Will I know where to go?
Our campus buildings are clearly marked with signs. The sanctuary has two entrances, the front entrance that faces Route 537 and the ramped door off the parking lot which is only accessible prior to the start of services (please use the front entrance if you arrive after a service has started). Once inside the building you will find signs directing you to the restrooms, family room, and church nursery. You may also ask any usher—he or she will guide you to your destination.
I haven't been to church in a long time — or maybe never; am I allowed to attend?
We are all on a faith journey. This is a lifetime journey. Some of us have included God in our lives for decades and some of us have just begun to seek a relationship with God or to learn about a relationship with God. No matter where you are in your journey, God welcomes all people to church. For members, we ask that when you are in town and healthy that you attend worship.
Is anyone going to acknowledge me?
Most Sundays you will find one of our greeters in the parking lot wishing you a good morning and directing you where to go. We also have ushers at both entrances of the church. Please let them know that you are visiting. They can point you in the direction of restrooms, the family room, or the nursery, if needed. They will also offer you one of our Welcome Bags that contains some information about our church.
Are my kids going to be safe?
Our church nursery is staffed by a paid employee who has been CPR trained and fingerprinted. There is a second volunteer in the nursery as well. Parents are provided a "beeper" and if their child needs a diaper change or is crying, the staff will let you know. You are welcome to check in on your children during the service. There is also a family room directly across from the nursery where parents and children can sit together and watch the service on TV, as it is live-streamed.
Our church school classes (pre-school through 7th grade) are staffed by volunteers. There are always two people in the classroom from pre-school through grade three (a teacher and a high-school assistant). You are welcome to stay with your child until he/she feels comfortable or drop in during the class at any time. There is also a Church School Superintendent who is on duty during church school time and visits every classroom to take attendance and offering. Our Church School is aligned with our 9:30 a.m. service. Children remain in worship for the first 15 minutes and then are dismissed to their church school classes after a short Gospel for Children.
Am I going to be dressed right?
You will find people dressed in everything from jeans to suits/dresses; wear what makes you comfortable.
Am I going to sing or applaud?
We do not applaud during worship but we do sing. An usher will give you an Order of Worship (bulletin) when you enter and you will find everything (hymn numbers, congregational responses, unison prayers, indicators of when to stand, etc.) clearly marked in the bulletin.
Will everyone know I am a visitor? Will I stick out?
No, but we are a very welcoming congregation, so don't be surprised if people introduce themselves to you and make you feel welcomed. Once a month on the first Sunday of the month, we have Nametag Sunday, where everyone is asked to fill out a nametag and wear it. That makes it easier for folks to identify one another and to be able to introduce themselves. We also have "Welcome to Worship" pads in the pews that we ask everyone to fill out on Sunday morning. We like to send a welcome card to those visiting us for the first time.
Is there a Fellowship Time?
Between the 9:30 a.m. worship service and the 11:00 a.m. Discovery Sessions (at approximately 10:15 a.m.) we have "Coffee and Fellowship" in Fellowship Hall, located upstairs in the Community Center. This is a time for the congregation to meet and greet one another while enjoying coffee and a small snack. During the summer months we have patio refreshments under the gazebo following the 9:30 a.m. service. It is optional to attend, but it is a nice way to meet people.
Are you a welcoming and open church?
The Colts Neck Reformed Church is a community of people committed to welcoming all into the life of our church family. We commit to affirm the beauty, value, and gifts of all individuals. These commitments are not subject to a person's color, race, ethnicity, place of origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, relationship status (single, married, separated, divorced), socioeconomic situation, or a person's mental, physical, or emotional health or ability. Everyone is welcome to participate fully in the life of our faith-filled community. Anyone seeking to know more about Jesus is welcome at Colts Neck Reformed Church.
Why type of music is offered during the service?
Most hymns with congregational singing are played on either an organ or a piano with a variety of musical selections. We also have five handbell choirs and four vocal choirs, who play and/or sing on any given Sunday. We have instrumental ensembles and soloists who also play during some services. Our musical style could be categorized as traditional, as opposed to praise-band led worship.
