Curious about something?
Below are some questions and issues you may be wondering about before your first visit. If your question is still unanswered, feel free to contact us for more information. We'll make sure you have what you need for your first visit.
Activity on Sundays begins around 9:45 with adult Sunday school. Fun, supervised play time is available for children during this period. Most worshipers begin entering the sanctuary at about 10:45. Some spend this pre-worship time in meditation; others spend it in conversation. Worship begins with a greeting from a worship leader, songs, and prayers. Toward the beginning of the service there is a time in which worshipers exchange greetings with those sitting nearby, after which children 12 and under have an opportunity to come to the front of the sanctuary for a special lesson. After children are dismissed to Sunday school, we hear a reading from the Scriptures and hear a sermon, which aims to teach and encourage rather than to berate and condemn. Worship concludes with a response to God's words in our lives. Each Sunday we offer prayers on behalf of those in need and we receive an offering. All worshippers are invited to participate in the offering of financial gifts, which go to support God's mission through Avondale UMC, but it is not a requirement. On the first Sunday of each month we end worship with Holy Communion, which is a symbolic meal reminding us of Jesus’ sacrifice and which binds us together as a community. When people are ready to give their lives to Christ we celebrate Baptism, which is a sign of God's love and acceptance and which signals the gift of renewal, cleansing, and life that God offers to those who trust in the Lord.
No. As a guest, you are welcomed and invited to share in the worship experience on your terms. Greeters, ushers, and other worshipers will likely extend a personal greeting to you if they recognize you as a new face, but they will do so one-on-one before the service, during the greeting time, or following the service. No one will call attention to you, make you stand up during worship, wear a special name tag, or otherwise be singled out. We welcome several first-time guests every Sunday, so you can be sure that you will not be alone.
Avondale UMC is a part of the United Methodist Church, a Protestant Christian denomination teaching and proclaiming historic Christian doctrine as contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. As a United Methodist congregation, we are guided by core principles of belief and practice set forth in a denomination-wide book of teachings and rules known as The Book of Discipline. More information about United Methodist doctrine, teaching, and practice can be found at the United Methodist Church website. Though we have these core doctrines grounding our denomination and our congregation, United Methodists are a diverse people. You do not have to understand every aspect of Christian doctrine in order to be a part of our congregation. We believe that participation in the church is the way in which we grow in faith and understanding. The “official” doctrines of our denomination are a guide that shape our exploration and our discovery of the riches of God’s love. We welcome differing opinions and perspectives, for these enrich our experience of God's grace.
Avondale UMC’s children’s ministry offers a dynamic ministry for children from infant through fifth grade during each Sunday service. Though we welcome children of any age to join in worship, a nursery is provided for children infant through 3 years. The nursery opens at 9:40 and goes through the end of worship (about noon). Kids can be picked up and dropped off at any time. Children age 3 through 5th grade are encouraged to participate in the beginning of the worship service. They then can come to the front of the Sanctuary during the greeting time, after which the pastor or church members offer a special message for kids. Following the children’s message, kids are dismissed to Sunday school. All children’s settings are secure and are staffed by trained, caring volunteers and staff. The infant and toddler nursery is staffed with paid caregivers and volunteers who are specifically trained to care for younger children and to ensure that they have a positive experience while at church. Through creative, exciting Bible teaching, our Children’s ministry is designed to capture the imagination of the kids and open their minds and hearts to Bible truths that will impact their lives in incredible ways. On the first Sunday of each month and other high holy days (ie. Christmas Eve, Easter, etc.) all children remain in worship for the entire service to worship with their families. This teaches children early on the importance of being in worship, how & why we worship together, and the traditions that we follow.
Sunday school for children 6th grade and under takes place during worship. For older kids, we have a youth group that meets monthly on Sunday afternoons, during which time older kids can participate in fun activities, mission service, and in depth learning opportunities.
Sunday worship is just the tip of the iceberg of what Avondale UMC is all about. There are many opportunities through which you can share in our vision of deepening connections with God, each other, and our neighbors. Check out our service opportunities page for current opportunities. Our pastor would also love an opportunity to get to know you and help you get connected!
At Avondale UMC membership is not a destination or a status; it’s a journey. The best way to start your journey is to get connected in worship and service areas. Formal membership is a way of saying you’re committed to the journey of faith. Visit our membership page or speak to the pastor about your desire to join Avondale UMC and be part of our ministry.
At Avondale UMC, we believe that even before we step out our doors, God is in our neighborhoods, in our communities, and in our city working for the advent of God’s reign. God is inviting us to join him, not the other way around! Therefore, our job is to join God in these places and participate in the ministries to which God is inviting us. We strive to be an integral part of the community, and move into the community to show Jesus’ love throughout the year. We primarily do that through the ministry of our mission arm Avondale Samaritan Place which seeks to address the difficult challenges of our urban setting, including injustice, education, poverty, and hunger.
No. You will not be excluded for any reason. Our congregation is welcoming of and comprised of people from all walks of life, different sexual orientations, diverse ethnicities, and differing economic means. We believe this diversity enriches our experience of God's presence and enables us to better seek and serve God's purposes in our church and community. What draws us together is not superficial appearance, but rather a shared commitment to serve and worship the God incarnate in Jesus Christ.