What church looks like on a typical Sunday
We’re delighted you’re thinking about visiting Blue Ocean Faith Ann Arbor! We know that visiting a church can be a bit daunting — especially if you’re more of an introvert, have kids or just haven’t been to church in a while (or ever). Here’s what you can expect:
Church starts at 11 a.m., but because we meet in the social hall of St. Clare’s, a lot of us arrive early to set-up. There might be some hustle and bustle when you arrive, but there’s always volunteers at the door to help you find your way to the service, childcare or a cup of hot coffee.
We’re a new congregation with average attendance of over 200. There’s a lot of us who live in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, and others who commute in from places like Dexter, Saline and Milan. Not many of us look like one another. We’re a pretty broad range of ages, genders, heights, hues, careers, party affiliations and hairstyles. We wear what we’re most comfortable in; you should, too.
As you enter the worship space in the social hall (a lovely space with lots of light, not “dank church basement”) you’ll be given an “order of service” (program) that will have all the readings and song lyrics for the day. The typical order of service includes an opening song, a prayer, another song, a Scripture reading (often by an older elementary or middle school student) announcements, a short personal story, a sermon (20-25 minutes), a short time of silent reflection, prayer for loved ones, communion (during which 2-3 songs are sung) and a closing benediction or sending forth blessing.
Because we blend elements of several Christian traditions, you’ll probably find something familiar and something new. Our music is modern (in the pop-rock-folk-gospel style) and a lot of us sing with gusto while others simply listen along. We incorporate liturgical elements like simple call and response prayers. We serve communion every week; congregants walk down the center aisle to receive the (homemade) bread and then dip the bread into the cup of wine (gluten free bread and a juice option is also available, just ask when you approach).
We find this pattern engages a broad spectrum of people and ages. We aim to make worship accessible to those who are not used to it, to the elementary age kids who are in the first part of the service and the middle and high schoolers who are present for the entire service. We like to make space for out students to do a reading, help lead a simple prayer, or help out in the worship team when possible. We enjoy hearing benedictions in languages other than English spoken by those among us for whom English is a second language.
Our sermons are usually (but not always) given by one of our co-pastors, rooted in Scripture, with plenty of contemporary examples and applications.
We often offer prayer for those who are seeking God for a need or concern at the end of service so you might see people praying for one another in the back of room.
The service begins at 11 a.m. and ends around 12:15 p.m.
Youth / Children
We offer Sunday School for nursery through grade 5, and have a team that meets with middle schoolers (grades 6-8) before the service. Nursery (0-2 years old) go to their room before the service begins. Others students (2 year olds through 5th grade) join us for the opening 15 minutes, then proceed to their classes. Middle and high school students join us for the entire service which we aim to make accessible to adults and young people alike. Learn more about programs for kids and youth.
Have more questions about visiting?
Preview a service before you visit
While we think the services are way better in person, to get a better idea of what it’s like, you can always watch us online, first.
Watch the January 18, 2015 service