Here are a few questions we've heard more than once, along with some answers...
Where do I enter the church?
You can enter any door and get to where you need to go. If stairs are difficult for you, enter through the middle door under the portico. Our elevator is steps away and can take you to any of 4 levels. The sanctuary where church service is held is located at stop 2S. If stairs are not a problem, you may enter the building by ascending the outdoor steps and enter the door on the far left of the building. This will take you into the Narthex (a churchy word for foyer) where you'll be greeted and welcomed by someone and shown to a seat in the sanctuary.
Do I drop my kids at Sunday School first?
Children enter the sanctuary with their parents and sit with them for the first 15 minutes of the worship service. Then they are called to the front where Pastor Jim speaks to them for a short children's message and prayer. Then they are greeted by the Sunday School Director and they exit the sanctuary via the side door and proceed to their Sunday school classes. There is always an adult there who can help them find the correct classroom. You don't need to go with them, but of course, you are welcome to come with them and get them to the right place if you'd prefer. If you are brand new and your child wants you to stay with them, you are welcome to. Teachers could always use an extra pair of hands. But know that your children will be cared for by our caring volunteer staff of teachers. Our church has a "Safe Sanctuary Policy": All classroom doors have glass windows. Two adults watch over the kids. Teacher references have been checked. Background checks are also done. Our curriculum is age appropriate and supplemented with crafts, games or puzzles (for the younger kids).
What if my kids are antsy and can't sit still for the first part of church?
We hope you and your children feel welcomed and included in our worship. All children are fidgety at one time or another. We've all been there! We believe children are vital to the health of our church community, for they bring liveliness and a fresh perspective to worship. We are blessed to have them. We encourage you to have them stand up at the appropriate times (Stretching is always a good thing!) Even if they can't read, they can hum along to the hymn. And you should always feel free to whisper to them to explain what is going on, or how much longer they have to wait before The Children's Message. We also provide clipboards, a puzzle worksheet and crayons. These are located in the narthex (foyer) as you enter. Please pick one up.
Feel free to bring a much loved quiet toy as well. And don't worry if your child is acting up. We've all been there! After a few weeks, they will know the routine and all will go smoothly.
I have a baby or toddler. Should I bother coming to church?
We love babies and toddlers! Of course you should come! You're welcome to bring your baby to the worship service. But we also provide childcare in our Sunday School Room. There are always 2 adults present, and at least one teen assistant who would love to care for your baby or toddler.
I was raised in another faith - can I still come to church? (Or, raised with no faith)
Everyone is welcome, regardless of any or no religious upbringing. Our congregation has varied backgrounds. Come learn with us! Holy Communion is open to all.
What can I expect when I enter the church?
You'll likely be greeted by a person standing in the narthex (foyer). You'll be given a bulletin (church program) by an usher. You can either choose a seat or an usher can help you find one. No one will single you out or make you feel uncomfortable. After church, hopefully, you can join us downstairs in the Common Room for coffee and treats and get to know some of us.
I've driven past the church on Sundays and your parking lot is full! Where do I park?
We are fortunate to be located next door to the Pound Ridge Elementary school. Parking is available there and there is a walkway and stairs that connects their property with ours. The church also has 2 handicap spaces in the front.
I just want to order a lobster! How do I?
Call the church office at 914-764-9000 or go to the Lobster Festival tab at top for more information. Best way: Email your order to email@example.com. (See the lobster tab at the top for all of the necessary info. you need to email, such as live or cooked, etc.!)
I really don't want Christianity jammed down my throat, but yet, I sense that my life is missing something . . . I'm not sure what.
Millions of people out there have a spiritual "longing" but are unhappy with the the faith expressions they've been part of or seen. For many, church customs are a turn-off. Many of these people don't want to join anything, whether it's the bowling league, the fire department or the church, but they are interested in activities that motivate them. They want authenticity, not just traditions. They want to see some passion, commitment and involvement in the spirituality they observe. We are certainly not the perfect church, but you will see faith, commitment and the hands of Christ at work here. You will see that real friendships have been made here and that church has made our lives more meaningful and it's a place that helps us to make a difference in the world. Come and see.
Are you helping areas affected by disaster sites and how can I help?
We are lucky through the United Methodist church to have the organization UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) already up and responding to world disasters. You may donate money to UMCOR by sending it directly, or to the church. (See the missions page for a detailed description.) Call the church office to find out what's being done and to learn how you can get involved.
Do you offer communion and can I take it?
We have communion on the first Sunday of every month. The table is open to anyone, regardless of denomination or no affiliation. Children of any ages are also welcome, although here we start them in 2nd and 3rd grade with a class so they understand. If you are unable to walk forward, communion will be brought to you in your seat - just ask an usher.
I'm not into Sunday religion, but wouldn't mind coming to a Bible Study to learn more. Can I?
Of course, we'd love to see you and get to know you on Sunday mornings, but you are more than welcome to be involved in our church in other ways. There are usually bible studies offered at various times throughout the year. Please call Pastor Jim for more information: 914-764-9000.
We want to get involved with church, but we can't get there every week. Is there pressure to do so?
We are thrilled to see you whenever you can make it.
What's a Jazz Vespers?
Vespers is just another word for a religious service in the afternoon or evening. And Jazz means that there will be Jazz music. And, really, more music than anything else. We've had wonderful guitar players, trumpeters, and saxophonists and their bands. The community is invited to this free concert where they may hear a prayer too. It's free but a free will donation is always appreciated. There are refreshments afterward and a chance to meet and mingle with the musicians and other attendees. Stop in and enjoy!
Will I be welcomed?
We are thrilled to welcome everyone regardless of age, sex, race, ability/disability, sexual orientation or other. The best way to fit in is to be here. Volunteer for things. Serve on committees. Come to coffee hour. Go out of your way to meet others. Soon you'll have many friends and will fit right in!
Do I have to dress up?
We doubt if Jesus or his disciples dressed up. We don't care if you dress up or not. Some members of our congregation enjoy dressing up (suit jackets, dresses) but others just come as they are. No one will look down on you if you don't dress up. Of course, if you enjoy dressing up or need an excuse to dress up, by all means do so. We have no air conditioning, so in the summer, shorts and sandals might work best. We're really very accepting of all!
Vacation Bible Camp? What's that?
It's a week-end camp for kids in PreSchool (4's) through rising 5th graders. Kids rotate through arts and crafts, outdoor games and recreation, science, bible story - all uniting the theme of the camp. Music and video assembly time. Dinner is included and for the price - you can't beat it! We've lost count of how many years we've done it. The kids love it, and as they get older, they want to come back to help.