Visitor FAQ

 

The following is a list of  frequently asked questions newcomers have as they are getting to know our congregation.  Each section head is a link to the answers below.  If we have not answered your question, please email us or call the office (925.284.4765).   We hope to make your experience with us meaningful.

 

Sunday Morning Worship

• What time is worship? 
• How should I dress?
• What happens during worship?
• What happens after worship?
• Are hearing-assistance devices available?
• Are large print materials available?
• Are materials available for children?
• When is Communion?
• Who can participate in Communion?
• How is Communion served?
•Are copies of the sermon available?

 

Getting Here

• Location
• Parking
• How do I enter the Church?

 

The Church Building

• Are the buildings handicap-accessible?
• Where is Childcare located? 
• Where does the Sunday School meet?
• Where are the restrooms?

 

Children’s Participation and Activities

• May my children stay in the Worship Center/Sanctuary during the service?
• What if my child is too young or too active to sit through the service?
• What youth activities do you have?
• Do you have a preschool?

 

Contact Information

• How do I contact the Pastor?
• What are the office hours and contact information?
• How do I learn about special events or on-going projects?

 

Getting Involved

• How can I be of service on Sunday mornings?
• What ways may I be of service to the community through the church?
• What Bible study or spiritual growth opportunities are offered?

 

Membership

• How do I become a member?
• What if I’m not a Methodist?
• What are the expectations of members?
• Do I have to give a certain amount of money to the church?
• How can I donate?

 

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Sunday Morning Worship Service

What time is worship? Our one worship service is at 10:00 a.m.

How should I dress? You may come dressed however you feel comfortable for worship.  You’ll see a wide variety of dress – coats and jackets, dresses, pants and suits; jeans, shorts and t-shirts.

What happens during worship?
The worship service usually lasts an hour.  The service includes Bible readings, hymns, music, a message for young disciples, a sermon, a time of prayer, and announcements of upcoming events.  An offering is also taken to support the ministries of the congregation.  The worship bulletin is a guide to what occurs during the service.

Children are invited to come to the front of the worship center/sanctuary to participate in the Word for Young Disciples.  Parents may come with their children, especially if they are young or shy.  Children and youth are escorted to Sunday School following the Word for Young Disciples. (See the Children’s participation section below for more information on children & worship.)

 

What happens after worship?
After worship (about 11:00), please join us in the Fellowship Hall for beverages and snacks.  This is a time when we get to know guests and visit with one another.

Are hearing-assistance devices available?

Yes.  Ask the usher when you enter the worship center/sanctuary.

 

Are large-print materials available?
Yes.  Large-print songbooks, hymnals, bulletins, and sermons are available from the ushers.

Are materials available for children?
Yes.  Children’s packets are available from the ushers.

When is Communion?
Communion is served on the first Sunday of the month.

Who can participate in Communion?
United Methodists practice an “open table.” All are welcome at the Lord’s Table, wherever you are in your journey of faith, to receive both bread and cup.

How is Communion served?
The ushers guide people to Communion servers holding the bread and “wine” (non-alcoholic grape juice) at the front or back of the sanctuary. Each person receives a piece of the bread, then dips it in the grape juice, and eats it.  Afterward you return to your seat for prayer and reflection.   You may also receive communion in your seat – just let the usher know.

Are copies of sermons available?
Yes.  Large print copies of the sermon are available from an usher.  Sermons are also posted on the website.

 

Getting Here

Location

We are at 955 Moraga Road, Lafayette, just a short distance south of Mt. Diablo Blvd.  Click here for directions and maps.

 

Parking

First time visitors may park on the circular driveway fronting the Church.

The main parking lot is behind the church buildings, and is accessed from Lafayette Circle, (one block west of Moraga Road) off Mt. Diablo Blvd.  The two driveways between Chow Restaurant and The French Bakery lead into the lower and upper church lots.  Look for yellow striped stalls in the upper and lower levels.

