Just slightly over an hour: we start at 10:00, and the worship service is usually over at 11:05 (but communion services sometimes run 5 or 10 minutes over that–see below). Leave some extra time, though, for fellowship afterwards, and if you’re able please join us for our excellent Adult Education series that takes place from 11:20-12:20!
Nope! Actually, we have lots of visitors, Ithaca being Ithaca. We have Fellowship Pads at the end of every pew, where you can leave us more information–please! That way even if we don’t get to officially shake your hand at the end of a service, we can reach out and thank you for coming.
Our church, pastoral staff, and organist are available for Christian weddings. Contact Rev. Kirianne Weaver Riehl with questions, or to schedule a date for your wedding. Please note that there are preparatory requirements set by our denomination, which include three premarital counseling sessions, so some lead time is required.
While under normal circumstances we encourage families to join a church that their child can truly grow up in, the Session of the church can also waive that requirement. Services of baptism take place during the worship service, and should be planned and prepared for with the pastoral staff. Under very rare conditions a private service may be organized, such as when there are immuno-deficiencies, or when a pastoral emergency arises.
Immediately after worship, please stop by for fellowship time (and coffee and cookies) in the narthex of the church! After a brief interlude, Adult Education will begin in Dodds Hall–this is a vibrant, seminary-style series of presentations and speakers who bring new voices and ideas to the church week after week. During Adult Education, the nursery is open; Cayuga Youth Choir takes place for children in grades K-5; and Youth Group takes place upstairs for our youth in Middle and High School, so that something is available for God’s children of every age.
Communion is an act of the worldwide church. Our constitution allows for any baptized Christian to take communion. Furthermore, there is no real Biblical evidence that the disciples were baptized when they partook the original last supper. You are welcome to partake!
We celebrate communion every first Sunday of the month, with rare exceptions. We also have communion services monthly at Kendal and Longview, and hold additional services on special occasions such as Maundy Thursday. Our communion is served with juice, and gluten-free wafers are available.
Usually, communion is taken individually in our seats, as the plates and trays are passed to each pew. Summertimes and special occasions, however, we may serve by intinction. This means the people of the congregation come forward, tear a piece of bread from a loaf, and dip it in the cup to eat.
We are fortunate to have wonderful volunteers and some staff to help us provide for Christians of all ages!
- For our youngest worshipers, the nursery is open from 9:45-12:30. Located behind the sanctuary and up a half-flight of stairs, the nursery is staffed by two wonderful caregivers, who let the children play and often read Bible picture books aloud. As a parent, when you sign in your child you can request a silent pager which you can bring with you into the worship service (or adult education afterward) so that you’ll be notified if any needs arise. Goldfish and juice is available in the nursery. For very small children and toddlers, bring any additional supplies you think your child may need.
- Our K-4 children are welcome in the nursery, but most will come into the worship service until the Children’s Time. From Children’s Time, these children are led to the Meditation Room (located at the bottom of the stairs in the Tower Door) for Sunday School. Sunday School ends with the end of the worship service (about 11:10), but soon after starts Cayuga Youth Choir. This music program is headed by Director Sarah Welden, and teaches excellent church music to our children, with performances roughly every quarter.
- In our church, we encourage our youth (grades 5 and up) to stay in worship. Following worship, the Youth Group meets (about 11:20-12:30) in the Youth Room, which is located up the half-flight of stairs beyond the front-right side of the sanctuary. The Youth Group combines prayer, Christian discussion, social activities and mission for a well-rounded Christian foundation for our youth. For more questions, talk to our Associate Pastor, John McDonald.
Most people bring an offering. It needn’t be much; remember how Jesus praised the woman who gave two small coins, together worth a penny. We take our offering in the worship service because we believe in offering our whole selves to God. The offering is a token and symbol of this; the offertory music will be there to help us likewise to offer the rest of our lives in prayer.
Some people like to put on their best clothes for Sunday to prepare themselves to honor God. Some choose to wear everyday clothes as a way of welcoming God into their lives more completely. We love and welcome both approaches: the care of Solomon’s robes and the simplicity of Jesus’ tunic. Consider which is more important to you, and come accordingly.
Our church has four main doors on Sunday. All four doors are open on Sundays, and you will find ushers at each to welcome you:
If Ithaca’s new parking meters baffle you, you needn’t worry about it. Metered parking is not in effect Saturdays and Sundays in Ithaca! If you have a mobility issue, feel free to use our small parking lot behind the church (see the question above!).
We worship every Sunday at 10am. To hear the organ prelude, come at 9:45. We start right on time at 10, but don’t worry about coming in late–people do it.
For mobility access, park in the small parking lot found at the end of the alley behind the church, off Court Street. This parking lot abuts Dewitt Park, and the western and middle bays are ours. The “Park Door,” as it’s called, has an automatic door opener, and there is a lift inside that landing that can take people up to the sanctuary level or down to Dodds Hall, where Adult Education classes are held. (The accessible bathroom is also downstairs.) Ushers are available Sunday mornings to help people operate the lift. We have four special pews with space for wheelchairs, but throughout the sanctuary the aisles are wide enough to allow you to sit wherever you like. Please let us know if there is more we can do to be accommodating, as it is a wish of ours to be so.
At any of the doors, there are headsets for the hearing-impaired (or anyone who likes an HD sound experience!) People of all ages use them. An usher can show you how to turn them on. Their users rave about them!
Finally, large-print bulletins and hymnals are available. If you don’t see what you need, please don’t hesitate to ask. We would love to be helpful!