For some people, visiting a new church can feel intimidating. At St. James we want you to feel right at home. We're a warm and welcoming congregation and love to meet new people! If you're a person who likes to know just what to expect when going someplace new, this is the page for you!
Sometimes people worry about what they should wear to church. We welcome everyone, no matter their wardrobe choices. You can dress informally, or dress up - whichever you prefer.
When you arrive at St. James, you'll find that we have a large parking lot, including several handicapped parking places. If you need to drop someone off at the door, we have a driveway that goes right to the door, with a large canopy overhead for protection from the elements. St. James is all on one floor and is handicapped accessible.
Once inside the door, you'll see a sign-in table. If you visit us during the week, please sign in and out, as a security measure for our Childcare Center. Information about upcoming activities is posted near the door.
If you turn to the right at the corner, you'll see restrooms for men and women on your left, and you will see the church sanctuary straight ahead. When you enter the sanctuary, ushers will be in the back of the church to give you a bulletin and answer any questions you might have.
At St. James, our services are basically pretty traditional, but with contemporary touches, and they are relaxed and informal. All hymns and readings are displayed on a large screen in the front of the sanctuary, so following the service is easy. (There are also hymnals in each of the pews if you'd prefer to use them.) There is a children's message each Sunday for any children present, and we have childrens's bulletins available with puzzles and coloring pages to keep your young ones occupied during the service.
Don't worry about when to stand and sit. Just take your cue from the folks around you. If it's difficult for you to stand, you're welcome to remain seated. An offering is taken during the service. You are under no obligation to place anything in the offering - please just do as you feel the Lord is leading you.
We try to make sure that all elements of our worship service draw people into worship and reinforce the morning message. We often use the scriptures from the yearly Lectionary, which is a 3 year plan of scripture readings used by many churches. On some Sundays we share in a short service of Holy Communion, which is open to everyone. (If you want to partake of the Communion elements and find it difficult to walk up to the altar, someone will bring them to you in the pew.)
You'll notice that our altar and pulpit have lovely colored cloths, and the choir wears stoles that match. These colors change depending on the season of the Christian year. If you'd like to know more about liturgical colors, you can read a little about it on the UM website. We are blessed with beautiful stained glass windows in our sanctuary and hope you enjoy them, too!
If you would like to be a regular part of our fellowship and want to jump right in a be a part of things, just let us know what you like to do and where your talents are, and we'll be happy to get you involved. If you'd like to join us, but prefer to take things slowly, that's okay, too. What most people find is that getting involved in church activities helps them feel at home quickly. Just visiting? We're happy to have you join us for the morning!
If you'd like to know a little more about us, you can find lots of information in the About Us menu at the top of this page. Particularly helpful pages for a newcomer would be:
Please come and visit us!
St. James United Methodist Church, 4661 Porter Road, Niagara Falls, NY 14305 (716) 297-6421
© 2015 St. James United Methodist Church