Visitor Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to RPC!  Below is information that visitors might find useful. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have further questions.
Worship Time:  10:00am.  The worship service lasts for up to an hour and is broken up into various sections, the longest of which is the sermon, which usually goes for about 20 minutes. There is a children’s moment for children grades K-5, followed upstairs by our “River Kids” program.  

Parking and entrances:  We don’t have a parking lot!  There is usually plenty of space on the street, though–just be sure to watch out for no parking signs.   The main door to the sanctuary says “worship” on it, but it has a couple stairs, so the wheelchair entrance is further down by our offices.
Where to sit:  You should not have trouble finding a seat even if you are a few minutes late.  There is a family seating area in the back for those with small children, but anyone can sit anywhere.  You might want to choose a spot within view of one of the screens, since there are often slides shown during worship.
Bathrooms:  There are two unisex bathrooms located just outside the sanctuary.  If those are taken, there are men’s & women’s rooms down the hallway and down some stairs.  It is not a huge building, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.  Feel free to take a bathroom break at any time during worship and to move around as you feel so led.

Liturgy:  The order of our service is fairly traditional, with a mix of responsive readings, prayers, and music.  A printed bulletin (program) is available, which should be easy to follow.  Bold print means read aloud.  We usually stand up for hymns, stretch our legs during the passing of the peace, and sometimes bow our heads during prayers. There aren’t many people among us who raise our hands or dance around during worship, but you are welcome to do so!

Communion:  We celebrate Eucharist/Communion/The Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month and occasionally at special services throughout the year (such as at Weddings or during Holy Week).  All are welcome to receive the bread & juice (no alcohol available) and to participate fully in the sacrament, regardless of religious background or affiliation.  Christ Jesus gave his life for the entire world, especially sinners, therefore our table is open to all people as a sign and seal of God’s grace.

Music:  We have a volunteer choir (all are welcome to join!) which helps to lead singing from September through May.  We also welcome solo musicians and groups who sometimes perform offertories or anthems.  The worship service usually includes three congregational hymns, from a Presbyterian hymnal (also on the screens), each of which are related to the theme or scripture of the day.  Overall the musical style is mostly classical, with some occasional folk or modern songs thrown in.  All are encouraged to sing loudly and make a joyful noise.

What to Wear:  There is no formal dress code--wear whatever makes you feel comfortable.  In the winter the pastor sometimes wears a robe, and in the summer he or she may not even wear a jacket or a tie.  Shorts and teeshirts and sneakers are welcome, as are tuxedos and bonnets.

Children:   We love the sound of children in worship!  Kids of all ages are welcome and encouraged to participate in every aspect of our time together, including communion.   Nursing is no problem. Nursery childcare is available upstairs.  River Kids (Sunday School) is also available for elementary aged children.  Students usually leave the worship service together following the children’s moment and parents pick them up from their upstairs classes during social hour.

Passing the Peace:  Following some responsive readings near the beginning of the worship service, the congregation takes a couple minutes to greet one another by saying “the peace of Christ be with you.”  Visitors are welcome to chat with neighbors as much as they feel comfortable.  Staying in your pew is also ok if you are an introvert!   We choose not to formally recognize those who are new to worship since we don’t want to put them on the spot.  

Social Hour:  After worship there are some refreshments available in the social hall (down the hall and down the stairs) for those who enjoy that kind of thing.  Usually this involves coffee and sugary treats, but if you prefer to have your coffee before or during the worship service, that is okay too!  There is also a small table set up just for children.