What to expect:
We know that attending a new church for the first time can be both exciting and a bit nerve wracking. That’s normal. We want you to feel at home and we hope that the information we provide here will be of help to you.
What the fellowship is like at the church in Redwood Valley: You’ll find our congregation is informal, open and friendly. We’re theologically/Biblically conservative, and liberal in love for Christ and one another. (John 13:34) Attire ranges from casual to dress casual. The pastor has been known to wear a tie from time to time.
We’re a growing congregation in an established neighborhood church facility. As the Lord the Spirit directs, every person and family that joins us brings valuable gifts, talents and spiritual hunger to grow. Every person has the opportunity to have a significant ministry impact on the church body.
What the service is like: While we’re informal we do follow a simple order of service. (If you want a more formal or high service, there are several churches in the area that provide that). When you walk in there will be a bulletin in the foyer with the order of service, songs, scriptures, space for sermon notes, etc. It generally goes like this:
–Arrival – At present we do require that masks and distance requirements be maintained between family units. Someone will help you get acquainted and make sure you get a bulletin.
–Scripture reading of the text for the day’s sermon. “give attention to the public reading of Scripture” – 1 Timothy 4:13
–Several songs – variously accompanied by piano, ukulele, acoustic guitar, flute, with percussion by a cajon. We sing hymns and some contemporary music, but all of it carefully selected for its doctrinal content and accuracy. You’ll even find we change a few words in songs to make them more Biblically accurate, and we don’t sing the “7 lines sung 7 times” kind of songs. Music teaches very effectively and we want to make sure that what the music teaches is faithful to the Word of God. In general we use song books, but occasionally we have the words on an insert in the bulletin or on Powerpoint. We sing vigorously to the Lord! Ephesians 5:19
–Congregational Scripture reading – we read a short passage of scripture, aloud together. 1 Timothy 4:13 again.
–Greeting one another – this is a time when we can turn and greet one another in the Lord and introduce ourselves. 1 Thess 5:26
–Message in the Word/Sermon – this is the expository teaching of the full counsel of the Word and is usually around 40-45 minutes. Come prepared to have your mind and heart engaged and sometimes challenged by the Spirit and His Word! While we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we do take the Word of our Triune God with utter seriousness and joy! You’ll want to bring a good Bible. We preach and teach out of the NASB, while some carry the KJV, NKJV, or ESV We have NASB Bibles in the pews if you would like to use one. There is a place in the bulletin to take notes. 2 Timothy 4:2, Acts 17:10,11, 2 Timothy 2:15
We invite the congregation to ask questions or ask for something to be clarified or repeated during the sermon. The point of equipping the saints is that they learn, and respectful, appropriate interaction really helps the learning process. As long as the question or comment is on topic, respectful, timely, helpful, fair to those present and not disruptive to the general flow it really is encouraged and welcome! The sermon is a vehicle for the body of Christ to learn the Word of God and not an end in itself.
–Q&A – after most sermons the pastor opens the floor for questions, observations and answers. If something about the sermon prompted you or raised questions, here is a great time to voice them, provided they are about the sermon topics! (We have plenty of other times when you can ask about other Biblical, theological or life application questions.) You may find that you learn almost as much from someone’s good question as you did from the sermon itself. Ephesians 4:11-16
–Song – Sometimes we sing a song in response to the teaching.
–Prayer and Announcements – we share prayer needs, concerns and thanks to the Lord and we bear one another’s burdens. Galatians 6:2, 1 Timothy 2:1
What about children?
(Notice: Due to Covid regulations, we presently are not providing nursery). Nursery, staffed with experienced volunteers for babies and small children, is right next to the sanctuary for easy access. Equipped with a remote TV screen so parents and staff can hear the sermon. Children’s church is provided for elementary aged kids following the greeting time. Some prefer to stay in the main service and we support that choice. The key here is to talk to one of the staff and find out your options. We are very adaptable and can quickly change how we go about things to make sure that needs are provided for. If you have a question, concern or suggestion, please speak up.
Our adult Sunday School is a continuation of our worship of the Lord, and we’re growing and being transformed by our study of the Word and the gospel of the savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. The style is open and conversational and we pause to discuss issues that arise and answer questions. Everyone learns and we walk away refreshed and prepared for the worship service.
Please join us for this rich, edifying and life-changing Bible study.
We have chosen to celebrate the Lord’s Table/Communion with the Koinonia/Fellowship meal, after the main service. This is more like the ancient, primitive church and like the Lord’s Last Supper. (This is a matter of preference, and not of doctrine. The main thing is that the ordinance of communion is celebrated in obedience to our Lord, Luke 22:19).
After the service we congregate in the fellowship hall and make last minute fellowship meal preparations while others lay out the communion elements. Then we gather, pray and Scripture is read, we are encouraged to a have a brief period of quiet contemplation of what Christ has done for us and searching of our own hearts (1 Cor 11:28), words are spoken and the elements are taken. Usually we sing a verse of a song in celebration. Following this we enjoy a pot-luck meal and fellowship with one another, often having a brief meeting to discuss church matters as a body.
Communion is open to all who earnestly profess Christ as Lord and savior, and who have examined their own hearts. Parents should discuss this matter with their children beforehand.
The pot-luck meal is open to and enjoyed by all and we encourage you to locate the meal theme on the board in the foyer. Each month we try to theme the meal and coordinate a list of dishes being brought. See our pot-luck coordinator, Jade, for details on the meal theme and list of dishes. If you’ve not brought food, please come to the meal anyway. We always have plenty. We’re sure you’ll bring extra next time.