What to Expect
Services start at 10:00am every Sunday. Feel free to dress comfortably. Some people come in their Sunday best, but most people dress casually. When you arrive you will be met by one of our “official” greeters, who will answer your questions and give you a name tag. An usher will hand you a bulletin and then you may take a seat anywhere.
We have a special “Family Section” in the back of our church for anyone with babies or young children. There is a rocking chair and lots of toys and space for little squirmy kids to feel comfortable stretching out. We love kids, so don’t worry if they make noise or cry. You also have the option to drop them off in our nursery before or anytime during the service. After our children’s moment, kids are invited to go to Church School. One of our teachers will escort them to class. We have a one-room class where kids through 6th grade get to learn together about the Bible and God. Youth in grades 7-12 also have a class.
During the service you can follow along in your bulletin. We usually start by passing the peace and greeting one another, then there are announcements, and then the choir might sing or we jump right into our first hymn. We use two different hymnals and also bring in special music. We sing everything – traditional hymns, contemporary worship songs, gospel, spirituals, and classical. We have a choir, a bell choir that plays occasionally, and sometimes special musicians.
After a time for anyone to lift up prayers, we take an offering, then sing again. There is a sermon by our minister or a guest preacher, a moment of reflection, and then we sing our last hymn. We often end our services with a special congregational song, and many people like to stay to hear the postlude.
We serve communion on the first Sunday of the month. We are “dippers.” Anyone can take communion with us, including children. You will come forward with the congregation and servers will offer you a piece of gluten-free bread. You “dip” the bread in the grape juice and eat it right on the spot. Don’t be nervous about getting it right – the servers can help you.
Please join us after service for coffee and treats on the patio!
We have special services throughout the year. Join us for Christmas Eve and Easter. After Christmas, we celebrate Epiphany with a special stars and an exciting “word of the year” moment in service. We offer a Blessing of the Animals Service, where you can bring your animal friend, a picture of your pet, or a stuffed animal to be blessed. The Sunday before Thanksgiving we deck out our whole sanctuary with hundreds of quilts for at-risk babies made by our Dorcas Circle. We have a service led by our members, a youth-led service, and music appreciation and Christian education appreciation services throughout the year. On a Sunday near Halloween, we honor those who have died during the previous year during our special All Saints Service. For Easter week, we are jam-packed with creative worship experiences for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter morning.
We often partner with other churches in town and participate in the Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Service. We help lead a service on Thanksgiving morning and Ash Wednesday evening with the Catholic Church of the Beatitudes and are always looking for more ways to collaborate with the larger worshiping community of Santa Barbara.