Handicap-accessible spaces are available in both the front driveway area and the rear lot.

Additional parking is available along Moraga Road.   Click here for a map.

 

How do I enter the Church?

On Moraga Road, there is an entrance at the center of the circular driveway (up a few stairs), under the covered porch (east entrance).

A handicap-accessible entrance is located on the backside of the Worship Center/Sanctuary (the west entrance).

From the rear parking lot—head down the path toward the white buildings and Moraga Road.   Walk between the buildings (Fellowship Hall on left, Education Building on right).   Just past the Fellowship Hall, turn left, and the Worship Center/Sanctuary entrance will be on your right.

 

The Church Building

Are the buildings handicap-accessible?
The Worship Center/Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall are wheelchair accessible.  Enter the Worship Center/Sanctuary on the west side.

A wheelchair accessible restroom is located in the Maggie Mae Lounge, adjacent to the Sanctuary.

Where is Childcare located?
The Nursery for children 1-2 years old is in Room 3 of the Education Building (lower level – center of building).  Our Nursery is staffed with two adult volunteers.  The Maggie Mae Lounge directly adjacent to the Sanctuary is also available for parents with children.

Where does the Sunday School meet?
Most children attend the beginning of worship in the Sanctuary with their parents.  Following the Word for Young Disciples, children and youth are escorted to Sunday School.   On the fifth Sundays intergenerational worship is offered for all.  

Classes are held in various rooms of the Education Building, to the southwest of the Sanctuary, for children in preschool through grade 5.  Youth meet in rooms in the Fellowship Hall building.

Nursery 0-2 year olds        Room 3
Preschool            Room 1
Kindergarten – 1st Grade    Room 5
2nd – 3rd Grade            Room 6
4th – 5th Grade            Room 8
6th – 8th Grade            Room 9/Church Library
9th – 12th Grade        Youth Room upstairs in Fellowship Hall

 

Where are the rest rooms?
Worship Center/Sanctuary: A wheelchair accessible restroom is located in the Maggie Mae Lounge, adjacent to the Sanctuary.  

Fellowship Hall: Men’s and women’s restrooms are located in the Fellowship Hall, just beyond the stairway, down the hallway to the left.

Education Building:
First floor classrooms have restrooms in between classrooms.  On the second floor, restrooms are located at the middle of the hallway.

 

Children’s Participation and Activities

May my children stay in the Worship Center/Sanctuary during the service?
Your children are welcome to attend the full hour of worship.  Some parents see this as an important step in faith formation.  Children’s packets are also available from the ushers.  Many families bring special books or quiet activities help to keep children from getting too restless.  

Most children, even the very young, come to worship for the first quarter of the service.  They are invited (but not required) to come to the front for the Word for Young Disciples.  Parents may sit with their children until they feel comfortable coming alone.  

Parents are welcome to accompany children to the Nursery or Sunday School.

Fifth Sundays are Intergenerational Services designed with the children in mind. 

What if my child becomes restless?
We understand the normal sounds of babies and toddlers are “sounds of life,” and a part of welcoming children and families into our faith community. 

If your child becomes fussy, feel free to take him or her to the Maggie Mae Lounge, toward the rear, immediately adjacent to the Worship Center/Sanctuary. There are comfortable chairs, sofas, a restroom, and a closed circuit television where you can view the worship service. When your child is ready, you are welcome to re-enter the service. 

You may also take very young children to the Nursery in Room 3 of the Education Building where two adults provide care for infants and toddlers.

 

What youth activities do you have?
Youth Sunday School classes meet Sunday mornings after the Word for Young Disciples about 10:15 a.m.
6th – 8th grade youth meet in Room 9 of the Education Building.
9th -12th grade youth meet in the Youth Room of the Fellowship Hall (second floor).

Youth Groups for middle school and high school generally meet on Sunday evenings from 6-7:45 p.m.  Check out the Youth Ministry webpage for info on current activities, contact Beth White, Director of Youth Ministry, or call the office.

