Top 16 Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I have to be a member to come to a church service or to an event? Absolutely not – all are welcome to attend any of our worship services, events, programs, etc. We would love to meet you and welcome you!
2. What should I expect at a Sunday morning service? Is there a particular dress code required? What about my children? All are welcome to join us Sundays at 10am for worship. Come as you are – no particular dress code is required (some people prefer to come dressed “business,” others “business casual,” and others “casual”). If you have children ages 2 and under, we have a nursery which you are welcome to use. You are also welcome to keep the children in worship with you. If you have children ages pre-K to eighth grade, we have Sunday school which they are welcome to attend (it happens at the same time as worship. Everyone begins in the Sanctuary together at 10am and, after a “children’s message,” the Sunday school children are invited to attend class. Again, children are also welcome to stay in worship with their parents if the parents prefer). If you have a child in 9th grade, they are welcome to join our Confirmation Class (meets Sundays at 9am). We also have a youth fellowship group for high school students which meets on Sunday afternoons or evenings throughout the year.
3. What are your core beliefs? What kind of church are you? Do you have a mission statement, vision statement, and/or statement of faith? We are followers of Jesus Christ. We are considered a mainline protestant church, similar in many ways to American Baptists, Lutherans (ELCA), Presbyterians, Methodists, & Episcopal churches. Here are our mission, vision and statements of faith:
Our Mission: The avowed purpose of this Church shall be to worship God; to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and our Judeo-Christian faith story; to celebrate the sacraments; to realize Christian fellowship and unity within this Church and the Church Universal; to render loving service toward others; and to strive for righteousness, justice and peace.
Our Vision: Terryville Congregational Church strives to be a warm and hospitable place of welcome and of Christ’s good news, a place that is open to the creative ideas of God’s Spirit, a place that shepherds its people and reaches out to others and all the while a place that encourages community partnership… a place that has fun while nurturing the Christian journey, while communicating and living its mission.
United Church of Christ Statement of Faith in the form of a doxology
We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify:
You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image,and set before each one the ways of life and death.
You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself.
You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
You call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil,to share in Christ’s baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.
You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you.
4. Is your building handicap accessible? We have a handicap accessible Social Hall, Narthex, and Sanctuary, which is where most of our big events take place (services, receptions, etc.). From the parking lot, enter the Social Hall; from the Social Hall, we have a lift which will take you to the Narthex (where there is a handicap accessible bathroom); the Sanctuary is attached to the Narthex.
5. Will I be able to follow and understand the worship service? When you come in the main door on Sunday morning, you will be greeted by our ushers who will give you a bulletin. The bulletin will guide you through the worship service – prayers, scripture readings, hymns, sermon, etc., and it will designate when to stand and when to remain seated. You will see that we have a variety of ages in worship – from babies to people in their 90s – a warm place filled with God’s love. After worship, you are welcome to join us downstairs for coffee and light refreshments in our Social Hall. If you have any questions, you can ask an usher, our Deacon or Trustee of the month, or ask to speak with the Pastor.
6. Is there a place where I can see a list of Sunday’s scripture readings, and read ahead? Yes, for our Sunday services we use the Revised Common Lectionary. The Lectionary is an ecumenical way to a) read and share scripture with our brothers and sisters in a variety of churches across the world, and b) read scripture that is appropriate to each season of the Church Year. You may find a complete list of the scripture on the lectionary website, found here: Lectionary Website
7. Do you have Holy Communion? Yes, we celebrate two sacraments, Baptism and Holy Communion. Baptism occurs upon request, and Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month. In addition to our weekly worship, we also have special worship services on many of the Holy Days throughout the year – Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Christmas Eve. We also participate with other churches in town for Ecumenical events – Lenten Lunches (Tuesdays during Lent), Easter sunrise, Thanksgiving Eve, and a Christmas Walk (third Sunday in December).
8. What about tithing or pledging? We rely on pledging from our members in order to operate our building and provide a staff including a full-time pastor (who is available for any one in town, member or non-member). We also have fundraisers throughout the year to help support our budget. In the Bible, tithing is emphasized as giving 10% of one’s earnings. Pledging is voluntary way of making a commitment to fulfill that tithe, and it is an important commitment one makes to see that our church continue to be available as a bright light in our community. Our church not only provides worship, Holy Communion, weddings, baptisms, funerals, Christian Education and Holy Day services; we also support Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Daisies, Al Anon, and other community groups; we host a community-wide Vacation Bible School each summer in July; and we provide a variety of local and global outreach and assistance to people in need. None of this would be possible without the faithful generosity of our people, who are responding with love to God’s faithful generosity which blesses us all. Both members and non-members are encouraged to make a pledge. We have online giving (see the right-side of this page) or you may bring or mail your donation to our church.
9. What if I have another question? What if I am interested in joining the church? We would love to welcome you into membership! We are a member congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC). Being “congregational” means that all of the decisions about our church are made by the members of the congregation. We have annual congregation meetings, and in-between those meetings the business is handled by our committees and our church council. If you are interested in learning more, you can read more on the UCC website; you can join us for new member orientations which occur in April and in October; you can speak to our Pastor any time; and you can speak with any one of our lay leaders. New members are normally received two times per year, in May and in November (following the orientation sessions which are held the month prior). The UCC’s national headquarters are in Cleveland, OH, and the UCC churches of our state are partnered through covenant in the Connecticut Conference of the UCC.
10. Is there a list of your yearly events and ministries that might help me further familiarize myself with the church? Back on the website homepage, click under “connect with us” and you can read our monthly newsletter & calendar. In addition to our monthly newsletter, here is a welcome brochure which highlights our yearly ministries: TCC Welcome Brochure updated summer 2018
We also produce a “highlights” listing of events, two times per year. Here’s the January-August 2019 listing: http://terryvillecongregationalchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Join-us-this-NEW-YEAR-2019-at-the-Terryville-Congregational-Church-for-the-following-events.pdf
11. What if I am a non-member but I am interested in having a Wedding, Baptism, Memorial Service, or another special service or event at the church? We try our best to be available to welcome and help all people. Call our office at 860-589-0182 and we will try our best to assist you.
12. Do you rent rooms in the building for birthday parties, baby showers, etc? Yes, please call our office at (860) 589-0182 and our secretary will assist you.
13. Does the church run Terry Nursery School? Our church helped to found Terry Nursery School in the 1970s, and now Terry Nursery School is its own 501-c-3 non-profit organization which rents space in our building. You may reach them at (860) 583-8911.
14. Does the church run Eli Terry Retirement Community? Our church helped in the start of Eli Terry Retirement Community over 25 years ago, and now they are their own organization. You may reach their office at (860) 589-1160.
15. Does the church have a list of local, helping resources — food, financial assistance, etc.? Here is a listing we put together: Terryville Community Resources
Here’s a link to the full booklet “Programs that Help People in Connecticut” put out by the Connecticut Association for Human Services: Programs that Help People in Connecticut
16. I am new to town. Can the church help me with learning my way around? Below are some helpful websites. If you have other questions please call us and we will try our best to help. Welcome to town and may God bless you!
Plymouth Food Pantry (860) 584-1750