Q and A for New Visitors

  • What time does the service begin and how long does it last?
    • We start at 10AM on Sunday mornings, and worship for about 1 and 15 minutes, give or take
  • What should I wear? 
    • We ask that you wear clothes! Most people at our church are casual, with jeans and flannel. Some dress up. 
  • What happens during worship?
    • We sing, pray, listen to Scripture, and hear a message. Then we usually gather for a time of fellowship either in the back of the sanctuary or downstairs. 
  • How do I follow along in a worship service? 
    • When you arrive, you will receive a bulletin from an usher, which will detail the flow of the service. 
    • In each pew, there is a laminated card with parts of the service (The Lord’s Prayer, the Doxology and Gloria Patri, words for communion) that correspond with where we are. Those are designated in your bulletin with a cross. 
  • What is ‘the offering’?
    • First, God calls us to give from what we have received from God’s creation.
    • Second, our church functions because people give freely of their money, talents, and time. 
    • All the things that happen at our church require financial support and volunteer support. 
    • As a visitor, we do not expect you to give on your first few visits.
    • Most members pledge a certain amount of money on a yearly basis, and we keep track of that so we can form a budget.
    • ​Our Annual Report is available, if you wish. 
  • What does it mean to be a Congregationalist?
    • To be a Congregationalist is to simply make a statement about how a church is run. In our case, the congregation runs the church. Unlike most church structures, ours is run from the bottom up – the people have the most power; the minister the least. Or to put it another way, a minister is an equal who leads equals. We are associated with the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, which traces its lineage back to the Pilgrims in Plymouth Colony in 1620. 
  • What is a ‘church covenant’?
    • There are several ways to organize a church. One of the most ancient ways to do so is to make covenants with one another. Another word for ‘covenant’, though with less nuance, is ‘promise’. 
    • As Congregationalists, we say that – in the same way we are bound to God by the covenants God makes to humankind in Scripture – we bind ourselves as a community of faith by ‘covenanting’ with one another. 
    • Our church covenant is:
      • We covenant with God and with one another to seek God’s will as taught in the Holy Scriptures, to walk together in the ways of the Lord, to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people, and to depend upon the continued guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth. 
  • What does Membership mean in your church?
    • To become a member means you promise to participate in the faith life of Rockland Congregational Church. Likewise, it means the church promises to nurture, care for, and provide for your faith life. 
    • We try to have a New Member class twice a year. In that class, which is usually a few hours on a Saturday morning, we go over the history of Christianity, the foundations of the Congregational tradition, and what Rockland Congregational Church is all about. 
    • Then, during a Sunday service, we have a special ceremony where we welcome new members and share the words of Rockland Congregational Church’s covenant together. 

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