When people think about visiting a church that is new to them, they often have questions that they wish they could ask before they arrive. Here are a few common questions. If you have others, please feel free to contact the church.
How long do your worship services last?
Our worship typically lasts around an hour, but on occasion might go a little longer. Following the worship service, we have a fellowship time with refreshments that all are welcome to attend.
What do people tend to wear to worship?
You will see people dressed in casual clothes, and others dressed up. Come in what is comfortable for you.
Can I sit anywhere?
Yes. But if you are uncertain, just ask one of the ushers to help you.
Can we bring children to worship services?
Certainly! Children are an important part of our worship. We also have a special sitting area in the Narthex, where a family can sit if small children become restless. At the 11:00 AM service, we have a nursery that is attended by a church volunteer and hired professional. Children from infancy through five years are welcome in the nursery.
Do I have to believe in a certain creed to come to your worship services?
Not at all. We hope that you are seeking to nourish your own spiritual life and that our study and worship will draw us together in the way of Jesus Christ. We are all seekers in various stages of our journey to God.
Do I have to stand and say anything?
Relax. You will not be called on to stand up by yourself. We do stand together at certain points in the service, but you are not required to stand if you are unable to, or if you do not wish to do so.
Do you kneel?
No, but feel free to if that is a part of your expression of worship.
What are your customs with communion?
You do not have to be a member of Oaklands or be a Presbyterian to participate in Communion. We offer both wine (in the common cup) and grape juice (in individual cups). No one is required to partake, however, everyone is welcome.
Communion is usually served once a month and for special occasions. Elders stand at the communion table to help serve communion as the people come forward in turn.
Do you take up a collection? How much should I give?
Ushers pass a collection plate during the worship service. Each offering is a free will gift – a time to give back to God a small portion of what God has given to us. You are the sole judge of how much to give. Members are encouraged to make an annual pledge so that the church can build a yearly budget. All contributions to the church are considered charitable contributions, and yearly statements are provided for tax purposes.
Once a month we collect our offering as a Thanksgiving Offering, where all are invited to bring their offering to the front as a sign of our gratitude to God and to support the mission and ministry of this congregation.
Do you expect your members to come every Sunday?
We do not have quotas, standards or guidelines. But we do report a head count. However, there is a strange thing among those who attend church regularly: the more they come, the closer they seem to grow to God and to the love and power of Jesus Christ, and the more they want to be here. All we ask of our members is what God asks of us all – to be faithful.
Where do I park?
Oaklands has a large parking lot on site. There are no assigned parking spots.
Is the church handicap accessible?
Yes. Parking (special spaces) and the church is all on one level without steps. The restrooms are also handicap accessible. Large print church programs are also available.
Is the church so large that I will feel lost?
We do not think so. Our communion table is at the center of our worship space which has space for 175 people. Our average worship attendance is around 100, and is followed by a social hour to which everyone is invited. We encourage all members and visitors to wear name tags so that we are better able to greet each other by name.
Will someone call me after we visit?
Please sign the guest book on the desk near the front entrance or complete one of the visitor cards located under the sanctuary seats and place in the collection plate. If you request it, we will be glad to visit or give you a call.
How do I find out more about the church?
Just stop in. One of the best ways is to come to one of the Sunday morning services and visit during the coffee hour after worship. You will find our ushers and members glad to answer your questions.
How would I join the church?
If you are curious about Church membership, speak to the pastor after the service or call the church office during the week.
Oaklands holds an information membership class several times a year. This class usually meets for 2 sessions on Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM. You can learn more about church membership without making a commitment or you can choose to join.
What does the word Presbyterian mean?
Presbyterian comes from the Greek word presbyter, which literally translated means elder. It refers to the way we govern ourselves. People like you are elected by the congregation to help the pastor guide and direct the spiritual life of the congregation. They are the presbyters or the elders of the church.
Are there other presbyterian denominations?
Yes, there are several. We are part of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA). We are the oldest and largest of the Presbyterian denominations, but others have split from us over matters of belief and practice. For example, the Presbyterian Church in America, the Reformed Presbyterian Church, the Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church are known as Presbyterian churches, but we believe differently about some key issues. We believe in allowing a wide range of opinions on various issues, and we decide where God is leading us through the study of the Bible and open discussion of these issues.
What sets Presbyterians apart?
Probably our diversity. Our Book of Confessions includes eleven different expressions of Christian faith or Creeds from eleven different periods of history. Our heritage is Scottish and Irish in the Reformed tradition from the Reformation in the 16th century. However, we encompass a wide range of beliefs and opinions. Some have described us as “a thinking person’s church.” We move forward in the creative tension that Jesus Christ is Lord and reveals his will for our lives through our dialogue with the Bible and each other.
Why should I be interested in becoming a Presbyterian?
Presbyterian is simply one expression of a faith in Christ that can make a difference in your life; a way that with others, you can grow in your spiritual life. Becoming a Presbyterian or part of Oaklands simply means that these are the people and this is the place where you can live out the implications of faith in worship and service.
What is a More Light Presbyterian?
Oaklands Presbyterian Church is a More Light Presbyterian church, which has membership that believes in the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA). We are committed to the full participation of all persons in our community without regard for sexual orientation, race, personal background, gender, or human condition.