What to Expect:
One of the first things you'll notice is that everyone is dressed comfortably, most often quite casually.
We begin with several songs of worship led by some gifted musicians. Vineyard music is known for being contemporary and dynamic so, for instance, we have a band rather than a choir and an organ. Each music set is chosen from eclectic traditions, including rock, folk, gospel, and hymns. Some people may physically express their praise through raised hands, movement, and loud singing and shouts – others are still and quiet. In this time of response, people often discover God responds back. Some feel a sense of joy or peace, others cry, and some feel God grabbing their attention about something brought up in the service. You may find yourself worshipping in one style one week and another the next. The same might be true for how God responds to you. This diversity is reflective of our pursuit of a living and dynamic God.
We offer an invitation to communion each week. The Sacrament of Communion (also called the Eucharist or Lord's Supper) is an opportunity to reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Communion at ECV is open to anyone (regardless of church background) who desires to put Jesus at the center of his or her life.
After this time, children are dismissed to kids' ministry. Next we share some announcements about things that are happening at ECV.
Each week a member of our teaching team will give a 35 minute talk. The talks offer practical insights and are punctuated by personal stories. There's also an opportunity to interact with the week's teacher directly after the worship gathering. (Recent talks can be found here.) After the message, we respond to what God may be doing and saying through:
Each week, a team prays for our church service, asking what God might have in store for the service. After the teaching, the team leader will share his or her particular impressions of what God may want to do in terms of healing and encouragement. Then, people who feel these items might apply to them are invited to receive prayer at the side of the room during the closing worship time. Anyone else is also invited to receive prayer.
We'll wrap-up around 5:45, though, please feel encouraged to hang around and meet some people.
*A Note About Offering During our Announcement time, we do take an offering, though our hope is that our visitors will feel free not to give, but will regard themselves as our guests.
*After the Worship Gathering Visit the Connection Table in the back of the sanctuary for more information about how to get involved in our community. Sign up for the church email lists, get recommendations for small groups, and get info about our various ECV partner organizations and upcoming events. The teacher for the week will also be back by the connection table if you'd like to follow up on something you heard in the teaching. Also, feel free to stick around and meet people!
Where We Meet
First & Summerfield UMC (On the corner of College & Elm Street)
There is street parking on Elm St. in front of the church. If that is full, there is plenty of street parking on College street (free on Sundays). Also, there is free parking at the Yale Temple Street Parking Lot - located between Wall and Elm Streets)
We have Nursery care and Sunday School for children ages 6 months - 14 years old. We have designed special programs just for them that happen concurrently with the main 4:00 worship gathering. The children (0 - 8th grade) meet downstairs in the Fellowship Hall after the first 2 songs of the worship gathering. Your kids are welcome to join you in the main worship gathering as well.