Whether you are new to the area or new to faith, checking out churches can be really hard and when visiting a small congregation, you can’t really hide among the crowds. There are many valid and practical questions when you are entering a church for the first time. Will it be weird? Am I wasting a Sunday morning only to find out that this is just not the right fit for me? Where do I go? What do I do with my kids? What will the music be like? What will people be wearing? To give you a glimpse of this community, here is a brief run-down of what to expect at Epiphany.
If you want more specific information about the congregation, please contact us here.
RECONCILING IN CHRIST
We are a Reconciling in Christ congregation. You many wonder what that means. On December 13th, 2016, our congregation adopted an affirmation of welcome to persons regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, culture, addictions, physical or mental health, imprisonment, socio-economic circumstances, or anything that too often divides us.
Everyone who gathers here is invited, expected and encouraged to share in the sacramental and general life of this congregation. We pledge to ourselves and to all others that we will strive to live as a reconciling people, in our life together and in our outreach to the world. For our full statement as an RIC congregation, click here. To learn more about the Reconciling in Christ process, visit www.reconcilingworks.org
ARRIVING AT THE CHURCH
There are two parking lots at Epiphany, a small front lot along Old Columbia Pike and a larger back lot down the drive behind the church. Our front parking lot has accessible parking spaces located conveniently near the main entrance to the church. There is also an entrance to the building for those parking in the back lot that is available during events and services. Once you enter the building from the back lot, there is a staircase located immediately to your right that will lead you to the main level.
If you are visiting the pastor or church office during the week, we recommend that you park in the front lot and ring the doorbell when you arrive.
Our main level is accessible through the main entrance. The sanctuary is to the left as you enter and an accessible restroom is located to your right. This restroom is gender-inclusive and also contains a changing table. There are two other restrooms available on this main level as well, near the offices. The fellowship hall is ahead and to your right as you enter the church. This is where you can grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee after worship and a number of our annual events are also hosted in this space, such as the Shrove Tuesday Pancake supper and the gingerbread house decorating party around Christmas.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN WORSHIP
Through our Sunday worship we are gathered in Christ’s name, fed with God’s Word, and sent out to serve faithfully in the world. Holy Communion is celebrated regularly. An adult discussion begins at 9:00am, usually centered on the Gospel text of the day.
Our Sunday worship services begin at 10:30am. Worship includes liturgy, prayer, readings from Scripture, a sermon, and hymns accompanied by our minister of music on the piano or organ. We use bulletins as a guide through the service and it usually contains all that you need to participate. Large print bulletins are also available, just ask!
We believe that Christ is truly present in the bread and wine of the sacrament. The Lord’s Table is open to all who hunger to know the love of God, set for all who need grace, forgiveness, strength, and wisdom for ministry and mission to the world. Whatever your church background or tradition, please know that you are welcome to commune here. If you do not wish to receive communion, you are invited to come forward for a blessing.
WHAT TO WEAR
Don’t stress over what to wear in this place. Be present and be yourself. You will find a mix of attire in this community, yoga pants to dresses and slacks, sports jerseys to suit and ties.
Children of all ages are welcome and encouraged to worship. We have special activity bulletins for children and often a children’s message as well. Kids have the opportunity to serve in worship as well, not only as acolytes but as ushers, readers, and prayer leaders. During the school year, children are invited to join our “In the Water” Sunday School programing following communion, beginning around 11:20am. It is a “rotation” structure, meaning that over the course of 3 or 4 weeks, they interact with the same Bible story through art, storytelling, games, and children’s yoga. We have two age groups for Sunday School, pre-K through Kindergarten and 1st Grade through 5th Grade. 6th Graders and up are invited to confirmation class to continue faith exploration.
If you need to step out during the service there is a restroom with changing table across from the sanctuary as well as a seating area nearby.
Please join us for a time of conversation and fellowship following the service in our fellowship hall. The snacks provided are usually more than just donuts and coffee. You may find bagels, salads, fresh fruit, rice, dal, injera, cheese and crackers, breakfast casseroles or even pizza. This is an informal time to enjoy the community before we face the week ahead.