“I’m thinking of checking out Worship. What should I wear?”
First off, thank you for being brave and risking trying something new! Come as you are; many of us will be in t-shirts, jeans, and shorts, others of us will be in slacks, skirts, or dresses, and some folks will be in suits and ties. Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable.
“Is this Really a Community that will Love and Welcome me for all of who I am?”
It really is, and we know that sometimes it’s hard to believe churches when they say that. We love and welcome our LGBTQ siblings to fully be a part of our community, from worshiping on Sunday, to sharing prayer requests for partners, spouses, and the community, to even being in leadership, be it leading conversations about the Bible, to serving on our governing boards. We are a community where marriage is understood to be a gift of God, offered to all people who are called to live life together. We believe that God did not create us to be alone. Our Pastor, Rev. Norse, who is gay and married to the love of his life, even gave a TED talk about the power of LGBTQ folks in the church!
We also offer American Sign Language at all worship services and special events, so that those in the deaf community can fully participate, and we strive to make our worship as accessible as possible to all of God’s people, of all abilities.
“Where is Worship? And When?”
We worship at 11:00am. Google Maps can get you here very easily, and shows some public transportation options.
If you want to go old school, our address is 1105 Providence Road, Towson, Maryland, 21286. As your driving down Providence Road, look for our sign.
“Is There Parking?”
There is plenty of parking among our trees.
“Great: I’ve Arrived. Now What?”
When you arrive at the Church, come in the double glass doors, to the right of the Church House.
As you enter in, one of our greeters will provide you with a worship bulletin, that give you the flow of the service. It lets you know what all the songs and prayers are. Here’s a sample of what you will be invited to participate in during worship, that might be a little different from what you expect, or have experienced before.
Every week, right before worship begins, as folks are finishing up saying hello and choosing a seat, a song will start playing. It’s a healthy mix of singer/songwriters, show-tunes, R&B, pop-songs with out-of-this-world guitar riffs, you name it. The song is something that has spoken to the preacher in the previous week, and they help us start to see that all of who we are has a place in Church. Here’s one of our favorites.
A Time for Reflection
Poetry puts into a few words ideas and experiences that we can barely grasp. For many of us, that sounds a lot like delving deep into our spiritual lives. Each week we hear some poetry that leads us into a time of silence. Here’s a favorite.
We take a moment to let the words set in, and reflect. Silence can feel odd; most of us don’t experience being silent while in large groups very often. Each week we practice silence, in the midst of the busy lives we lead.
Prayer in Unison
We open ourselves up to new possibilities and transformation. This can be scary. And yet, when we realize we are not on our journey alone, we can risk to try something new.
Lighting of the Peace Candle and Sharing the Peace of Christ
For Millennia, people have greeted each other with signs of peace; shaking hands, kisses on the cheek, offering a blessing. In the Christian Tradition, we greet one another, offering the peace of Christ to one another. It is a peace that is within each and every one of us, even when we ourselves don’t feel very peaceful. We share it with others, in the hope that when we risk getting to know other people, true peace in our world can exist.
Sharing our Joys and Concerns
We are a praying community, and you are welcome to request prayer during our Sunday Worship services, or, if you would prefer to by writing your prayers on a welcome card and placing them in the offering.
“What’s the Music Like?”
We sing a wide-range of songs, from European Hymns to music from different countries. Here are a few samples.
“What do you Preach?”
Each week, our sermons come from reading the Bible with curious eyes and hearts opened to the moving of the Holy Spirit. We’re on the lookout for what God is doing in our world, too, following the advice to “Read the Bible in one hand, and the newspaper in the other.” Sermons sometimes provide comfort and encouragement, and sometimes they challenge us to see and accept ourselves as God does; as a beloved child. Other times sermons will challenge us to look at injustices in our society, and might invite us to take part in a protest, contact our representatives, possibly volunteer. What you won’t hear is condemnation because you’re not perfect; none of us certainly are, and we believe God loves and works through all the parts of our humanity. Sometimes that means growing and challenging ourselves, and that might be uncomfortable, but we’re not big on shame or guilt. We’ve all had enough of that in our lives, and we believe Jesus is in the business of setting us free from that so we can love and live more fully.
“Is it Boring?”
Pastor David weaves in music, poetry, literature, Biblical scholarship, stories from his life and our community, and a fair amount of humor. If you want to see if its your kind of scene, check out our sermon page to read and hear recordings.
“I’ve got a child, and sometimes…well, you know, kids get wiggly and make noise. Am I going to get weird looks?”
The only looks you will get will be knowing nods from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents who will probably make funny faces at your children. Feel free to bring toys, snacks, and we have a changing table down stairs.
“If I’m Still not Sure, Can I Chat with Someone to Learn More?”
Absolutely! Pastor David would love to chat, maybe grab some coffee, and share with you about us. He can be reached at DNorse@MPChurch.org