Are You New Here? Frequently asked Questions

Church 2 treesHere are a few answers to questions we have been  asked through the years.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? We are just an email or phone call away so please feel free to reach out.

Am I really welcome? Yes. When we say that ‘All are welcome’ we truly mean it. We are a church that welcomes all people, regardless of any superficial human-made differences or distinctions. Our church family is made up of all kinds of people with a wide array of wonderful gifts they share.

Do I need to wear a mask at the service? If you would like to you are welcome to do so. Our church has done an exceptional job staying up with CDC protocols to ensure the safety and well being of our most vulnerable friends and members.

 

Can my children participate? Children are an important part of our community. Please know that we are glad to have them in worship with us. It’s fine if they squirm and make a little noise. Following the Story For All People (a reflection geared for our younger ones doing worship), our children usually go downstairs to participate in their own way of being church. This often involves singing and craft projects, Bible stories and skits, games and service projects. If you feel more comfortable, or they feel nervous or shy, your kids can remain in worship with you.

Do you offer something for infants and toddlers? Yes. We have separate Nursery care staff for infants and toddlers (up to age 4) during our Sunday worship service. The nursery is located downstairs and is adjacent to the Sunday School classroom. Our nursery has several cribs as well as safe, clean, and age-appropriate toys. It is staffed by a team of trained and highly skilled caregivers. Toddlers have a spacious play area with many fun, safe, and interactive toys.

What is the United Church of Christ? This is the network of churches to which we belong. A denomination is simply a group of churches with shared beliefs, history, or shared ways of being organized. In New England, most ‘Congregational’ churches joined the United Church of Christ in 1957 along with three other smaller denominations. You can check out the UCC’s great homepage to find out all sorts of helpful and informative things. Find out more here: http://www.ucc.org

Do I have to belong to your denomination to attend church? Not at all. Most folks in our church actually have a background in some other denomination – former Catholics or Lutherans, Presbyterians or Baptists. We are a ‘patchwork’ church in which people with many different church backgrounds are woven together in our community. Once or twice a year we offer membership classes for those who would like to deepen their faith commitment by officially joining our church family.

How do I know what is going on? Each Friday we send out our ‘Union Digest’ email.  In it you will find the most up-to-date information on news and events related to church life. We also have a Facebook page that is updated now and then, but the Union Digest shows up in your inbox each week.

Is there a dress code?  Yes, we do require that you wear clothes. Really, just come as you are. Some folks dress casually while others get dressed up in their Sunday best. Just wear whatever you are comfortable with. The important thing is that you’re here.

Can a guest take communion? Yes. We usually celebrate communion on the first Sunday of the month. Communion is a tangible reminder and experience of God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ. We practice an ‘open table’ where anyone is welcome to share in communion, whether they are a church member or not. There are no prerequisites or requirements. Jesus didn’t make them, so neither do we.

What if I don’t know what I believe? You can belong even if you’re not sure what you believe. Lots of people have questions here. Faith is a journey of exploration and we are all in different places along the way. We don’t see doubt, questioning, or uncertainty as the ‘enemy’ of faith as some churches do. Rather, they are the partners of faith that challenge and lead us to a mature and meaningful faith. It’s only in questioning that we can really explore and grow.

Where should I sit? There are no assigned seats. You may sit wherever you like.

How much does it cost to go there? Nothing. We collect an offering every week, but it’s not for people who are checking out the faith or the church. We are a church that is 100% supported financially by the good people who have chosen to make this church their home. You’re not going to find us trying to squeeze cash out of you every time you walk through the door like some places. Our giving doesn’t flow out of compulsion or guilt, but rather out of desire to love God more fully, to practice greater generosity, and to be a part of what God is doing in and through the work of our church.

How long does your worship service last? We generally aim for an hour. On Sundays with special events (baptisms, communion, extra music, new members joining, etc.) it sometimes stretches to a little over an hour. After church all people are welcome to stay around for our coffee hour. It’s a great chance to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.

How do I get there?

Union Congregational Church is on Rt. 119, 218 Main Street, Groton. Across the street from Filho’s.

Where should I park?

Parking is available on Main Street, Hollis Street or Willowdale Road. We can also park at the dry cleaners, Donelan’s, and Filho’s parking lots, all on Main Street. For those who need a shorter walk we have designated parking on Willowdale Road right next to the entrance.

What should I wear?

Union Congregational Church has a “come as you are” atmosphere. You will see some dressed up; some dressed casual. We have no expectations for attire.

Where do my kids go?

We have a nursery downstairs in Fellowship Hall for children under 3. The nursery is supervised by a licensed care giver. The ushers or greeters would be happy to show you around. For 3 years old through 8th grade we have Sunday School located across Willowdale Street in the Parish House (218 Main Street). Your children will be guided across the street during the church service by the ushers and teachers. Each week there will be an opening activity or game, a scripture message, a craft and other activities, which are very well defined. Each week students will receive a color worksheet that has multiple activities that tie in with the overall lesson plan designed for their age level.

What is a Sunday service like?

Our Sunday services offer powerful live worship and Biblical teaching that is relevant to every day life.  Each service lasts about an hour. We feel it is vital for us to bring our whole selves (our joys and our struggles, our sufferings and our celebrations) to God; and then be lifted up to see, hear and receive assurances of God’s presence in Christ with us.

Be sure to say “Hello!”

When you visit, don’t forget to join us downstairs after worship in Fellowship Hall for coffee and a treat. We’d love to meet you and your family, and answer any questions you may have. We’re so glad you decided to visit Union Congregational Church!

Where is the Church Office?

These are located in the big Victorian house across Willowdale Rd. from the Church Building. It’s address (and our mailing address) is 220 Main Street. You can park in the little lot behind the house (accessed from Willowdale Rd.) and come in the back door. Or park along Main St. or Willowdale and enter through the Willowdale door.

Phone: (978) 448- 2091
Email the Church Office: union@uccgroton.org