What to Expect:
Visiting a church can be an intimidating experience. What are the people like? Will I feel comfortable in worship? At First Church, Bedford, we aim to offer a warm, welcoming atmosphere for anyone who comes through the doors of our church. First Church is a diverse community, filled with people from all walks of life and a wide range of faith perspectives. Yet we all are called as one to worship the living God, support one another and serve our neighbors in Bedford and beyond. As an “open and affirming” community of the United Church of Christ, we are committed to include anyone and everyone, no matter who they are or where they are on your spiritual journey.
What is Worship Like?
As you come to the church for our worship service, you will normally meet our Pastor and one of our deacons to greet you. As you move inside, you will be given a bulletin for the morning worship and an invitation to find a seat.
Each Sunday, we aim to create a relevant, vibrant worship service with a blend of traditional and contemporary music, uplifting prayer and praise and a message that speaks to your day-to-day living. We often incorporate a variety of worship styles and often use audio/visual components to enhance the message. We hope people will leave worship uplifted, challenged and strengthened to live out their ongoing spiritual journey.
We celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the month, where we remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and also celebrate the presence of the risen Christ in our midst.
Where and What Time Is Your Worship Service?
From September through mid-June, we worship Sunday morning at 10:00 am in our main Sanctuary.
During the summer time, we have more informal worship in the air-conditioned Koebele Music Chapel at 9:30 am.
How Do I Get There? Where Do I Park?
First Church, Bedford is located at 25 Great Road in Bedford, next to the Bedford Police Station. There is parking available on Great Road as well as a parking lot in back of the church. To access this lot, turn on Mudge Way, the road next to the Police station and take your first left. Handicap spots are available in a small parking lot next to the church.
What Is A Typical Service Like?
Our worship service is usually divided into four sections.
The “Gathering In” section prepares us to receive God’s message. It begins with a prelude played by a musician as people arrive and prepare for worship. It is followed by a “Call to Worship,” consisting of phrases said responsively to get us focused on worshipping God. The first hymn, joyfully praising God, is sung. Then there is a prayer of confession, where we bring our sins and shortcomings to God, followed by an “assurance of pardon,” reminding us that we are forgiven people. Finally, there is a “passing of the peace” where we offer one another a gesture of love, blessing and peace.
“The Good News,” begins with a children’s message, offered to the youth of the church before they go to Sunday School. A passage from the Bible is then read, followed by a middle hymn, usually focused on the sermon topic. The pastor delivers a sermon, based upon that passage. Sermons generally run 10 to 15 minutes. Some of the sermons preached at First Church, Bedford can be found on the Sermon page.
“Responding with our Prayers,”is where we lift up to God our prayers in response to the Good News that we just heard. The section includes a time for people to share either joys or concerns with the congregation. We then have a time of silent prayer where we can quiet ourselves and center our attention on God’s presence. The Pastor then offers up a prayer on behalf of the whole congregation, followed by everyone praying the Lord’s Prayer.
“Responding with our Gifts,” is where we respond to God’s abundant blessings upon our lives with our own gifts. The Deacons collect these offerings, a “doxology” (a short song praising God) is sung and the pastor blesses the offering. We welcome your gifts and encourage everyone to give according to their ability. We certainly understand if anyone is unable to give financially.
“Sending” begins with a final hymn, which connects with the sermon and sends people out uplifted and inspired. The pastor offers a “benediction” or a blessing as we prepare to go on our way. Finally, a musical postlude is played.
Do You Offer Childcare or Sunday School?
Both childcare for infants and toddlers and Sunday School for elementary school students are available during worship services. Please see our Children & Youth page for details on our Christian Nurture program.
What Should I Wear?
While some enjoy dressing up for Sunday morning worship, many people choose to wear something more casual. No matter what, we believe that God cares more about the state of our souls than our attire. We hope you wear whatever feels appropriate to you.
How Long Does the Service Last?
Generally, a Sunday morning service lasts about one hour. If communion is served, or if there is extra music or an additional piece to worship, it will go over an hour. Summer worship is more simple, and often lasts 45 minutes.
Is There a Coffee Hour or Fellowship Time After Worship?
After our worship, there is a time of coffee, juice, refreshments and fellowship in a room close to the sanctuary. We invite everyone – especially if you visit with us the first time – to stick around for a snack and conversation. We would look forward to get to know you and answer any questions you might have and hopefully make some new friends.
Is the Church Handicap Accessible?
Yes. All parts of First Church, Bedford, can be accessed through ramps, elevators or chair lifts.
How Can I Get More Information?
If you come on Sunday, please feel free to chat with our pastors or lay leaders after church – they would be happy to talk to you! You can always call the church office or email us at: email@example.com and we’ll make sure we get back to you as soon as possible.