Checking out a new church can be confusing and intimidating, but we want you to feel welcome and confident when you join us.
Frequently Asked Questions
When are your worship services? What are they like?
- Saturday, 5 pm: A more ‘contemporary’ worship style with praise band music and a less scripted service structure.
- Sunday, 8:30 am & 10:45 am: Traditional worship with one of our choirs and the organ leading music.
- Memorial Day through Labor Day – Sunday, 9:00 am only
- Sunday, 5:30pm: Sunday Evening Prayer service is small and quiet. It’s a time for reflection, prayer, and centering. This service happens on the 2nd and 4th Sunday every month.
What can I expect when I walk into church for worship?
We are a large, friendly congregation that will greet you when you walk in our front doors. You’ll first see our Welcome Center with a volunteer to answer any questions you might have. Be sure to stop by if you are here for your first time – we’ve got a small gift for you! You’ll be handed a bulletin as you walk in to the sanctuary, which is made up of long pews in the back and padded chairs towards the front. Sit anywhere you feel comfortable. Toward the beginning of worship there will be a time to greet those who are seated around you – this lasts about a minute. Don’t be surprised if someone greets you and introduces themselves.
We play music and sing to worship God during our services. We often use videos, visual art, dance, or acting to express the message. Worship length averages one hour. We hear sermons based on teachings in the Bible that are translated for our lives. We are an active, growing church! This means that we do have children in our worship services, and we thank God for that!
Communion: We take communion on the first Sunday of every month to remember that Jesus gave his life for us. We have an open table, meaning that you do not need to be a member of our congregation or of any congregation to receive communion if you choose to. Usually rows are dismissed by ushers to go to the front and take a small piece of bread and a small cup of juice and consume them before returning to the seats. If you choose not to participate, we ask that you remain seated in an attitude of prayer.
Financial Giving: We take a financial offering during worship because we are called to give our best portion to God. The gifts then go on to sustain Sun Prairie UMC, local charities, and programs around the world through United Methodist Apportionments.
Prayer: During the offering time, you may place a yellow prayer card in the basket as it goes by. These are collected and read by the pastor during our time for prayer, so that we can support those in need and celebrate the joys of others.
Do you include children in your ministry and worship?
Children are an important part of our worship! There’s a special time in the service when we invite the children present to come and sit up front for a children’s sermon. If your child feels comfortable doing this, they are more than welcome to join in! Nursery care is offered during all of our worship services for children birth through age 2. Our bulletin contains information each week about what is available during each of our worship services for older children. We also have busy bags available for children and their families during all three of our worship services.
What is Fellowship Time?
Fellowship Time is when we enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and build community. We have servers ready to greet you and offer you a donut or a gluten free muffin and welcome you to our church family. This is an unstructured free time to visit with others between worship services on Sunday mornings. Note: We only have one worship service on Sunday mornings at 9:00 during the summer, so fellowship time is immediately after that service.
Why do you ask for my information?
After the greeting and announcements, the ushers pass out red ‘pew pads’ for everyone to fill out. One side of the pad is for visitors, the other, members. We ask for your information because we’d like to be able to greet you by name and because we like to follow up with guests to see if they have any questions about our church or our mission. We want to get to know you and connect you to others!
You are a reconciling church, What does that mean?
Sun Prairie UMC welcomes all people, regardless of their personal characteristics (age, race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability). We are a “Reconciling” congregation, which means we have joined other United Methodist Churches in making a formal declaration of being open and affirming to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered (LBGT).
Sun Prairie UMC extends this intentional declaration of welcome to all people, including LBGT persons in the midst of the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church saying, “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.” (para. 304, #3)
The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church says, “We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God…The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching…We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.”
Welcome From Pastor Jenny
Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” — Hebrews 13:1-2
We are delighted that you are visiting this page of our website and we welcome you in God’s grace and peace! It is always our sincere hope that you will not be ‘strangers,’ but that you will choose to worship with us at the Sun Prairie United Methodist Church (SPUMC)!
Whether you are new to the journey of church visiting or have made many church visits, we know that visiting a new church for the first time can feel awkward. Finding a faith community that ‘fits’ is a process and a journey, but we would be honored to journey with you in that process at SPUMC.
Currently, we are embracing a four-year ministry plan of H.O.P.E. The ‘H’ of H.O.P.E. is for Hospitality, which we are excited to be living out in many ways from our welcome the moment you walk in the church doors, to the ways we are reaching out beyond ourselves with hospitality in our communities and in the world. In the years 2016-2019, we will work together to living out H.O.P.E. with ‘O’ffering Christ, ‘P’urposeful living, and ‘E’ngagement beyond our church walls.
We have many ministries for all ages at SPUMC that you will find information about throughout our website and Facebook page. We hope you find worship and our other ministries to be encouraging and life-giving on your journey of life and faith.
When we worship together we are led into closer relationship with God and with one another. We sincerely hope you will join us for Saturday evening worship at 5:00 pm or worship at 8:30 am or 10:45 am on Sunday (one worship service at 9:00 am on Sundays Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend). Our pastoral and ministry staff is here to serve you and we extend a warm invitation to you to make SPUMC your church home.
Pastor Jenny Arneson