What to expect on a Sunday morning

Don’t be frightened by the small parking lot: there is plenty of room for your car along Huntington Street or across Whitney in the parking lot for the Hooker School.

While our main service starts at 10:45, doors open at 9:30 when we have Sunday school for all ages. Coffee and tea are available in the Miller Gathering Hall, which is where most adult classes are held. (During the summer the service starts at 9:30 in the air-conditioned Miller Gathering Hall.)

During the service in the sanctuary, the Miller Gathering Hall also hosts childcare for children under five. You’ll notice people start to trickle in around 10:30, though feel free to be early and catch the choir practicing. Our congregation has a wide range of ages, geographical backgrounds and sartorial choices: you will see both jeans and suits. Some bring their own Bibles; some bring their own coffee.

We are a “More Light” Presbyterian Church steeped in the reformed tradition. This means we welcome all people in Christ’s name: children and adults, single and married, gay and straight. And in all we do, seek to glorify and enjoy the God who creates, sustains, saves, and renews all life.

The service itself will be based on the scriptures from our liturgical calendar: an Old Testament reading, a Psalm (often sung responsively with the choir) and a New Testament reading. There will be a sermon, usually by the pastor. Early in the service, there will be a sharing of the peace with a lot of hand-shaking and maybe some hugging, though all you really have to do is tell the person next to you “Peace of Christ,” or simply “Good morning.” The offering plate is passed at most services, but you are under no pressure to contribute.

We have a lot of members who’ve come from other church backgrounds. If you’re from a different tradition, you may notice that when we say The Lord’s Prayer, we say “debts” rather than “trespasses.”

We serve communion on the first Sunday of every month. In most cases, loaves of bread are passed followed by trays of grape juice. Everyone is invited to take part.

Services generally run about an hour, and afterwards we welcome you to make your way across the breezeway to the Miller Gathering Hall for a casual coffee-and-snacks reception.

You’ll meet people with deep roots in the community and people whose lives are intersecting with New Haven more briefly. You’ll meet small children and professors emeritus. People may be talking about the afternoon’s youth group activity or organizing volunteer efforts for community projects such as the annual Crop Walk or the Abraham’s Tent service to the homeless.

If you are interested in learning more about formally joining this community, please feel to ask the pastor when she’ll be hosting the next gathering for potential members.