what to expect

 
Expect to Worship God our heavenly creator. Expect to engage the Holy Spirit.
Expect to encounter Jesus Christ.
 
We strive to live out Paul’s plea to, “welcome all as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Rom. 15:7). We usually hit the mark of radical hospitality, but since we are human and still broken, we realize we are not perfect, and so we do not expect perfection from our guests.
 
Enjoy a cup of fresh, hot coffee, tasty snacks and plenty of Jesus.
Come dressed up in your best threads or in your jeans straight out of the fields.
It doesn’t matter because all are welcome here.
Childcare you ask? Our nursery is open for your littlest ones ages infant to 2 yrs. old.
 
It is our hope and prayer that guests will become family here at St. Stephen UMC.

worship how to’s

First Fruits – This is what we call offering. “Honor the Lord with your substance, and with the first fruits of all your produce.” (Proverbs 3:9)

In ancient Israel, God’s holy people asked for a “tithe,” this was also called the offering of the “first-fruits.” “Tithe” simply means 1/10.  The early people of God gave back to God,1/10  of all crops from the first

harvest.  Hence we call it First Fruits.  The offerings were devoted to the maintenance of the Temple, the support of the priesthood, and the support of the poor (Num. 18:24, Deut. 12:11, and 26:12).

 

We bring our offerings forward – Instead of passing the plate, we bring our offerings forward and place them in the baskets.  This is what the early church did, and Jesus alluded to this act in Matthew 5:23.  We invite you to bring not just your first fruits (offerings) but your prayer and connection cards.  You may come forward and pray at the rails during this special time.  You can also us this time to be in private prayer with the pastor, or  one of our other prayer leaders.  In a sense, you are not just bringing money forward as an

offering, but your entire self.  If you are uncomfortable coming forward, you can place your first fruits and/or connection and prayer cards in the offering plate which is located in front of the door leading out to the

Welcome Center.

 

Holy Communion – You’re invited to come forward, and so are your children and children’s children.  In the United Methodist Church, the communion table is open to everyone.  You do not have to be a Methodist or a member of this church.  Our belief is that the table belongs to Jesus.  We normally serve Communion by “intinction.”  You will be given a piece of bread (fairly large for God’s grace is BIG STUFF and abundant). Please hold out your hand with palms up to receive the bread.  Then dip the bread in the cup of grape juice and partake.  You make go to the rails and pray or back to your seat. 

 

Arms raised high when we sing, or keep them at my sides?  It’s whatever you feel comfortable doing, or led by the Holy Spirit to do.  It’s cool, just worship God! We are learning to respect and love all the different ways that people worship God, because deep down, we know that God loves all forms of worship.

 

When do I sit and when do I stand? No worries, we will let you know.  And it’s ok not to stand if you are not able.