Frequently Asked Questions about Sunday worship:
When does worship service begin?
10:00 am. We start with welcoming and greeting one another and then begin the morning worship with a gathering song. Each service is about an hour long. As we feel the Holy Spirit moving among us, the service length is a bit flexible and generally lasts 60-75 minutes long.
Do I wear my “Sunday best” clothes?
While it is nice to put on your best to greet the day in the presence of God, the service atmosphere is casual. We encourage you to come as you are and be comfortable wearing whatever allows you to feel blessed. God wants to know our hearts, so at Willow Grove, it does not matter if you wear a suit or jeans---we worship together all the same.
Do you have a choir? Do you have a bell choir?
We integrate music throughout each service for all those present with the talents of our music director and pianist, Paul DiDario, our children’s music ministry leader, Rebecca Dias, and our guitarist, Bill McFarlane. We do not have a separate choir or bell choir. Paul is an acclaimed concert pianist, and an alumnus of the Julliard School. Rebecca is a Westminster Choir College alumnus and a full-time public school music teacher during weekdays. Bill McFarlane shares his talent and passion for music every week on acoustic and electric guitar.
What children’s programs do you have?
Our Sunday School goes beyond book learning about the Bible! To kick off the school year, we have a “blessing of the backpacks,” on the Sunday after Labor Day to send our young disciples off to a good start, knowing Christ walks with them even in their classrooms during the week, whether they are in preschool or in college. On Sundays, we begin with a children’s message from the pastor during service, then the young people go with Ms. Rebecca for a group music experience with singing and instruments. After this, the kids break off into Sunday School classes, based on a PC(USA) rotational model. The nursery is available for the youngest set, the middle two groups combine hands-on experiences with lessons on Bible stories, and the older kids have discussion-based learning to apply Christian principles to challenges in their everyday lives.
What programs do you have for adults?
On Sunday mornings, there is always time to grab a coffee and a snack after worship then adults can go to an Adult Forum. These are topical discussions designed to help adults grow their faith and learning. Past forums have included: exploring the works of author Frederick Buechner, the origins of Christmas carols, the Reformation and how it influences us today in the Reform tradition, the power of prayer in times of grief, and many more.
What happens after service?
After worship service, we gather for fellowship over light refreshments, coffee and juice. All are welcome! Part of Willow Grove’s mission statement is to “grow in relationship with God and friends, both those we know and those we don’t know yet.” There is no such thing as a stranger at Willow Grove---just a friend we haven’t met yet. This fellowship time is a great way to get to know the people at Willow Grove after service, and we welcome anyone who would like to share their day with us. If you would like to take your time in getting to know us, this is an open invitation, so you can visit the fellowship time on your first time here or your tenth—whatever is comfortable for you.
What else is happening at Willow Grove Church?
Willow Grove is a "seven-day-a-week" church in that community groups, mission projects, and other ministries happen every day of the week in some form or another, in our building, so our faith moves well beyond worship on Sunday mornings. We support local mission and ministries such as Raphael's Life House shelter, St. Joseph's Social Services, three area food pantries, a job search work team group, Alcoholic Anonymous, Refugee Assistance Partners, and Family Promise-Union County. We also host community groups such as the Scotch Plains Duplicate Bridge club, the Shetland Sheepdog Club, the Keepsake Doll club, Harvest Quilters, and two Chinese-American music groups. Come and See!