Frequently Asked Questions
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When I come to worship at First Presbyterian Church, what can I expect?
Our congregation meets in a very beautiful sanctuary with pews, stained glass windows and a high ceiling. The pulpit, lectern, choir loft, pipe organ, and Lord’s Table are all located at the front of the church in the area called the chancel. Some newcomers find our sanctuary to be rather imposing, but we hope you will feel welcome and at home – and please feel free to sit wherever you like! Our order of worship is also fairly traditional. The weekly worship bulletin provides complete details of the service making it easy for visitors to follow along. Our service is usually about an hour long with an emphasis on beautiful music, and interesting, biblically based sermons with relevance for modern life.
I have a two year-old and a new born. Is there a good nursery? Can I keep my kids with me instead?
We have a fully staffed nursery at all worship services, as well as Sunday School and other church-wide events. An usher or greeter will be happy to direct you to the Nursery in our Pre-School area. If you prefer, you are more than welcome to keep your children with you during worship. The Bride’s Room (with sound) in the foyer of the church is also available when children need special attention.
I have a five year-old. He’s a good boy, but I’m not sure he will be able to sit quietly for a whole hour.
Our order of worship includes a special Children’s Time about twenty minutes into the service. Children through 5th grade are invited to come down front for the children’s sermon. They may then go with our Children’s Director to the Chapel for a time of worship in which they can take part. In this way, young ones learn about worship in both “big church” and “children’s church.”
I’ve never been to your church before. How will I know where to park, where to go in?
First Presbyterian Church of El Paso is located at 1340 Murchison Drive, just east of the intersection with Brown, and about a half a mile east of El Paso High School. Look for our special signs for “Visitor Parking” immediately in front of the main entrance. Greeters at the front door will be happy to show you in and help you find your way.
What about Communion? When is it celebrated? Is it okay if I take part?
Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is celebrated on the first Sunday of every month, as well as on special occasions. All of those who have been baptized in this or any other church are welcome to participate. Sometimes, the communion is by intinction during which worshipers come forward to receive a piece of bread which is then dipped in the chalice. Other times, the communion is served in the pews using trays containing individual cups. The Lord’s Supper is always a time of gracious acceptance – you don’t need to worry about “doing it wrong.”
What if I have never been baptized?
Baptism is the sacrament signifying that one has become an “official” member of the Body of Christ, known as the Church. Adults are baptized upon confessing Jesus as their Lord and Savior and expressing their intention of following him. Although baptisms always take place in particular congregations, the Presbyterian Church recognizes all baptisms performed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. To find out more about baptism, we encourage you to talk to one of our pastors or elders. Baptized members of the church are encouraged to present their children for baptism at any age.
What makes the Presbyterian Church different from other churches?
Dating back to the Protestant Reformation of the early 1500s, the Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest denominations in America. We are distinctive in that all leaders are elected by the people they serve, and all decisions are made by elders and clergy working together. We believe that both women and men are called to all ministries of the church. Theologically, the Presbyterian Church is known for placing great importance on the sovereignty of God and salvation by grace. Historically, Presbyterians have tended to emphasize education, mission, and community service.
How can I get to know some of the people better?
A fellowship reception is held immediately following worship every Sunday with refreshments served in the Robert Young Centre. Clergy, elders, members, and friends are all present for visiting and/or questions. Please plan to stay for this gathering! We also have Sunday School classes and fellowship groups for both younger and older adults, as well as children of all ages.
How can I find out more about First Presbyterian Church of El Paso?
When you first come into the entrance of the church, please help yourself to one of the white paper bags with the Presbyterian seal on the Visitor’s Table. These bags contain materials with information about our church. Feel free to talk to one of our pastors or elders before or after worship. You may also call the church office (533-7551) to talk to a pastor, or to make an appointment.
I have been attending First Presbyterian for several weeks now, and I think I might like to become a member. What should I do next?
Just mention your desire for membership to one of the elders or pastors, or again, you may call the church office (533-7551). The next step will be to meet with the elders at a convenient time (usually before worship on a Sunday morning). You will then be received as a member by baptism, re-affirmation of faith, or transfer of letter.
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