Worship

Worship is a central part of our life at First Congregational United Church of Christ. It is a time for us to come together as a community, learn from the scriptures, and praise the living God. Whether you’re already a member, looking for a new church home, or thinking about church for the first time, we hope you’ll join us this Sunday morning! During the COVID-10 pandemic, there are three great options for joining us each week.

Live In-Person

Join us for live, in-person worship in our parking lot at 9:30 on Sunday mornings. You can listen from the safety of your car, or bring a chair and sit outside (don’t worry, there’s plenty of shade). If you choose not to use your car, please wear a mask and practice social distancing. The building will be open in case anybody needs inside (but please only enter if necessary).

Our church building is located at 520 E. 11th St., in DeWitt, Iowa.

The parking lot entrance is located to the east of our church building. Normally, you can feel free to park anywhere in the lot. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask that you park in the back of the building or on the far side of the median. That way, people who are sitting outside can be closer to the building.

Normally, worship is in our sanctuary. If you enter the building via the doors on the west side of the parking lot (under the coach gate), the sanctuary will be to your left.

Due to COVID-19, we are currently worshipping in our parking lot. The pastor preaches from under the porch gate, people sit in the first row of parking spaces, and cars park on the opposite side of the median.

Worship is at 9:30 on Sunday mornings. It usually lasts about an hour, though it can last longer if there are special events. We also host special services on holidays.

We've made some changes in worship to accommodate COVID-19. At the moment, it lasts anywhere from a half hour to an hour.

Worship at First Congregational United Church of Christ follows a 'traditional' pattern. Usually, this includes:

  • a welcome from the pastor
  • a call to worship
  • a time for greeting each other
  • a reading from scripture
  • a time for younger worshippers (suspended during COVID-19)
  • a sermon from the pastor
  • a time for prayer and reflection
  • a time for offerings that support the church and its mission (suspended during COVID-19)

The service is punctuated by hymns and prayers. Some services may also include musical performances, baptisms, the acceptance of new members, or other elements.

First Congregational United Church of Christ celebrates communion on the first Sunday of each month and at some special worship services.

Usually, we offer bread, gluten-free bread, wine, and grape juice. Communion is taken by intinction: people come to the front of the sanctuary, take a piece of bread, dip it in the wine or juice, eat it there, and return to their seats.

During COVID-19, we are using prepackaged wafer-and-juice kits.

Our communion table is open, meaning that you do not need to be a member of First Congregational United Church of Christ, or the United Church of Christ more broadly, to join us in this feast.

Children of all ages are welcome in our worship services.

Normally, busy bags are available for children and there is a special time during worship for the pastor to speak with young worshippers. Due to COVID-19, we've put the busy bags away and suspended the children's time.

Children are free to participate in communion and other parts of worship at their own discretion and the discretion of their parents.

Our building is fully accessible to people with mobility issues. Normally, assistive hearing devices are available.

Readings during the service are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, and copies can be found in each pew. This version of the Bible is widely preferred by scholars and used in worship in many Protestant denominations.

Hymns are usually sung from the New Century Hymnal, which is commonly used in congregations of the United Church of Christ. Lyrics can be found in the hymnals or projected on the screen in the front of the sanctuary.

We've put the Bibles and hymnals away during COVID-19.

Join us from the safety of your own home for an intimate half-hour worship service that includes music, scripture readings, a sermon, and prayer.

Our podcast includes a worship service that sounds a lot like our video service (minus the hymns). We often also include additional reflections and conversations from Pastor Chris.