FAQ for visitors
FAQs for Visitors....and Answers!
We're excited you're thinking of visiting us! After reading this, if you have any additional questions, please ask or call our helpful Church Office.
Okay, so I'm thinking of visiting...what do I need to know?
The basic details: Worship starts at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays and we are in Bellevue on 108th Ave NE on the east side of the street. To reach our entrance drive up the driveway into the parking area behind the church. The north entrance is the one closest to the sanctuary. The south entrance has a ramp suitable for wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers.
Where can I park?
Our parking lot is behind the building. Drive up the entrance driveway to reach it. There is plenty of room for everyone, and a number of handicapped accessible spots near the door.
What if I'm riding the bus?
The closest bus stop to the church is at the corner of Bellevue Way and NE 20th St. It is a four block walk to get to the church, heading straight east on 20th.
Okay, so, once I get there, what can I expect?
When you come into the sanctuary, there'll be a person there to greet you, or if they've stepped away, a small table containing the programs (we usually call them bulletins) for the service. You're probably going to want one of these, since they'll give you an ida of what's coming up next and which songs we're about to sing throughout the service.
What should I wear?
We have a variety of dressing styles in the congregation. If you like to dress up a bit for church, you won't be the only one. We also have plenty of people who come in comfortable weekend clothes. People tend to dress up a little more for holidays like Easter and Christmas Eve.
What if I bring my kids?
We'd love that! Bring them with you into worship! About 10 minutes into the service, after a prayer and some songs, they come forward for a short chat with the pastor, if they would like. You are welcome to accompany them to the front if they are nervous.
After that, those who wish to attend Sunday School are escorted down to the education wing, where you can pick them up after the service. We have classes for children 4-years-old and up. Childcare is available in the Nursery for younger children.
If you prefer, you are welcome to keep your children with you in worship. We welcome families of all shapes and sizes, and are not at all bothered by a little bit of chaos!
Where are the bathrooms?
There are bathrooms clearly marked on both floors of the building. Those on the upper level are just outside the sanctuary on the right. One is a gender neutral bathroom with a changing table.
Where is the nursery?
Go down either staircase and then turn left. Keep going that direction until you see a room with a large window in the hallway. Turn right down the education wing and the nursery is on the right.
Will you mind if I check my email on my phone/fact-check the sermon/update my Facebook/live tweet the service?
Nope! Go right ahead. We have plenty of technology addicts in the congregation, and if you're quietly checking your phone, we probably won't even notice. We do appreciate you turning off your ringer and not answering calls during the service though.
Where should I sit?
Church members and visitors tend to distribute themselves around the sanctuary; some people have their "regular" spots; some people switch it up frequently. If you're comfortable nearer to the front, don't be shy! If you'd rather sit where you can see everyone from the back that is absolutely fine.
What if I'm late?
Not a problem! There is never a service without a few people showing up after we start. Grab a program (bulletin), have a seat, and make yourself at home!
Can I bring my coffee/tea/water bottle into the worship service?
YES! We're definitely a pretty laid-back congregation, and plenty of guests and members bring their coffee along. We've even got a coffee bar in the room behind the sanctuary if you didn't get a chance to stop for coffee on the way!
In what order does the service usually go?
We usually start with a welcome, sing a song or two together and then join in a prayer. Feel free to participate or just to follow along in the program.
Wait, where do I find those songs? Do I have to sing them?
All lyrics are projected on the screen up front. If you prefer a printed form, we have three books of songs which we use during the service: the Blue Hymnal, the Green Hymnal, and the Black Hymnal. All of them can be found in the rack on the back of the pew or chair in front of you. The song numbers are located in the top corners of the pages in all three books.
We usually stand when we sing, but that is optional. Feel free to stand and sing, or to sit and listen, or to do anything in-between.
What about these prayers?
In your program (bulletin), and on the screen there will be a printed text of prayers and other spoken parts of the service. Usually, when there is bolded text, it means that the congregation is invited to speak those portions of the prayers. This is not required, so, as always, participate as you feel comfortable.
What are some other parts of the service which need explaining?
The Sermon - in almost every service, the pastor will offer a reflection based on any number of things; including passages from the Bible, events going on in the world, church history, and theology... This is a time to listen and think about what relevance the message has for your life.
Prayers of the people - This part of the service is when everyone has an opportunity to share what is on their hearts in the form of prayer requests. These can include both "concerns" (things for which we're asking God's help) and "joys" (things we are thankful for).
If you would like to share your concern or joy publicly, raise your hand to catch the eye of one of the people with a microphone, and it will be passed to you. We try to be brief and to the point. After you are finished, the prayer leader will say, "God in your mercy," and everyone else will respond, "Hear our prayer."
If you have a prayer on your heart but don't feel comfortable sharing it aloud, you may share it with the pastor by writing it on one of the slips of paper in the back of the pew in front of you (the one that says "prayer requests") and putting it in the offering plate, which will be passed around later in the service.
The offering - To collect the offering of donations, as well as prayer requests and Making Connections information sheets, we use brass plates which we pass along the rowsor have available during communion. No-one is required to make a contribution.
Communion - Each Sunday our worship includes a ritual meal which we call Communion. It is also known in Christian communities as the Eucharist, or the Lord's Supper. For United Methodists, Communion is a sacred time when we remember Jesus' last meal with his disciples, the gift of his life with us, the connection we have to followers of Jesus throughout the world, and the hope we have for a world where all are fed.
At FUMC-B, we usually participate by going forward row-by-row, lining up, and holding out our hands to be given a piece of bread (there is always a gluten-free option). Then, we dip the bread into the cup of grape juice held by the next server. If you wish to respond at that point, "Amen" is a good word to use.
Communion is open to everyone who wishes to participate including children, guests, and those who are not members of any church. If you do not feel comfortable going forward to receive Communion, you may remain seated. If you are not physically able to go forward but would like to receive the bread and grape juice, let the people dismissing the rows know, and the servers will come to you after the lines have gone through.
Postlude/Music To Send Us Out Into World
Some of us like to sit and listen to the beautiful music at the very end of the service. Others of us are eager for coffee and conversation, so we exit quietly during the music. Either is fine!
What happens after the service?
It's time for conversation and snacks in the parlor behind the sanctuary! The pastor will be there, so if you'd like to talk to him yourself, that is a good time to catch him. Otherwise, help yourself to some goodies and make yourself at home! Children in Sunday School are usually delivered to their parents during this time of fellowship. Nursery children can be picked up downstairs.