Visiting a church for the first time can be a little scary. We’ve all been a first time visitor somewhere and many of us were once first time visitors here at Marlboro. We know how it feels.
We’ve created this page to make it a little easier to know what to expect if you visit us. If you have any other questions, please post a comment below or email us, we’ll gladly add answers to this page.
As for the people of Marlboro church, I found them to be welcoming, friendly, and inquisitive. I was bedazzled by the sheer number of people interested in making the acquaintance of Michele’s boyfriend. -Steve
What to Wear?
Dress is casual and the pastor is usually the best dressed in his suit and tie. Skirts, slacks, shorts, dresses, t-shirts, polos, and oxfords can be seen on church goers throughout the sanctuary on almost every Sabbath. Whether you feel more comfortable dressed formally or casually, we really are a “come as you are” congregation.
Where to Sit?
I know you won’t believe us but…you can sit anywhere. With our families growing and needing to spread out, new families attending, and special events, we’re pretty used to bouncing around from seat to seat. It seems that people are creatures of habit and usually sit in the same general area but all of us seem to move a few seats forward or back each week. You won’t be sitting in anyone’s seat no matter where you sit.
And, at every seat you’ll find a couple of the traditional song hymnals, at least one of the newer praise song books and a couple of bibles for you to use during our service.
Where to Find the Church Service?
You can get directions to our church service on our directions page here. Once you arrive at our building, you’ll find our worship service in the old building’s sanctuary – inside the left set of doors. Sabbath School, the nursery, classrooms, and most meetings are held in our new fellowship hall addition - inside the right set of doors. In the photo at the top of this page, the sanctuary is closest to you, the fellowship hall is in the background.
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.” – Psalm 122:1
What to Expect During the Service?
If you want to see the format of a typical service, please take a look at our weekly bulletin page or you can subscribe to receive our bulletin each week by email. We’re kind of flexible with our service so each week is a little different but here are some of the things you can expect during a typical worship service:
- Songs: We use both older traditional hymns from our hymnals and newer contemporary praise songs projected on the front wall or from our praise books. Accompaniment is by piano, organ, and sometimes guitar or even DVDs.
- Children’s Message: Each week during our service, we have a short children’s sermon or children’s object lesson. Different members of the church will do the presentation each week. Children from about 2 years old until about 9 or 10 years old are invited to the front of the church and sit in the front 1 or 2 pews. After the short lesson, children return to their seats to sit with their parents. Younger children can also be brought downstairs to the Nursery where someone will watch them for the remainder of the church service.
- The Sermon: Pastor Bob gives a sermon each week based on a specific topic or a specific scripture that he has chosen. The Sermon lasts about 20 minutes.
- Children’s Nursery: First, let me say that children are always welcome in our worship services. If your children drop things, whisper too loudly, or start to cry…they’re just like our kids and will fit in just fine. They’re much louder to you than they are to us and we like children in our worship service.
However, if you would like a place for your infant through preschool children to go during the service, we do have a nursery available after the children’s message each week. Or, if you need a quiet place to retreat with a young child, you are also welcome to use our nursery. There is a speaker on the wall in the nursery so you can hear the service.
To find the nursery, exit the rear of the sanctuary and head left down the hallway. The nursery doubles as the preschool classroom during our Sabbath School Classes and can be found in classroom #1. If you follow the signs to the classrooms, you’ll find what you’re looking for. There’s also a changing station in the restrooms past the nursery.
- Communion: We have a special communion service 4 times each year
following our regular worship service where we practice the Lord’s supper. The communion service adds about 30 minutes to our service but that can vary. We practice “open communion” and welcome all believers in Christ to participate even those who may not be members of our local church. Our January and July communion services are normal worship services held with our own congregation. Our April and October communion services are held with our neighbors, the Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church. In April, we meet at Shiloh and in October, the Shiloh church meets at Marlboro. That means that there is one Sabbath in April each year when the Marlboro Church is closed because we’re worshiping with the Shiloh Church. Please check our calendar for details. Our deacons pass the bread (wafers) and the cup (we use grape juice) to the congregation in their pews and once everyone has been served, the pastor leads us in taking the bread and cup.
What to Expect After the Service?
Fellowship Time: Because our worship service length is flexible, There is usually a gap of 10 or 15 minutes between our church service and Sabbath school classes. We needed some flexible time between our church service and our 11:15 sabbath school classes. Each week we get together for a few minutes in the fellowship room for coffee, tea, and sometimes cookies of other snacks. This gives us a chance to spend some time together talking and enjoying each other’s company before heading to our sabbath school classes.
If you didn’t grow up in a Sabbath (Saturday) keeping church, whenever you hear us say “Sabbath School” just think “Sunday School”. We have our Sabbath school classes after our worship service each week starting at 11:15 and running for one hour. There are classes for all ages from preschool through adult. The location of each class may change occasionally as our kids grow into bigger classes and as different members of our congregation share teaching duties. Ask anyone in the church and we’ll point you in the right direction.
Our building is wheelchair accessible with van accessible parking spaces,wheelchair accessible restrooms, and a wheelchair chair platform lift between our sanctuary and fellowship hall. Handicap parking spaces are at the end of our fellowship hall and wheelchair access to the building is through the main doors to our fellowship hall.