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Visitor Info

You may have questions about Westbrook-Warren ... particularly about what to expect if you visit us.  We've tried to put together answers to some basic questions to help you understand us better and to make you feel more at ease when you visit us.

How do I find the church?

We have a map on our Location page with information about which door to use, etc.  If you have any questions, please contact the church office at (207) 854-9157.

Where do I sit?

Anywhere you like!  We don't have "assigned seats" so you can feel free to sit anywhere.  If you have any doubts, feel free to ask one of the greeters or ushers at the door.  They'll be happy to help you find a seat.

Can I bring my children to the service?

Of course!  Children of all ages are welcome.    For very young children and infants, we have nursery care available downstairs.  Ask an usher for directions and they'll be happy to have someone take you down and show you the nursery.  

The glassed-in lounge just outside the sanctuary is wired into the sound system.  So if your child isn't able to sit through the service or just needs to take a break, feel free to go into the lounge and listen to the service from there.

There are activity bags available at the back of the sanctuary (in the left-hand corner as you enter) that have coloring books and crayons in them.  Feel free to pick one up and take it back to your seat.  

During the children's message, or children's faith focus, the minister generally asks the children to come forward and sit on the floor at the front of the church.  Your children are welcome to come up, but if they're more comfortable remaining with you that's fine.

What do I wear?

There is a wide range in what people wear, but it tends towards casual.  Some will be in suits and dresses ... others will be in khakis and polo shirts ... and yet others in t-shirt and jeans. 

How much money do I put in the collection plate?

You shouldn't feel obligated to put in any particular amount ... or anything at all.  The offering is our way of giving what we have to God's service.  

Where does the money go? 

Some is used to run our particular church ... heat, lights, salaries.  All of these cost money.  Some goes to our own mission work here in our community ... Mission Possible Teen Center, the Wayside Evening Soup Kitchen ... and some goes to mission work of the larger church ... Habitat for HumanityOne Great Hour of Sharing.

How will I know what's going on?

When you enter the sanctuary, an usher will hand you a bulletin, or order of worship.  That is your guide to what will happen throughout the service.  If there is something you as a part of the congregation need to say or do, it will be written in the bulletin.

How do I know when to stand up or sit down?

Some items in the bulletin are marked with an asterisk (*) to indicate that the congregation should stand.  If you're unable to stand or would rather remain seated, you are welcome to       do so.  For hymns, the musician generally plays through the song once and then the congregation stands when she gets to the last line of that introduction.

Should I clap after a performance by the choir or soloist?

The minister would tell you "yes" but we haven't quite worked that out yet!  Often you'll see people raise their hands and wiggle their hands & fingers in silent applause.  

Why are there two different hymn books? 

We use both the Pilgrim Hymnal, for our "old favorites," and the New Century Hymnal, so we can experience new expressions of faith.  The bulletin will let you know which hymnal to use for which song.   The Pilgrim Hymnal is listed as "Blue" or "Pilgrim."  The New Century Hymnal is listed as "Black" or "NCH."  

Should I participate in communion?

All people are welcome to join us in communion ... members and visitors alike.  If you'd rather not, you should not feel obligated to take communion.

What do I do during communion?

It depends on how communion is being handled that day.  If it is by intinction, anyone who wants to take communion will be asked to come forward to the communion table.  The minister will hold out a plate of bread and invite you to take a piece, representing the body of Christ.  Two deacons will be standing behind the minister holding glasses of grape juice, representing the blood of Christ.  You simply dip your bread into the grape juice and then eat it.

If you're unable to come forward for communion by intinction, a deacon or the minister will bring you the elements in your seat.  

If communion is being served to the congregation in the pews, you don't have to come forward.  A deacon will come to the end of each pew and hand a silver tray with bread to the first person in the row.  That person then hands it to the next person, and so on, until the tray reaches about the center of the row.  Then each person takes a piece of bread as the tray is handed back down the row to the deacon. Once you have the bread, hold onto it and the minister will tell you when to eat it.  After everyone has eaten their bread, the deacons will serve the juice in the same manner.  

What is a fellowship pad?

At some point during the service you will be asked to sign the fellowship pad.  That is a small black folder (usually found in the hymnal rack of your pew near the center aisle) with a name and address sheet in it.  We ask members and visitors alike to sign in so that we know you attended worship.  If you'd like to get more information about the church, you can mark that on the fellowship pad as well.  If you'd rather not sign, of course, you can simply hand it to the next person.

How come no one leaves after the benediction?

We generally stay seated to listen to the postlude, the music that is played right after the benediction.  Of course, if you need to leave, you are welcome to do so at any time.  

Where does everyone go after the service?

Most Sundays we have "coffee hour" in the Fellowship Hall after the service.  You are encouraged to join us as we relax and visit over a cup of coffee, punch, or tea!

What are "celebrations and concerns"?

Just before the prayer, the minister will ask people to share their causes of celebrations and their areas of concern.  If you have something to celebrate, please share it!  Or if you need prayers for yourself to help you through a difficult time ... or if you know someone who needs prayers ... please feel free to share them.   

What the heck is a "Narthex" anyway?

The Narthex is the lobby area just inside the main entrance, outside the sanctuary.  

Do I have to make a donation at coffee hour?

On the coffee table you will see a bowl for donations, but you do not have to donate in order to join us in fellowship during the coffee hour.  Very often the donations are for a specific cause, in which case there will be a sign stating where the money is going.  Contribute if you like but it is not necessary. 

Why are some people wearing name badges?

We try to make name badges for everyone who attends the church.  This helps us learn each other's names ... and to remind us when we forget!  We also hope that it helps new members and visitors get to know us.   The colors have no significance; they are chosen randomly.  If you would like a name badge, please sign up on the list on the bulletin board in the Narthex or drop a note into the collection plate.