Our goal is to worship God each week, believing that God will meet us at and will guide us from our worship space. We have a beautiful sanctuary that helps direct our attention to the beauty of the living God in our midst. Our services are traditional yet relaxed, including moments of reflection and moments of laughter.
What happens on Sunday morning: We begin at 10:15 with an energetic time of singing praise songs. As people gather in the sanctuary, you'll see people who genuinely enjoy coming together to share their faith with others and to worship our God.
The worship service begins at 10:30 a.m. with a time of silent reflection. Our worship has elements of a traditional nature but is by no means "stuffy!" Children are welcome and encouraged to take part in the service.
You may notice individuals coming to the front of the sanctuary to light candles on a small table next to the piano (except during Advent). What began as a way to recognize the service of our nation's military now includes prayers for all those whom we remember.
During the worship we have times for prayers, with joys and concerns shared by the congregation. We sing. We listen to the scripture (Bible) being read and an engaging sermon. We interact with our faith and that of those around us. Worship at SUMC is alive and we take it seriously (but have a lot of fun doing it!).
We extend the fellowship of the congregation to our guests with a token of homemade jam which is presented by a member of the Shepherding Team. We won't embarrass you by asking you to stand to be recognized or anything like that. Some members will introduce friends and family they've brought with them though. If you don't want to be recognized during the worship service, please speak to one of the ushers (the folk who give the bulletins and assist with the offering and communion) before the service.
The Scripture lessons that are used as the sermon text come from several different versions including the Common English Bible, the New Revised Standard Version, and The Message. The pastor typically follows the Revised Common Lectionary except during the summer. Our pastor uses inclusive language in the scripture texts and in his sermons.
Following worship we hope you'll join us for a time of fellowship and refreshments in the fellowship hall (just follow the crowd!). We offer hot tea, coffee and juice and tasty morsels prepared by our fellowship hosts/hostesses.
Music at Stevensville UMC is awesome! We have the praise music before the worship service; an adult choir (September - May); a chime (hand bell) choir; and a variety of special music throughout the year. On the first Sunday of Advent, the musicians offer to the community a delightful concert to welcome in the season.
Communion is open to everyone and is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month and on other occasions. We offer both regular and gluten-free bread. At the beginning of the communion portion of the worship service (it follows the sermon) the pastor leads the congregation in a shared prayer called "The Great Thanksgiving." This recalls the grace and mercy of God and the faithful response of God's people. References to wine in the Great Thanksgiving is historical. In the United Methodist Church we use grape juice rather than wine. Typically we share communion by "intinction," or the dipping of the bread (given by the pastor) into a common cup. During the winter months we switch to receiving the grape juice in individual cups.
An overview of The United Methodist Church understanding of communion may be found atthis link.
Baptism is the movement of God in a child's life and a public profession of the child's parents to raise the child in a Christian home. The church body also commits to help raise the child in a holy community and join them on a path for life that is fulfilling, purposeful and joyful. Baptism is a very special occasion in our church family, because it is at this time that the church family makes a public promise to help raise the child in the ways of God through faith, devotion and love.
An overview of The United Methodist Church understanding of baptism may be found at this link.
Prayer Shawls are a way of expressing our care and compassion for those in need of comfort. On some Sundays you'll hear an announcement about a concern that has been raised and a shawl will be passed through the congregation to be prayed over during the course of the worship service.