Do you have a preschool?
The church sponsors Joyful Beginnings Preschool.  More information can be found on the Preschool webpage.

 

Contact Information

How do I contact the Pastor?

  • Email Pastor Marylee Sheffer by clicking here.
  • Call the church office (925.284.4765) and leave a message for the pastor.  We have a 24-hour answering system with voicemail.
  • Write your name and contact info in the Friendship Folder found in the seats during worship.  Check the option, “Would like Pastor to call me,” or write a short note for the pastor to call or email you.
  • Introduce yourself at the door after worship, and let the pastor know you’d like to connect.

 

What are the office hours and contact information?

Hours:  8 a.m. – 12 noon and 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday

Phone/Voice Mail:  925.284.4765

FAX:  925.284.5170

Email the church office

 

 

How do I learn about special events or on-going projects?

  • Check the weekly worship bulletin for announcements.
  • Our website is updated regularly with information about current events.  See our Current Events page.
  • We have a newsletter, Tower Notes, which is produced twice a month.  You can access it on the webpage or have it mailed to your address.

Announcements are often e-mailed, especially if they are time-sensitive.

 

Getting Involved

How can I be of service on Sunday mornings?
Some of the opportunities to serve include:
·    Greeter
·    Usher
·    Acolyte/Candlelighter – children third grade and older
·    Liturgist (scripture reader)
·    Sound/Video Tech
·    Choir
·    Friendship Time Hosts
·    Prepare beverages and snacks
·    Sunday School Teacher or Assistant
·    Lead or facilitate a class for adults
·    Donate flowers for the worship altar

What ways may I be of service to the community through the church?
The Service webpage lists several ways in which our church family is in service in the larger community.  Email us for specific contact information. 

What Bible study or spiritual growth opportunities are offered?
Most spiritual growth groups meet for six to eight weeks.  To find current offerings, check the Adult Spiritual Formation webpage; announcements in the worship bulletin, or the Tower Notes.

 

Membership

How do I become a member?

New members are received two or three times a year during the Sunday service of worship. A Membership Orientation is offered twice a year, including Information about the history and beliefs about the United Methodist Church; the ministry of Lafayette United Methodist Church; and the commitment of membership. Persons are received into worship during a Sunday service of worship.

United Methodists promise to offer their prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness as members of the local church and United Methodist Church.

For more information about joining LUMC, contact Pastor Marylee Sheffer.

 

What if I’m not a Methodist?

Several active participants are not members or even United Methodists!  We welcome non-members to participate in any activity, small group, event, ministry team of interest.   What are the expectations of members?

Membership at LUMC is about making promises to this faith community and to God. We pledge our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness to enable us to deepen our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. We encourage members to discover their talents and offer those to further the ministry of the congregation. Our growth as disciples is cultivated by our active commitment.


Do I have to give a certain amount of money to the church?

We welcome all to participate with us, whether or not they are able to contribute money.  We do invite all who consider LUMC their church home (whether they are official members or not) to make a commitment to contribute (to “pledge”) a certain amount, either weekly or monthly.  We consider this commitment a spiritual discipline that is a part of our discipleship.  Pledges are confidential, and are known only by the Office Administrator and the Financial Secretaries who keep records of giving for your tax records.

You decide how much to give. We understand that financial circumstances can change quickly, and your pledge can be modified at any time.  In deciding what to give, we suggest considering a percentage of your income. The biblical practice of a “tithe” or 10% of your income. Some give a smaller percentage of their income and increase their giving by 1% each year until reaching the goal. Others are able to give more than 10%.

 

How can I donate?

An offering is taken each Sunday during worship. Place your offering in an envelope found in the seat racks; write your name on the envelope so we can credit you for tax purposes. Place the envelope in the offering plate.

You may also arrange for an Electronic Fund Transfer. The application is found here. Completed forms should be returned to the church office for processing.