sunday School, and others gather for coffee, tea, refreshments, and good conversation in our Gathering Room. Our children are invited to join Joy Thomas, our Director of Children’s Ministries for Godly Play on the second floor of our education building. Our Middle Schoolers meet for Sunday School in the youth room, and the Senior Highs meet with Pastor Jess in the yellow house on the other side of the street from our main building.
All children from PreK-5th grade meet from 9-9:50 a.m. each Sunday, to learn and grow together through the practice of Godly Play. The Godly Play approach is both educational and sacred, providing a calm, relaxing space for children to experience God’s story in a developmentally appropriate way that honors their natural sense of wonder.
Worship begins at 10:00 a.m. in the sanctuary. As the congregation gathers, our pastors share announcements about the things coming up in the life of the church. We are a busy congregation, and we celebrate as worship all the ways God is at work in all our ministries.
After the announcements, we center ourselves on worship with a piano prelude, a call to worship, an opening hymn, or song. In our Presbyterian Church’s Reformed Tradition, we always take time to confess our sins and ask for God’s forgiveness and reconciliation. And then, our Church passes the peace. The passing of the peace at Alamance is more than a brief handshake. It’s an opportunity to share God’s love and reconnect as the body of Christ. That time ends with a chorus of praise.
As we focus our attention on God’s Word, a lay reader shares our first scripture, and our choir leads us in an anthem. Our pastors invite our children to come forward for a message tailored to them, but one that often speaks to the whole congregation. After the Children’s Message, our young people are welcome to go with Joy Thomas to Children’s Church or to the Grace Space in the sanctuary. Our pastors share the second scripture and offer the message. Our messages are often traditional sermons, but they may also include video, drama, a conversation between our pastors, or an interactive experience.
We share communion about 9 times a year, particularly on special occasions like Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Christmas Eve. We ordinarily receive communion by intinction, which means coming forward to dip the bread in the cup. We may alter that pattern to follow health protocols. Our communion cup always contains grape juice, not wine.
After the message and sacraments, we spend time together in prayer for our church, community, and world. We collect offerings to support the ministry of our church, including monthly mission offerings. On the first Sunday of the month, we collect Pennies for Hunger/Coins for Christ to support Salem Presbytery’s hunger ministry. We sing God’s praise for all that God has given, we offer a prayer of gratitude, and our service concludes with another hymn or song and benediction.
Our music and worship tend to be traditional, but eclectic. We might sing a contemporary song or spiritual on the same Sunday we sing an old favorite. We are not afraid to try new things in worship. While you might expect to see everything mentioned above, you really never know exactly what to expect in worship at Alamance.
Nurseury/Grace Space/Children's Church/Worship Bags
The nursery is provided for infants and young toddlers Sunday mornings starting at 9 a.m. and until worship is over. The nursery is located in the Child Development Building, in room 217. It would be a great help to us if you contacted Joy Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org), our Director of Children’s Ministries, before bringing your child to the nursery on Sundays. We want to make sure we have plenty of volunteers to receive you and to make sure we understand the needs of your particular child.
Our Grace Space has child-sized tables and chairs where children can sit during Worship. Here they can work on crafts, and explore Bible-based activities and other means of dual engagement during church. The children & their parents can participate in worship without being pushed to the back of the church or a “cry room”.
If they so desire, children from age 4 through 5th grade enjoy a special time in the Community Room (under the sanctuary) after the Time with Children during worship for a special service of story and song, designed just for them! The Children will return to worship during the collection of the offering toward the end of the service.
Children's worship bags are provided at the sanctuary entrances. Each bag contains crayons and various activities related to the scriptural content of the day that children can engage with during worship if they wish to stay with their parents.