What to expect
Where do I park?
We’re located on the southwest side of Madison, near Whitney Way and Raymond Rd, at 1501 Gilbert Road. We have a large parking lot, and there is also ample street parking. Google map. Our worship space and most of our meeting spaces are fully wheelchair accessible.
What do I wear?
Most people dress casually. You can come exactly as you are. If it feels special and empowering to you to dress up, have fun! We are happy to have you with us however you are dressed.
How are you handling COVID?
We are proud of the way we have managed COVID and have felt a strong commitment to keep the most vulnerable among us safe. We have made sure to have a strong virtual worship presence, regardless of if we can meet in person. Our COVID response team continues to meet periodically to review the situation and make policy recommendations.
At present, we are confident in our mitigation systems to keep people safe AND gather in person. All who enter the church building (including children over 2 and elders) are required to wear surgical or KN95 or better (N95, KN94) masks. We have extra masks, so please come and grab one for service! You can wear one under your cloth mask if you’d like. Read more details about our COVID policies.
How will I be welcomed?
You will be greeted with a warm welcome! There are two main entrances, and greeters will be at the both the Gilbert Rd and parking lot entrances to welcome you. You will be invited to fill out a name-tag. Some of us write our gender pronouns in an act of justice, inclusion and love. There are bulletins available from our ushers to help you follow the service, with large-type bulletins for those who need them.
Are my kids welcome?
Yes! We would be over the moon to have your children in worship. We don’t mind the little noises and wiggles one bit! We cherish, nurture and protect our kids. We have a safe sanctuary policy to protect our children.
Sunday School starts an hour before worship at 9am and ends before the service at 10am. An usher can direct you to the appropriate room.
After the children’s message during 10am worship, we offer craft playtime and music instruction for children in another room. On Communion Sundays kids return to worship to rejoin their families for communion. We practice open communion and children of all ages are invited to partake.
Nursery care for children under age 3 has been paused due to COVID, but we hope that will resume soon. Please ask if nursery care is important to you.
Who can take communion?
Everybody! We practice open table communion, and share in the communion meal of bread (with GF options) and a choice of wine or non-alcoholic grape juice on the first Sunday of each month. It is important to us theologically to make our sacred meal open to all people, children and adults, baptized and unbaptized, sinners and saints, believers and doubters and everyone in between! With COVID we are delivering the elements in individual paper cups.
What is worship like?
We hope this hour is uplifting, connective and renewing for your spirit. Pastors, music ministers and lay member volunteers lead the service. A pastor (usually) will lead in a spiritual reflection called a sermon, which is based on a passage from the Bible or other sources of wisdom. A highlight of our service is “joys & concerns” where anyone can actively participate by lifting up a prayer that is on their heart. We know God hears our unspoken prayers too, so we never put anyone on the spot. We treasure the opportunity during our service to hold each other in our heart.
How about the music?
We love our music, which will be a mix of contemporary and traditional. One Sunday you’ll hear our handbell choir; on another it may be our empowered teen band, Tru Function. The next week our adult choir will sing. We frequently invite church members to share their individual musical talents with us. Our congregation loves to sing – from meaningful old hymns to more contemporary ones that get our toes tappin’ and our hands clappin’. We love it when our youngsters help us to reflect as they exuberantly play their drums and xylophones in rhythms they have created.
How do people greet each other?
Pre-COVID we all greeted one another exuberantly and joined hands to sing our final song. How we long for the day when we can do that again! We do a lot of bowing to the light/Christ within each other now instead of shaking hands and hugging. We have gotten in the habit of asking for permission and consent before hugging each other.