What happens during a Sunday morning service?
We start with a welcome and take a moment to focus on being together with God. Then we sing for a while. Some songs are sung with voices only (a tradition in many Anabaptist churches) and for some, we use a variety of instruments like piano, guitar, flute or violin to accompany us. Feel free to sing along or just enjoy the music. We sing as a way to remind ourselves and each other of things we believe about God but are prone to forget, and also as a form of prayer, a way to engage in conversation with God.
Prayers happen two or three times in each service. There’s usually one at the beginning, and toward the end of the service, we invite anyone who wishes to share anything they’d like us to pray about with them. This can be something good you’re thankful for or something stressful you’re struggling with. If you want to share, just raise your hand and someone will bring a microphone to you.
We take an offering each week by passing baskets down the rows. If you are our guest, we invite you not to put anything in the basket. The offering is a way for Witmer Heights members and regular attenders to fund the expenses of the church and share money with those in need locally and globally. We do this because we believe everything we possess is a gift from God and God wants us to share what we have.
We read from the Bible, usually a couple of times in each service. We do this because we experience the Bible as the story of God’s love for and involvement in the world, and we want the Bible to shape who we are and what we do.
Each week there is a sermon. It’s usually given by Randy, our pastor, but sometimes a guest preacher or a member of Witmer Heights is the speaker. In the sermon, we try to listen for God’s voice through some part of the Bible, and figure out together how to follow Jesus and become the people he wants us to be. We believe the sermon is not a lecture or a speech, but a conversation that invites us to specific ways of following Jesus in our everyday lives at work, school, home and in our neighborhoods. The sermon lasts about twenty minutes.
After the sermon, we take some time to share with each other what’s happening in our lives. We pass a microphone around, and whoever would like to can share an experience of God’s presence in the last week, comment on or respond to the sermon, or ask everyone to pray with them about something. After a prayer, we share an announcement or two about upcoming church or community events, and introduce friends we’ve brought. We understand that open mic time with a group of strangers is few people’s notion of a good time, so there’s never any obligation to speak, or be introduced. Our goal is for you to feel comfortable as our guest.
After sharing time, we sing one last song, and then that morning’s preacher sends us on our way with a few last words of encouragement. The whole service lasts about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.
Where do I go when I get there?
You can enter by either of the glass double doors in the front of the building. There will be a greeter at the door as you arrive. When you come in, you will be greeted, given a copy of our weekly bulletin and shown where the meeting space is. You can also pick up a paper copy of MennoBulletin, our weekly newsletter. Feel free to help yourself to a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate in the fellowship hall.
What should I wear?
We invite you to dress as you feel most comfortable. You’ll see people wearing jeans and sweats as well as neckties and dresses. Almost always not the same person.
What if I have questions about Witmer Heights?
After each service, our pastor is available in the open area at the rear of the meeting space. Ask any questions you may have. You can also email him directly or through this site.