Monday, August 21, 2017
   
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Frequently Asked Questions ~ FAQ

 

What kind of name is “Federated?”

“Federated” in this case is an old word that describes a good thing.   Here’s a very loose description of our history:   A long time ago, when Placerville was a dusty gold rush town with horses and migrants just getting started, the Methodists church and the Presbyterian were just down the road from each other.  Times were tough.  Separately, neither church could afford to pay a preacher to come out to the dangerous wild west.  They had a great idea!  “Let’s work together!  Let’s become federated, pool our resources, and then we can have one great church.”  So they did.  And God blessed their cooperation… and God is still doing so here in our church.  Join us in working together for the good that our loving God wants for our lives, our families, our community and our world.  All are welcome – All the time.

How should I dress?

Come as you are!  Casual clothes are just fine; and if you feel like dressing up or getting all decked out–by all means go for it!

What time should I get there?

Our first worship service begins at 9:15am with children lighting candles and sometimes participating in setting the table for communion.  Our second, more traditional service, starts at 11am with the huge pipe organ playing a prelude.

How long is the service?

Usually about an hour and 15 minutes; then we like to mill around and socialize afterwards, usually with light refreshments in the big room called Price Hall.  We know it can feel awkward to enter a room full of people who seem to already know each other, but really there are plenty of newcomers almost every Sunday.  You may sit next to someone who feels new like you do.   So please let someone know that you’re at church for the first time.  We’ll be so glad to help you feel connected.

Is the worship location accessible for people with disabilities?

We strive for full accessibility, and our greeters watch closely to be helpful to those who need some assistance.   We have parking places, ramps, a wheelchair and plenty of people who want to help.

What about Communion?  Communion is offered at every worship service.

May I participate?  May children receive Communion?

At all Federated worship services, ALL ARE WELCOME to participate, regardless of age, church background, or faith tradition. Jesus welcomes all to the table.  Gluten-free bread is available on the communion table.  It is baked by an experienced gluten-free baker in a dedicated kitchen.  Both wine and grape juice are provided.  Wine is served in the clear glass chalice and grape juice is served in the ceramic chalice.

How do I ‘do’ communion?  What is your process?

After the communion blessing and prayers, people in the back of the sanctuary start first, walk forward using the side aisles.  When we arrive at the servers, we choose a slice of bread and we dip it in wine or juice and eat it then.  Anyone needing gluten free communion is invited to come to the table and break a piece of gluten free bread and dip it into the dedicated chalice of juice.   We walk back to our seats down the center aisle.

 

Anointing/Blessing with Holy Oil – What is this?

After you have eaten your communion, you are invited to stand in front of one of our pastors to receive a blessing.  Holy, blessed oil will be rubbed onto your forehead in the sign of the cross and the pastor will give you a blessing.  In the Bible, being blessed with holy oil was part of the ceremony that made someone a priest.  The word priest means “bridge builder” in Latin.  All Christians are called to be bridge builders in God’s service.  The use of holy oil in worship reminds us of this and blesses us with the love and grace we need to live faithfully.

Will I feel pressured to join the church?

There is no pressure to join, only the hope that you will move from feeling like a visitor to knowing that you belong and are embraced by this community.  Many people at Federated are ‘members’ of either the Methodist or Presbyterian groups.   Through those groups, (called denominations), we have the chance to join hands with others across the globe to work for peace, justice and faith-filled thoughtfulness.  At the same time, many people participate in our fellowship without “joining” a denomination.  ALL ARE WELCOME, we are a spiritually diverse community of seekers of the Spirit.

Are children welcome?

More than welcome!!  Children are cherished as the light and spark of our gatherings!   Children take an active role in our worship each week (as they are comfortable.)  They light candles, pour baptismal water, sing, set the communion table and much more.  They have lots of opportunities to learn and grow in a supportive, encouraging environment.   Their time at church focuses on the life and love of Jesus; how he lived and how we might follow in his footsteps as kind and thoughtful people.  The children are not taught that one religion is better than another; they’re not taught that they are sinners; they are encouraged to be themselves, ask questions, ask for prayer, play, make friends and grown in love.

Are non-traditional families welcome?

Yes!  We are inclusive and always learning how we can be better at it.  We are part of the More Light Presbyterians and the Reconciling Ministries Network.  We know that church has not been a welcoming place for the LGBTQ community, we are here to help heal that brokenness and give everyone the opportunity to worship our loving God.  

 

How do you handle giving/tithing?

Your presence at worship is a gift.  It is a gift of your time and attention.  It is a gift you give to God in appreciation for all that you have been given.     Along with developing humility, gentleness, kindness and love another thing God calls us to is generosity.  Thankfully, we have a church that is active in helping so many.  By giving to the church, you can have a huge impact for the good around the world.  We put our resources together like our founding members did in the ‘olden days.’   You can be sure that your financial gift will go far.  Giving is an act of faith and discipline, just like attending worship, taking time to pray, being baptized and taking part in communion.  We are all learning, a bit at a time, and God is pleased with our desire to learn, grow and give.

We pass an offering plate at each worship service and we have an electronic giving program for people who want to give automatically each month.   In addition, we have an annual Stewardship Season where we teach about the faith practice of giving and we ask our community to provide a ‘pledge’ for the coming year.  When people pledge, we can plan a budget and make the most responsible decisions for our church finances in gratitude and service.