For many people, the scariest part of visiting a new church is not knowing what to expect or what to do. We understand that apprehension, and want you to feel the embrace of God’s extravagant welcome when you join us for worship at Kansas City United Church of Christ. Here are few tips to help you navigate your visit to KCUCC.
Our ushers will graciously welcome you, and don’t be surprised if they ask you if you are visiting for the first time. Near the start of our service there is time for people to stand and greet one another. At this time, people sitting near you, church members and regular attendees, will welcome you.
We don’t make visitors stand and we won’t single you out. At the end of each pew, there is a black notepad where you can sign in. Of course you don’t have to sign in, but it’s an easy way to request more information and let us know you visited. It’s a very safe thing to do, and we promise we won’t show up at your door!
While the philosophy of our church is quite progressive, our worship has the feel of a traditional Protestant service. The ministers wear robes, and classic hymns are set to music from a pipe organ (although some of the words have been revised to reflect a more inclusive worldview). Often our choir sings traditional music, but sometimes you may hear them sing a spiritual or more contemporary piece. Most of the time soloists will sing accompanied by organ or piano, but on occasion an acoustic guitar, a violin, harp or other instrument may make an appearance.
Sitting, Standing and Singing
Our order of worship will tell you when to sit, when to stand, when to sing, and where to find the lyrics to the songs. Our service is reverent but it is also relaxed, so no one is expected to get all the cues correct all the time–even if you have been coming to KCUCC for a long time.
At the end of each service, we join hands and sing a short blessing, “God be with you ‘til we meet again.” We do this so that every person in the room knows that her or his presence matters to God and to the community. So don’t be freaked out when some stranger tries to grab your hand! Of course, with both of your hands otherwise occupied, it’s hard to read the lyrics to the blessing in the order of worship. It’s a little flaw in the system, but if you come back and visit us a few times, you’ll learn the words. We know not everyone is comfortable holding hands, so hand holding is optional but please know your presence matters to us.
What to Wear
Our ministers wear robes, but people in the congregation come in a variety of clothes. Some men wear suits and ties and some women wear nice dresses. Others come in t-shirts and wear jeans or shorts depending on the weather. We don’t think going to church on Sunday mornings should be a fashion show, so whatever clothes you are comfortable in are fine with us.
KCUCC celebrates Holy Communion on the first Sunday of each month. We practice open communion, so all are welcome to the table. No faith is too weak or doubt too strong. Whether you are a member of our church, another church or no church, there is still a place for you at the communion table. Jesus didn’t turn people away, and neither do we!
Coffee and Conversation
If you feel so inclined, please join us in the social hall after worship for a cup of coffee, some sort of high-calorie treat, and friendly conversation.
On Sundays when communion does not occur, children leave for Sunday School after the Children’s Time. Parents can pick up their children after the service in the Sunday School room next to the Social Hall.
Nursery care is available every Sunday for infants through preschool-aged children. Feel free to ask an usher for directions to the nursery or Sunday School room.