To make your visit to Salt Lake Community of Christ easier and to better understand what to expect here is some information that may be useful for first time visitors. If you are coming from an LDS background, it is recommended to visit the Latter-day Seekers website for an introduction to Community of Christ for LDS members.
Frequently Asked Questions:
This is one of the first questions many people ask when considering a visit to our congregation. The short answer is wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, whether that is a suit and tie or a t-shirt and jeans. We are here to worship together in community and whatever prepares you for worship is what you should wear. Many people who worship with us tend to dress business casual, for men dress shirts (usually without ties), some wear slacks, others wear jeans. Women wear both skirts/dresses and pants, it is generally split pretty evenly. Some people dress up a little more than this, and others just come in their street clothes. All are perfectly acceptable choices when coming to worship with us.
It can vary from week to week because we are not afraid to mix things up and break out of tradition so we don't get stuck in a rut. Generally our worship service goes as follows:Prayer for Peace - This usually is what opens worship which includes ringing a chime and lighting the peace candle. We typically pray for a country of the world, which includes a reading and a written prayer.
Opening hymn - We typically stand for the opening and closing hymns, as indicated in the worship program.
Opening Prayer - Traditionally after the opening hymn people remain standing for the opening prayer.
Focus Moment - This is interactive part of the service, generally directed towards the children. Children that are comfortable participating generally congregrate to the front of the worship sanctuary (chapel) and particpiate in this moment. After the focus moment is over, activity bags are handed out, to give something for children to do during the rest of worship.
Scriptural Readings - Most weeks there is some kind of scriptural reading. Sometimes these readings are modified slightly to be responsive readings (sometimes known as call and response) involving the leader and the congregation reciting aloud different parts of the reading.
Sermon - The sermon usually lasts between 15-20 mins, and is given by participants of the congregation, so the speaker will be different depending when they are assigned. The sermons are generally based upon a scriptural passage from the Revised Common Lectionary. For those interested in learning more about the lectionary you can find out more information here.
Disciples Generous Response - Usually towards the end of the service, there is a moment that focuses on collecting of tithes/offerings. We use this time to reflect on God's generous gifts to us and how we can respond to this wonderful generosity. Participants are welcome to contribute if they feel so inclined, but it is completely voluntary. Trays to collect the offerings are passed around, some people put in loose cash/change. Envelopes are also available to preserve privacy or to designate where the funds go. Some people choose to contribute their offerings electronically or by direct deposit instead of putting money into the baskets.
Closing Hymn/Sending Forth - Like the opening hymn, generally the congregation stands for the closing hymn. After the hymn, the congregation remains standing as a closing prayer is offered or a special sending forth passage is read (sometimes both are done).
Typically we serve communion the first Sunday of the month. Community of Christ practices an open communion, which means any person who identifies as a follower of Jesus may participate in communion, regardless of religious affiliation. Visitors are welcome to participate if they feel comfortable. In Salt Lake City, we use unfermented grape juice (in place of wine) and gluten-free bread for those that have a gluten intolerance.