What time do you meet?
Our service begins at 11:00 am every Sunday, and generally lasts about an hour. Please note that we host several other churches in our building. One of these churches, Hope Presbyterian, has a service right before ours. So don’t worry if you arrive for Grant Park Church’s service and see a bunch of people exiting the building. You haven’t missed our service; it’s just Hope Presbyterian’s folks leaving!
What does the typical service look like?
When you enter our sanctuary you’ll be welcomed by one of our members and given a bulletin that outlines the service and has information about upcoming events at our church. There will be refreshments and people will probably be milling around, catching up with one another prior to the start of the service.
Our service usually begins with a welcome, a short call to worship, and a prayer. We sing, take offering, and share what’s happening in the life of our church before hearing the Word. Our Scriptures readings typically come from the Revised Common Lectionary, we occasionally take a break from the Lectionary in order to focus in on a specific book or topic. A different member of our congregation reads the Scripture each week. That Sunday's preacher will teach on one or more of the Scriptures read. The sermon usually lasts about twenty minutes.
After the sermon we enter a time of reflection and response, led by one of our church members. This is a chance for us to share how the Spirit has spoken to us throughout the service, either through the music, the Scriptures, the sermon, or some other element of our worship. We believe very strongly in the priesthood of all believers, and believe any and all members of our congregation (as well as guests!) have the right to share what the Holy Spirit has laid on their heart. This is also an opportunity for those voices that are often silenced or ignored in society to speak, be heard, and be valued. We also share joys and concerns, pray for one another, and conclude our time of reflection by reciting the Lord’s Prayer.
We value communal participation, and believe all people’s perspectives, gifts, and voices should be appreciated for the blessing they are. For this reason we include many of our members and regular attendees into our services, from leading singing, to praying, to reading Scripture, to volunteering with our children.
We end the service with a song and a benediction. That doesn’t mean it’s all over, though! We always have refreshments and coffee ready, and many of us hang around for a while after the service ends.
What’s the music like?
Our music is probably more on the traditional side, and most of the time we sing hymns from hymnals which are handed out at the beginning of the service. The hymns are accompanied by Yovanny Varner Perez, our talented pianist, and the singing is led by a volunteer member of the congregation. However, we do like to mix things up occasionally with more contemporary songs. We also encourage members of the congregation with musical and/or vocal talents to use their gifts in the worship service by suggesting and leading new songs, and bringing in guitars, drums, and other musical instruments.
How should I dress?
You can dress however you want. Most of our congregation tends to favor more casual dress, such as jeans and a t-shirt or sweater. Others prefer more formal attire or their “Sunday best.” The point is that no one will judge you for what you are wearing. The goal is for you to feel comfortable and ready to worship.
Is childcare avaible?
We are currently building our childcare program. Right now we primarily provide childcare for infants and toddlers, but older children are welcome as well. We have a fun nursery with its own stained glass and a little pulpit and alter for those children who are already feeling “the call” to ministry! Our nursery is staffed by one hired person and one church volunteer. Everyone who works with children is required to pass a background check, and a single adult never watches children alone. There will always be two or more adults with the children at any given time.
Do I have to be a Baptist to attend?
No. While many of our members come from different Baptist traditions, we also have members from numerous other denominations. We also have folks who have no religious background whatsoever. We welcome all who are seeking. Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you’re welcome here.
Is the church handicapped accessible?
First of all, please be assured that Grant Park Church welcomes folks who are differently abled, and will do our utmost to make them feel welcome, safe, cared for, and comfortable. Currently our sanctuary is handicapped accessible, but our bathrooms are not. There is a ramp on the right-hand side of the church as you face the building which allows for wheelchair access. On entering through the right-hand side double doors from the ramp, you should then turn left and proceed through the wooden interior doors to access the sanctuary where services are held. Our sanctuary, fireside room (where we have refreshments and hold events), and our bathrooms are all on one level. The dimensions of the bathroom doors are 26 inches, and the stall doors are 22 inches wide. Please be assured that providing accessible bathrooms is a priority for our church Board.
Is there parking?
Yes, we have a parking lot right across the street from the church. There is also plenty of street parking available.
I require a gender neutral bathroom, do you have those?
We are actively pursuing ways to make our church a safer, more welcoming, and more inclusive space for our LGBTQ family. Unfortunately, we do not currently have gender neutral bathrooms, as there are only two bathrooms on our main floor and both have multiple stalls per restroom. We apologize and are currently working on a way to remedy this situation.