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Dave Stahl

What To Expect At Our Services...

Saturday services are held on the first Saturday evening of the month at 5:30pm, Sunday at 8:00am & 10:45am. During the summer months our Sunday late service is held at 10:00am.

In an effort to meet both your spiritual and scheduling needs, First UCC in Carlisle has three services each weekend. Each service has a distinctly different style providing individuals with an opportunity to find one that most suits their personality.

Our 10:45 AM service is our traditional service with music – our Chancel Choir, Children’s Choirs, or the Chancel Bells, and sometimes all three. Our Chancel Choir Director and Organist, Sharon Maurer, is the best in the area. This service is more formal in its literacy, and includes the reading of the Gospel, the Hebrew Scriptures, and the Lessons from the Early Church. There is the Word for Children and a powerful message delivered during the Homily by Pastor Lynn. Communion is served by the Elders to the congregation in the pews, approximately ten times a year. This is our best attended service.

A slightly less formal service is held at 8 AM every Sunday for early risers. Although still containing all the essential components of a church experience, this service usually does not involve the choir, is a bit less formal and tends to last slightly less than an hour. The Early Service always has communion, although it is offered in a non-traditional manner. Participants form a circle around the outside of the pews so the Pastor and Elders may bring bread and wine (or grape juice) to each person. All are welcome to participate in Communion.

We also offer a very informal service at 5:30PM on the first Saturdayof the month. This service is conducted with a piano and involves Communion by intinction where people dip bread in wine (or grape juice). Casual dress is the norm for this gathering and the Pastor can often be found sitting with the congregation. This informal alternative lasts slightly less than an hour.

10 reasons to check us out...


10. What if church is like spinach ...? You know, like something that you hated as a kid but you love as an adult because you eat it in ways that suit you much better. Guess what? A lot of people are having the same sort of experience with church . . . In the UCC, things are often quite different and worth checking out.

9. Variety... UCC churches tend to tailor themselves to fit the people they feel called to serve in their local community. The result: A wide variety of musical traditions, expressions and values that have integrity and purpose. From conservative to liberal, we're not short on variety.

8. No apologies... You are what you are...and so are we – we like ourselves just fine. Find a church where you will fit in, be nurtured and challenged to grow.

7. No waiting... You don't have to join to be active in many UCC churches. If you want to get involved, many of our churches will find a place to help fulfill your need to give – whether or not you decide to join.

6. No boxes... God can blow the lid off any box, unfold it and turn it into a dance floor. We tend to be the "out of the box" people. Among our many firsts, we were the first mainline church to take a stand against slavery (1700), the first to ordain an African American person (1785), the first to ordain a woman (1853), the first in foreign missions (1810), and the first to ordain openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons (1972). We value education for all people. We founded Harvard and Yale, as well as many historically black colleges, six of which remain affiliated with the UCC to this day.

5. One God, One Faith, One Baptism for All When we baptize you into our community, we promise that we will never take it back – no matter what you discover about yourself or what others discover about you along life's journey. We believe that baptism places each of us into the "body of Christ" and lasts forever. Some are baptized as infants, others as adults. Some are sprinkled. Others are immersed. Some reclaim their baptism from a previous church life. For each of us, however, baptism is big enough, strong enough and cleansing enough to last forever. We believe that everyone – old, young, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, physically or emotionally challenged, rich or poor, sure or unsure, lost or found, Democrat or Republican has a place in the body of Christ. Baptism is like a badge that says, "you're a full member of the church and no one can take that away from you."

4. Good News People We believe that No. 5 is good news!

3. "Party" Church God is having a party and we are all invited. At God's party our spiritual hungering is fed and our thirsting is satisfied. At God's party we get strength, stamina and community support that helps us through the tough times that come to everyone. Feeding our spiritual hunger helps reduce those, "I can't believe I'm so stupid" moments – but we'll never eliminate them all. That's why we need friends and companions and not judges (no offense to judges) for the journey.

2. Spiritual Guidance... It's not about commandments. It's about relationships – even with God. The most important relationship is our relationship with God. Second most important is our relationships with the rest of the human family. In balance, these relationships produce justice amid injustice, kindness in the face of meanness, and the humility of self acceptance that comes as we sense the presence of a God who knows our inmost thoughts and loves us uncontrollably – just as we are. Spiritual journeys can be like the exercise equipment we buy and leave under the bed. Without coaches and workout partners, most of us don't stick with it. We're the "Journeys Wanted" people . . . bring yours.
 

1. We look forward to your participation and impact on us.


            

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