What should I wear to worship?
At EPC you will find people who dress more formally—especially those involved in leading the worship service—but this is not required. We do not believe it is appropriate to set a dress code, and many in our congregation prefer to dress casually. We only ask that your choice of clothing not be a distraction to others who are gathered to give their attention to the praise of God and the hearing of His word preached.
Do you provide child care?
Yes, we have a fully-staffed infant nursery and toddler room for our Sunday School (9:15-10:15 am) and Worship Service (10:30 am-12:00 noon). They are both located in our Fellowship Hall, which is the building across the driveway that lies on the east side of our Church Sanctuary.
Do I have to give money?
Placing a contribution in the offering plate as it is passed around is an act of worship that is primarily for those who attend regularly. If you are a first-time visitor we do not ask you to contribute, but we do ask that you fill out one of the yellow visitor cards we furnish in each pew and drop it in the offering plate as it goes by. Our pastor will use the information you provide to personally follow up with you later in the week. We also invite you to receive a first-time visitors gift at the counter in our lobby before you leave.
Can I take communion?
We normally share in the Lord’s Supper—also called Communion—every Sunday, after the preaching of God’s word. At that time, after the pastor prepares the congregation, believers are invited to come forward to receive the bread and the cup. (Note: we serve gluten-free bread for those with gluten intolerance.)
Participation in Communion is for believers who are seeking to live a life that pleases God, and who are old enough to examine their consciences. But presence at the Lord’s Supper is open to everyone, and on behalf of Christ we invite you to be there.
Every one who professes faith in the Christ of the Bible alone for salvation, and who does not count on his or her good deeds to save them, and who also makes pleasing God his or her life’s goal, is welcome to participate. We all continue to sin in this life, so perfection is not required. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9, English Standard Version).
If you have not yet trusted Christ to save you from your sins, or if you are deliberately living a life that you know displeases Him, we do not ask that you leave when Communion begins. Nor do we ask that you avoid worshiping with us on those Sundays. This time can and should be meaningful for you, as well. So instead we invite you to stay, listen, observe, and pray as others partake of the bread and the cup. We ask that you seek the Lord and ask Him to open your heart and mind, to show you the true need of your soul and to assure you of His provision of His Son for you.
If you still have questions, feel free to speak with our pastor, or any of our elders, who will be more than happy to help you.
What does “Evangelical” mean?
The word “evangelical” is closely related to the word “gospel,” which is found in the Bible. “Gospel” means “good news.” It’s a translation of the word euangellion (εὐαγγέλιον) in the original Greek language of the Bible’s New Testament—a word which also means “good news.”
The Good News of the Bible is that God has saved His people from the punishment they deserve for their sins by sending His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die in their place. This Gospel teaches us that we are not saved by our own goodness, or anything we do, but only by the death of Christ on the cross. Believers stand before God forgiven of their sins and undeservedly counted righteous in Christ by trusting in Him alone.
The Lord has commanded us to declare this Good News—this Gospel—to every person: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). The act of declaring this good news is called “evangelism.” All those who makes this Gospel the center of their faith are “evangelicals.”
Why do you call your church “Presbyterian?”
“Presbyterian” comes from another word that is found in the Bible: presbuteros (πρεσβύτερος), which means “elder.” As part of our name, it refers to the way our church is organized and governed. The churches that were founded by the original Apostles were led by groups of men who were mature in their faith and therefore called “elders” (Titus 1:7-9). An elder was also called an “overseer” (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Greek: episkopos; ἐπίσκοπος), because it was his role to help supervise the ministry of the local church, and to guard God’s people from false teaching (Acts 20:17, 28-31; ), along with his fellow elders.
Our elders work in close partnership with our board of deacons. The word “deacon” comes from the Greek word diakonos (διάκονος), which means “servant.” The Apostles instructed the early church to elect “seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (Acts 6:3, ESV) “to serve” (Acts 6:2; Greek: diakonein, διακονεῖν) in the daily distribution of food to needy believers in Jerusalem. Deacons were later chosen for all the churches as ministers of mercy to God’s people (1 Timothy 3:8-13).
Many churches that do not call themselves “Presbyterian” are organized according to this general pattern. Presbyterianism was born during the Protestant Reformation of the early 1500s. It was part of the Reformed church tradition that began in Switzerland and spread to France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the British Isles. When members of the state Church of Scotland migrated to North America and elsewhere and established new churches, they called them “Presbyterian” in order to distinguish them from churches established by immigrants from other state churches (for example: the Church of England [Anglican], which in North America became the Episcopal Church).
What does your pastor do?
Every believer has a spiritual gift, but among the special gifts that Christ gives for “the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,” the Apostle Paul lists “pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11-12, King James Version). The word translated “pastor” in some versions of the New Testament basically means “herdsman,” or “shepherd” (Greek: poimēn; ποιμήν). A biblical pastor is a man who tends to the spiritual needs of Christ’s sheep, His people, by teaching, comforting, and admonishing them from God’s word, the Bible.
Our pastor serves as one of the elders on a board we refer to as the “Session.” The Apostle Paul noted that there is to be a distinction between elders who preach and teach and elders who oversee other aspects of ministry when he wrote, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17, ESV). To observe this distinction we sometimes call our pastors “Teaching Elders.” Our pastors’ co-elders are called “Ruling Elders.” This helps us safeguard the primary duties of the pastor, which is to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2, ESV).