Are the church campus buildings wheelchair accessible?
Yes! There is a ramped door on the east side of the sanctuary and an area for wheelchairs in front of the first row of pews as you enter the sanctuary. The Community Center has an elevator which is accessible through a ramped door on the north end of the building.
Is there a hearing assist system available?
Yes! The FM wireless system, similar to FM radio, sends the spoken words and music throughout the congregation via a transmitter. Each individual wishing to pick up the signal uses a small battery operated receiver. Four types of ear attachments are available to borrow to send the received sound to the ear (see below for descriptions). Please ask an usher if you would like to borrow a receiver and/or an earpiece. These are provided on a first come, first served basis and are to be returned to an usher at the end of the service. For congregants that would like to use a unit on a long term basis, equipment may be purchased at our cost by submitting a request to any usher.
Ear Bud: The ear bud is similar to units used with phones and computers. A single speaker is inserted into the left or right ear canal (this is the standard earpiece included with the receiver).
Dual Headphones*: The headphones are placed over the head and cover both the left and right ears.
Ear Clip*: The ear clip is attached over the left or right ear but is not inserted into the ear canal.
Hearing Aid Coupler*: The hearing aid coupler is a loop of wire worn around the neck and provides a signal to the wearer's existing hearing aid. The hearing aid must have a "telephone" position for this method to work.
*These items are optional and at an extra cost.
How long is the service?
A typical service runs approximately one hour.
Does your church serve communion every Sunday?
Communion is offered on the first Sunday of every month. Communion is served to the congregation in the pews by the leaders of the church. Occasionally communion is served by intinction, where the congregation is encouraged to come forward to receive the elements. Anyone who desires a closer walk with God is welcomed to eat and drink at the Lord's Table (in other words, to take communion).
Do I have to give an offering?
God gives us many ways to participate in the life of the church including offering a portion of our earnings. We do have a time of offering during our service when the ushers will collect envelopes and/or cash. As people of God we are encouraged to give of our time, talents and treasure. Yet those who are first-time visitors need not feel that they must participate; you are our guests!
What is the process if I wish to be baptized or have my child baptized?
Congratulations on considering this sacred and important sacrament. God bless you!
Baptism is a once-in-a-lifetime sacrament—a sacred rite in which God is connected to a person in a profound way. Baptism can be for infants or adults in our tradition. For infant baptism, one or both parents make vows on behalf of their child. Since baptism doesn't just involve personal or private vows but is between a family, God, and the Congregation, baptism occurs during our Sunday morning worship service. For the elders to consider a request for baptism, a person (or for infant baptism, the parents) requesting baptism needs to be regularly involved in the life of the church, establishing a pattern of worship attendance. The vows that are made either by or on behalf of the baptismal candidate are:
do you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior?
do you renounce evil?
will you pray for yourself (or your child)?
will you show by your example what it means to be a follower of Christ by your involvement in worship and giving?
Please know that God loves people, baptized or not. Baptism is not required for God to accept you into God's kingdom, If something tragic should happen, God will neither fail nor forsake you.
Baptisms are planned at mutually convenient times, but always on a Sunday morning. If you are interested in receiving the sacrament, please contactemailthe minister. After the baptism request is presented and approved by the church elders, questions about logistics and godparents can be discussed.
What is the process if I wish to be married at The Colts Neck Reformed Church?
Congratulations! Typically weddings that occur at the church are for those who have already had a connection with the congregation. The church is very active and the number of weddings for church families precludes others from using our sanctuary. If you have had a connection with the church and are ready to plan your wedding, please contactemail the minister as soon as possible to see if the date works for both his schedule as well as the church's schedule. Ideally you would contact the church and minister prior to reserving any reception sites. The minister will go over the sanctuary use regulations, musical options, fees, and pre-marital counseling expectations. The 10 best and worst reasons to get married in a church!