SERVICE: 10:00 AM
|Doing really good stuff.|
Thinking of Visiting Plymouth? Here’s a Brief Primer.
What Should I Wear?
Perhaps even before you head out to find Plymouth UCC, the first question you might ask is, “what should I wear?” That’s a valid question. At Plymouth, some folks wear coats and ties or dresses and hats but you’ll also see people in t-shirts and jeans. The rest of us dress comfortably somewhere in the middle. God doesn’t judge how you dress and neither do we.
Now that that’s out of the way....
Plymouth UCC is located at 4010 Kalamazoo Avenue S.E. in Grand Rapids. That’s on the east side of the road; just 1/2 mile north of 44th Street. It’s a large A-frame with a sign in front that has the church name and “Doing Really Good Stuff” on it. Oh yeah - if you’re still not sure you’ve found us, the large blue WAGE PEACE sign out front is your confirmation. That will let you know you’ve got the right place!
There are two driveways to turn into; use either one. Feel free to park anywhere you’d like; there are two lots along the south side of the building and one directly behind it. Spots immediately by the east (back) church doors are marked for “visitors.” Handicap parking is available at the south entrance. Our entire facility is barrier-free and wheelchair seating is available in the sanctuary.
Inside Plymouth UCC
When you get to the church doors, you’ll likely find someone there to greet you. They will be happy to point you in the right direction to the nursery (for your wee ones), bathrooms, or whatever else you might need. You’ll see people of all ages attending Plymouth, from blue-haired members to babes-in-arm. If, after moving past “the greeter,” you have questions, ushers at the sanctuary doors can assist you, or just ask one of the congregants. You can breathe easy; you’ve made it into a very welcoming place.
Sunday worship is supposed to start at 10:00 a.m., but Rev. Van Doren recognizes that God’s people are often punctuality-challenged, so he begins the service a bit closer to 10:05. An usher will give you a printed order of worship (bulletin) that will guide you through the service from hymns to prayers to collection of the morning’s offering. If you’d like, the usher can also find you a seat. If you’re shy, feel free to nestle in at the back of the sanctuary. If not, come take a spot in the front pews. There is no assigned seating.
Children begin in the worship service with their parents and then come forward for “Children’s Time” with the pastor. They then proceed to the lower level for Sunday Sessions, Plymouth’s Sunday School program for children ages four through the tenth grade. If needed, an elevator is located in the narthex (behind the sanctuary) for access to the lower level. You are welcome to accompany your child downstairs to help him or her get settled. Or, if you prefer, your children are also welcome to remain in worship with you. Worship generally lasts a little over an hour; sometimes longer if there’s a baptism or other special event.
One thing that permeates the worship service at Plymouth is our answer to God’s call to love all people as they are, regardless of economic status, ethnicity, ability, or sexual orientation. We’re pretty big on social justice, so you’ll hear a lot about opportunities to serve inside the church and well beyond into the wider community. Many of these opportunities will also be printed in the bulletin or promoted on the bulletin boards in the narthex.
Worship usually ends with people holding hands in the pews and across the aisles, often to a sung benediction in addition to words from the pastor. During cold and flu season there’s plenty of hand sanitizer available by the sanctuary doors! But, feel free to just hold pinkies if you’re concerned. After the benediction, you can file out the middle aisle, shake the minister’s hand, compliment or challenge his sermon, ask questions, and get more information. You can also file out a side aisle. Children remain in Sunday Sessions until 11:30 a.m.
Finally, please feel free to stick around for the fellowship hour after worship in the narthex. We serve Fair Trade coffee and tea, punch, and snacks (from cookies and home-made coffee cake to veggies and sushi). You’ll meet some awfully friendly people who’ll be glad to direct you to resources within the Plymouth family and beyond into metro Grand Rapids.
We hope you stop by and visit. Know that, at Plymouth UCC, wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.
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