Worship: Your First Visit
While a great deal of activity happens at Nassau Presbyterian Church throughout the week, the foundation of our week is Sunday worship at 9:15 and 11:00AM [10:00AM Memorial Day through Labor Day]. The worship of God is a joy and a gift. If you are worshiping with us for the first time we welcome you and want you to know what you can expect.
A Warm Welcome
Everyone is welcome to attend our worship service. It doesn’t matter if you have no religion, are of another religion, or if you’ve simply never been to church before. You will be greeted warmly and welcomed sincerely. We are happy you have joined us and we look forward to offering you hospitality. We invite you to fill out information in the Fellowship Pad found in each pew and to visit our Welcome Corner during fellowship between services in the Assembly Room.
When You Arrive
When you arrive at the church (see Parking below) you’ll want to head toward our worship area, the Sanctuary, where you will be greeted by a church member who will welcome you and give you a bulletin with the day’s Order of Worship, which will guide you through our worship service. Feel free to sit anywhere in the Sanctuary, including the balcony.
The Church Building
Christians have a unique vocabulary you may not be familiar with. For starters, we have special names to designate various places and objects within the church. Here’s an overview:
|We call it…||It’s…|
|Sanctuary||The room where worship is held, with the pews for sitting|
|Chancel||The front raised area in the Sanctuary|
|Narthex||The entrance-way between the outside doors and the Sanctuary|
|Communion Table||The big table on the Chancel|
|Pulpit||The lectern where pastors and other worship leaders read scripture, pray, and preach|
|Baptismal Font||The octagonal stand with the bowl filled with water|
|Church School||Educational classes for children and youth|
|Fellowship Pad||The dark blue booklets that are found in the pews, in which you write your name, contact information, and other information|
|Pew Books||The books in front of and under each seat, which include the Bible and, for singing, a hymnal and a psalter (a hymn book of psalms).|
Standing and sitting
In your bulletin, you can tell if the congregation will stand for a part of the worship service if it is marked with a ‘*’ before the item. In addition, watch the pastors and other worship leaders, and you will see gestures or instructions that also indicate when to stand or sit. Our church includes people of various physical abilities, and we invite you to stay seated at any time if that is more appropriate or comfortable for you. We also have several pews large enough to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
Music and Singing
We are truly a congregation that loves music and is blessed with many talents in our music ministry. We appreciate and like to incorporate musical gifts from the many different traditions and cultures within Christianity. On any given Sunday, we might sing a traditional church hymn like “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” or “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” an old gospel hymn like “Amazing Grace” or “Blessed Assurance,” an African song like “Hallelujah! We Sing Your Praises!” or “Siyahamba,” a modern folk-liturgical piece like “Gather Us In” or “Blest Are They,” or a chant from the Taize community like “Eat This Bread” or “Jesus, Remember Me.”
Most often our congregation’s singing is accompanied by our pipe organ, but we also sometimes use piano, other instruments, and even occasionally some percussion, as appropriate to the style of a song. We use the hymnal Glory to God (2013) and the hymnal of psalms (also known as a psalter), Psalms for All Seasons. In addition to the congregation’s own singing, our worship includes pieces in a variety of styles sung by our choirs, songs sung by soloists, and instrumental pieces on handbells, brass, flute, strings, piano, or pipe organ.
On the first Sunday of each month, and on some additional special occasions, we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion (also known by some Christians as “the Lord’s Supper” or “the Eucharist”). Everyone is welcome to participate. The sacrament is open to everyone, regardless of your religious denomination, church membership, gender, sexual orientation, race, language or age. If you’re not comfortable, or feel that you don’t understand the sacrament well enough to take part, just stay in your seat and don’t worry. No one will pressure you to take part. But, if you do want to take part but don’t know what to do, our pastors will give brief instructions, or you can just do what the people sitting around you are doing.
The offering is an act of worship and thanksgiving for Christians. It is an action of our belief that everything we have comes from God. It is also an act of generosity. Offerings support the ministry of our church and various outreach and mission programs locally, across the United States and throughout the world. During worship an offering plate is passed down the pews. Visitors are not expected to participate in the offering, and it is perfectly acceptable for you to let the offering plate pass you by. If you decide to make Nassau Presbyterian Church your church home we hope you will consider regular participation in our offering, and you can choose from many different ways to contribute your time, talents, and resources.
Nassau Presbyterian Church is wheelchair accessible from the ramp to our side door from the parking lot. An elevator is by this entrance hall goes both up to the second ﬂoor and to the Lower Level. We also have two wheelchairs available inside the church.
For worship services, we provide mobile hearing aids connected to our sound system and large-print bulletins and hymnals. Please feel free to ask an usher for any need you may have. Our church includes people of various physical abilities, and we invite you to stay seated at any time during worship if that is more appropriate or comfortable for you. We also have six pews large enough to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
Our parking lot includes an accessible parking space. On Sunday mornings additional spaces are available in our lot as well as six reserved parking spaces near the church on Nassau Street.
Coffee and Fellowship
Between the worship services at 10:15AM we gather in the Assembly Room behind the Sanctuary for fellowship and refreshments. In summer we enjoy the warm weater at 11:00AM out on the front portico. If you are a newcomer please stay and strike up a conversation.
We are always delighted to welcome children into our worship, and children of any and all ages are welcome to stay with their families throughout the whole of the worship service.
At 9:15AM most children are in worship for the first part of the service. About 15 minutes into the service, after Time with Children, a special part of the service just for them, they are dismissed to Church School. There are volunteers to help you find your way to a class.
For the very young among us, we have child care available in the church nursery. In addition, the Narthex in the back of our sanctuary makes a great quiet space for parents and children if you need to leave the Sanctuary during the service, and you can still see and hear what’s going on in the Sanctuary. Take a look out our Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry pages for more information about opportunities for children and teens at Nassau Church.