Sanctuary Worship

Our sanctuary is a beautiful space in which to worship. Both the space and the worship blend traditional and contemporary forms. The sanctuary itself features rich woods, comfortable pews, and stained glass windows designed by one of our members, along with a high quality sound system and prominent projection. Worship is highly participatory and includes moments for movement, singing, speaking, praying, and contemplation.

We worship together in our sanctuary every Sunday morning at 9:30. We also worship together here on holidays.

Answers to Common Questions

Where is the sanctuary?

Our church building is located at 520 E. 11th Street, in DeWitt, Iowa. If you enter through the main doors under the carriage gate, the sanctuary will be located on your left.

What about parking?

The entrance to our parking lot is located to the east of the church building and wraps around the back of the church. We have a handful of accessible parking spaces that are reserved for people is disabilities. Otherwise, feel free to park anywhere.

When is worship (and how long does it last)?

We worship in the sanctuary every Sunday morning at 9:30. Sunday worship generally lasts about an hour, but may be longer when there are special events like confirmation.

We also worship together here on many Christian holidays. These services vary in length.

What can I expect in worship?

The framework for our worship services is firmly traditional. It includes a welcome from our pastor, a time to prepare ourselves for worship, a time for greeting each other, readings from scripture, a sermon, and a time for prayer and reflection. The services is punctuated by hymns and worship songs, prayers, and musical meditations. Some services may also include baptisms, welcoming new members, special musical performances, and other elements.

The content of our worship services blends traditional and contemporary elements. Our music is both ancient and modern, sermons address scripture and current events, prayers and other elements use both traditional language for God and gender-inclusive language.

What about children?

Children are more than welcome in our worship services. We have busy bags available for children who may need something to do, and we encourage children (and adults) to get up and move as they feel the need. There is also a special time in worship for the pastor to speak with our younger worshippers.

Children are free to participate in communion and other parts of worship as they and their parents think appropriate.

For young children, and parents who would prefer it, we also have a nursery with staff and volunteers. The audio from our worship service is available in the nursery.

What about people with disabilities?

Our building is fully accessible to people with mobility issues. We also have assistive hearing devices available.

What sacraments do you celebrate?

The United Church of Christ recognizes two sacraments: baptism and communion.

Baptisms are available to people of any age and involves a set of promises between the God, the person being baptized, and the congregation. For children, their adults make the promises on behalf of the children. Those children will have the chance to affirm those promise and claim them as their own later. Adults make the promises on their own. All baptisms are held after the person being baptized has met with the pastor.

We celebrate communion one the first Sunday of the month and on other special occasions. Usually, we offer bread, gluten-free bread, grape juice, and wine. We take communion by intinction, with communicants coming down the center of the aisle, taking a piece of bread, dipping it in the cup of their choice, eating it, and then returning to their seats by the side aisles. Our communion table is open to everyone; you do not need to be a member of our congregation, or of the United Church of Christ more broadly, to join us in this holy feast.

What Bibles do you use? What hymnals?

We use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible during worship. First published in 1989, the NRSV traces its roots back to the King James Version, but takes into account more recently discovered Biblical manuscripts and advances in Biblical scholarship. It is the version widely preferred by Biblical scholars is used by many Protestant denominations. Copies of the NRSV are available in the pews, and the text is projected on the screen during the reading.

Most of our hymns come from the New Century Hymnal, which is commonly used throughout the United Church of Christ. Copies of the hymnal are available in the pews, and lyrics are projected on the screen when we are singing. Sometimes, we use hymns and songs from other sources. When we do, lyrics are printed in our bulletins and projected on the screen.

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