Visiting FPCSM

 

What time do things begin? 
Our Sunday morning worship begin at 9:30am (through the doors on the left as you face the main building).  Sunday school classes for kindergarten through 5th grade as well as middle school students begin at 9:15am.  As part of the body of Christ, children and youth are welcomed in worship. Children and youth usually come into the sanctuary for the first 15-20 minutes of the worship service and then are dismissed to their classes with their teachers after Time With Children. High school students are encouraged to participate in our entire worship service. A Sunday school class just for them begins after worship at 11:00am.

How should I dress?
First Presbyterian Church is a warm and inviting congregation.  We’re not concerned with what you wear. Our primary concern is that you feel welcome as you seek God and worship Him with us.  So, on Sunday mornings you will see people at FPCSM in everything from suits and ties to jeans and t-shirts to business casual.  Wear what you feel comfortable wearing!  Come as you are.

Where can I park?
Our parking lot is located on Hacienda Street between 24th and 25th Avenues.  Plenty of free street parking is also available around the church, including on 25th Avenue.

Where do I take small children?
Our nursery and toddler rooms are located on the lower level of the Children’s Wing, where children will be loved and cared for in safe environment during our worship service.  These rooms open at 9:15am so that parents can help their children get settled prior to the worship service.
For the sake of communication and security, we use a tagging system with children. Should a child need his or her parent during the worship service, caregivers will page that child’s parent using the number on the child’s security tag.  The number will display on the LED to the right of the platform in the sanctuary.
Parents of three and four-year-olds are encouraged to begin transitioning their children to the worship service at that age.  Then, at 9:45am during the worship service, children ages three to fifth grade are dismissed learn in a fun, creative and safe environment designed to teach them about Jesus in ways they will understand and remember, including with lots of hands-on activities.

What happens in a worship service?
During the hour or so of the worship service we worship God in song, led by our choir and worship band.  Our pastor or another leader teaches from the Bible.  An elder or other leader leads the congregation in prayer.  On the first Sunday of each month we celebrate Communion (also known as the Lord’s Supper and the Eucharist), to which all who seek to follow Jesus are invited whether a member of a church or not.  When someone presents themself or their child for baptism, that too, is celebrated during our worship service.  Sometimes a drama or other forms of media or the arts is also part of our worship.

Will I be singled out as a visitor or guest?
No, you will not be singled out or asked to stand or raise your hand or anything like that.  In fact, you are welcome to be as anonymous as you’d like when visiting, though you may be greeted by various people during your visit.  For those who would like, a Welcome Card is in each worship bulletin and can be torn out and placed in the offering basket.  That card is a way for you to request prayer, information about a particular ministry or opportunity, or to simply indicate that you were with us.   

Will I be asked to make a donation?
No, you will not be asked to make a donation to the church.  However, as a part of our Sunday morning worship, it is the custom of those who are a regular part of the congregation to express our love for God by joyfully returning to God some of what God has entrusted to us, and we do that through an offering.  All followers of Jesus and anyone who would like to do so may participate freely in that with us, but there is absolutely no expectation that guests, visitors, or those who are simply investigating the reality of God or Jesus with us participate in that.

Are infants and small children welcome in the worship service?
Absolutely!  We believe it’s important for families to worship God together, and sometimes it’s just best to keep one’s small child with oneself.  We also know that babies cry and sometimes it can be challenging for a young child to sit quietly during the worship service.  To respect the worship environment for all, we request that infants and children experiencing difficulties be taken to the narthex, the balcony, or the children’s wing where they can be comforted or given greater freedom to move about.
If needed, there is a diaper-changing station in a restroom just outside of the sanctuary, to which an usher will gladly direct you. 

What time does the worship service finish?
Usually between 10:30am and 10:40am.

What happens after the worship service?
All are invited to a time of refreshments and connecting with others on Geneva Patio or, during inclement weather, Geneva Hall.  Immediately after the worship service at the front of the sanctuary members of our prayer team are always present to pray with and for those who desire such.  There are also always Bible study classes that begin between 10:50am and 11:00am in different rooms in the building and which are open to anyone interested.

Where do I go with questions while on the church campus?
If you have any questions while you are with us, do not hesitate to ask for help one of the ushers in the back of the sanctuary or any of our caregivers, Sunday school teachers, or refreshment hosts.  They will be glad to help you.  Elders and deacons are also available upon request and if needed.

Copyright © 2011 First Presbyterian Church San Mateo