Considering a visit but just not sure what to expect? You've come to the right place. Check out our Top 10 list of What to Expect at Manassas Presbyterian Church (MPC) so you can “know before you go.” We welcome you and invite you to come worship with us!
1. What kind of worship services do you offer?
We are affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA and offer traditional-style worship on Sundays at 8:30 and 11 a.m., with choirs at the 11 a.m. service. In June, July and August, we hold one service at 10 a.m., as well as a once-a-month outdoor service at 8:30 a.m., weather permitting.
2. I am not a Presbyterian. Will I be welcome?
Some of us are “cradle Presbyterians,” while others come from different Christian traditions. All are welcome.
3. How long is the service and what can I expect?
Our 8:30 a.m. service typically runs up to an hour. As most families with young children attend the later service, we offer a children's sermon during the 11 a.m. service, which typically ends by 12:15 p.m.
Each service includes Bible readings, a sermon, prayers, hymns and, on some Sundays, communion. After the Prayer of Confession and Declaration of Forgiveness, there is a “Passing of the Peace” handshake, an action symbolizing our sharing of the love and forgiveness offered to us in Jesus Christ. MPC members often use this time as an opportunity to welcome new worshipers. Additionally, it is a longstanding custom of our members to join hands during the Benediction at the close of worship. We invite you to join in holding hands, but if you are uncomfortable with the practice, you are by no means required to.
4. Do you offer Sunday school classes?
Yes, for children, youth and adults. Classes are held between Sunday services, from 9:40 - 10:40 a.m. Children meet in the classrooms in the same hallway wing as the Sanctuary; youth and adults meet in the wing closest to the church office. Age-appropriate classes are available for preschoolers (ages 3-4) through senior high school. Nursery care (staffed by a paid worker and volunteers) is available for those 2 and younger. All paid staff and volunteers working with children and youth are screened in accordance with, and must comply with, the MPC Child Protection Policy.
5. Are children welcome in service?
Absolutely! As Jesus said in Matthew 9:14, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Children are always welcome in worship. We offer worship bags with a variety of items (crayons, modeling clay, coloring sheets) to help children who may need something to occupy their growing minds and bodies so parents can participate in worship. The colorful bags are located on a stand outside the sanctuary.
During the 11 a.m. service we offer an "Extended Time with Children" option after the children's sermon. Children, ages 3 through kindergarten, may participate in story time, coloring and other activities in a classroom staffed with volunteers.
We also offer nursery care for children 2 and under, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
During the worship service, parents wishing to soothe a fidgety child may also go to the narthex, library, or nursery, where the service can be viewed via closed-circuit TV.
6. Am I allowed to participate in communion?
The gifts of God are for the people of God. All who are baptized, including children, are welcome to participate.
We typically observe the Lord’s Supper (Communion or Eucharist) on the first Sunday of every month, as well as special days in Advent and Lent and at Christmas Eve services.
Communion is offered in one of the following two ways:
- Worshippers remain seated: At MPC we may serve each other in the pews, with elders distributing the elements (bread and grape juice). We hold the elements until all have been served so that we may eat or drink together as directed by the Pastor. Holders for empty cups are located on each chair back.
- Worshippers come forward: Wait for the usher to invite your row to the front. Take a piece of bread from the basket, dip it in the chalice of grape juice and consume immediately. You may then return to your seat.
7. What about the collection?
Most worship services include a freewill offering. In the Presbyterian church, we understand the offering of our material gifts to be a response of gratitude to God and a way to support the church’s ministry and mission. While visitors may contribute something during the offering, there is no expectation that they do so. Most MPC members make an annual pledge and place their offering in the collection plate or use our online pledge option. We have no giving quotas or requirements.
8. Are visitors asked to stand and be recognized? Will I be contacted after my visit?
Rest assured, we won't ask you to stand and be recognized! But do expect many hearty handshakes and warm greetings from our congregation. Additionally, visitors and members alike are encouraged (but never required) to sign the Friendship Pad that is passed along the pew during Welcome and Announcements. We encourage you to provide whatever contact information you are comfortable with entering. We send visitors an email or handwritten greeting later in the week to see if we can pray for you, answer your questions or be helpful to you in any other way.
9. I have a disability. How can you accommodate me?
We have several attendees with disabilities and can work with each to accommodate their needs. For example, we offer hearing assistance devices, large-print bulletins, wall screens to display readings from the service, handicapped-equipped bathroom stalls, individual bathrooms, and no stairs throughout the building. We are currently redesigning the church entrance with automatic doors to ease entry for those in wheelchairs and with walkers. Should you have a question about your specific needs, please contact the church office at 703-369-2058.
10. Where should I park?
We offer ample parking in front and behind the building. The rear entrance includes a covered awning for drop-offs and pick-up; however, the rear door is locked during worship services for safety purposes. If you arrive after the service has started, you will need to enter through the front door.