What to Expect
As pastor, I want to make visiting the Vineyard an enjoyable experience, easy, stress-free, relaxing. I know it’s not easy visiting a new church for the first time. Sometimes you feel like a nonmember visiting a country club. Do I belong here? Am I really welcome? Will the people be unfriendly, or too friendly? Will I be conspicuous? Will it be easy to leave if I don’t enjoy it? Will they ask me for money? Will my kids enjoy it? How should I dress? Am I welcome if I don’t believe?
We meet 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning at 870 First Avenue in West haven, right off exit 43 on I-95. We share a building with a Jewish congregation, Simchat Israel, but you will see our sign on the curb next to the driveway. You can park in the back parking lot and use the entrance on the side of the building.
What about the Kids?
Upon entering, there should be some friendly people (we call them “greeters”) to say hello, answer questions you have, and to direct you to the sanctuary. If you have kids, they can point you to Kids Church or the Nursery (which are also well-marked with clear signs). If your kids are shy, they’re welcome to attend the adult service with you, but most kids really enjoy our Children’s Ministry. 5th-6th grade students as well as Junior/Senior high kids attend adult worship and then go to their classes.
What do I wear?
You’ll notice that everyone is dressed comfortably, in anything from ‘office casual’ to jeans and sneakers. We want everyone to come as they are, so dress however you feel comfortable. When you come into the Sanctuary, you’ll be given a copy of “the Bulletin” which has the week’s announcements and future events. You’ll notice inside the Bulletin there is a Connection Card, which is an easy way for us to get better acquainted; you can ask for any kind of information or assistance using the Connection Card.
The service usually begins with some upbeat music, followed by a welcome and some announcements. Then, I (or another speaker) will begin the message. I usually speak for about 30 minutes, and I’ll do my best to make the massages interesting, enjoyable, and relevant to daily life. The messages will be based on theBible. If I do my job right, you’ll hear solid Christian theology in understandable, intelligent, and relevant terms. After the service there will be an opportunity to receive individual prayer if you desire. I hope you’ll come up and introduce yourself to me afterwards.
After announcements we have a short break where we greet each other, especiallyour guests. We also invite you to fill the Connection Card in the bulletin, and drop it in the offering. If you weren’t given a Guest Packet, you can pick one up at the Information table in our Fellowship room. In the envelope you with receive some information about the church and a free CD with a sample of the worship that you enjoyed during the service. You will also receive a coupon for a free lunch with some people from the church at a local restaurant. This is a great opportunity us to meet you, and answer any questions you may have. We value our guests and want your time at the Vineyard to be welcoming.
The second week of the monthwe celebrate Communion. Communion (also known as the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper) is a Christian celebration of the self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ. You’re welcome to share in Communion with us, or you can just sit back and enjoy the music, because our worship team will be playing and singing during this time. Speaking of the Worship Team, they do a great job leading musically, with a contemporary feel . You’ll have some new tunes to hum all week long.
After the Service
After the service, you’ll pick up your kids from their classrooms, and then we hope you’ll stay around, have coffee or tea and some tasty snacks, and meet some new people. We would love to get to know you.
So I warmly invite you to join us this Sunday morning.
Blessings to you,