Walking into a church is a funny thing. Let's start there.
When you come to New City we will do our best to welcome you. We've intentionally told people to welcome you, it's true. But sometimes we aren't on our game - we're really sorry about that. You'll see a gift we set out for our guests and information about the church. If you have a very small child, an infant or toddler, we have a very safe and very awesome nursery area for your child to grow and get to know other young children. If you don't feel comfortable with all the registration we make you do or you just want to keep your little one with you that's completely fine. If your child gets fussy in the worship service we are not going to skip a beat. Kids are welcome here.
We have really good coffee! People (again) may try to talk to you here because you're new or because they're just friendly people. And we have some pretty literature and banners that tell you about our church. Take a look around. Sometime close to 10.30am you'll hear someone talking from the stage and that'll be a good time to find your seat. You'll hear some good live music to begin your morning. We really hope you like it. We think it's a pretty nice way to begin thinking about the most important stuff of life.
We will lead you in singing - if you don't sing, no worries. We will lead you in prayers and readings. You'll see one of our pastors talking about upcoming things in our little community and you'll hear a sermon. Man will you hear a sermon. About twenty-seven minutes of talk about Jesus and how he makes the whole world new. You might sense God tugging at your heart. Or you might sense last night's pizza, I don't know. But we hope God makes himself known to you clearly during worship.
We have a little Q&A after the sermon, seven minutes, where you can ask anonymous questions via text. You can ask anything at all and our pastor will try to answer whatever questions he can. If he has no idea he'll say, "I don't know." But he'll probably take a good swing at it. We want you to ask tough questions. It helps all of us think more deeply about faith.
We take communion. We say that communion is a feast - we dine on the goodness of God to us. We remember the sacrifice that brought us everlasting life. We point each other toward the only one that can truly heal us. We pray for each other. We take communion every single week because we need to be spiritually nourished every single week. So there's hearty cuban bread and port wine at the tables because Jesus is a hearty spiritual meal. The kids are there too, we let them back in the room after children's church so they can be with us at the communion table. It's a beautiful time.
We take an offering to help fund the ministry our church has to this community, to the poor, and to the starting of future churches. We make very clear that if you're someone that isn't sure about Jesus we don't want you to give. Giving an offering is for Christians. But you are still welcome to attend even if you aren't a Christian - just pass the plate on by. Christians give because their God is unbelievably generous. It just comes with the territory.
We finish by singing a song. Then the pastor pronounces a blessing over the congregation that we call the benediction (literally "good word"). Beginning to end, church is good for you.