FAQs and Other Information for Visitors

We want everyone to feel at home when they come to our place, whether it’s the first time or 4000th time! So here’s a list of topics you might want to explore before coming to visit Catoctin Presbyterian Church for the first time. (If you’re closer to 4000 times then you probably aren’t looking at this page, any way.)

Getting to the Service

• What time is the service, and what time should I get there, and when is it over?

Long answer: click here

Short answer: We start at 11:00 a.m. We suggest arriving 10-15 minutes early. End time varies, but generally 12:05 or so. There are snacks afterward.

• Where should I park?

Short answer: In front of the church, or in the parking lot. Click the link to see more.

• How do I find the right door to go in?

Short answer: The one on the left. Click here for a picture and more.

• Can you show me where to find… ugh, you know….?

You can find the church floor plan here.

• What should I wear to a Presbyterian worship service?

It used to be that people always wore their “Sunday best” clothes to worship – suit and tie for the men, dresses and hats for the women. Not so much any more. We try to strike a balance between being comfortable on one hand and being respectful to God on the other. God loves us for who we are, not how we’re dressed, so whatever you wear you will be welcome. 

•Is there a way to test drive the preacher?

Yes, we have a catalog of past sermons (mp3s) here. Click on the sermon titles to get to the audio player. 

The Worship Service Itself

• Are you handicap accessible?

Short answer: More or less.  Click here to learn more.

• Where should I sit when I come in?

Short answer: I’d suggest sitting in the middle. If you have young kids, sit where they can see what’s going on. It helps them to understand and be engaged. Otherwise, sit where you feel comfortable.

Here’s a picture of the sanctuary from the main entrance to help you get your bearings.

CPC view from the back. There are two aisles, one on either side. This was common in the late 1800s.
• Is there anyone I can ask for help?

Yes. Pretty much all our folks are friendly and helpful, but we have greeters who have the special job of being the host or hostess on Sunday morning. They are stationed at the main door of the sanctuary before the service and usually sit near the back during the service. If you can’t find a greeter, ask the folks in the back row, center section. They’re all pros.

• What is the service like? What happens?

Short answer: we pray, we sing, we read, we listen, and we respond.

Longer answer: Our worship service is “liturgical” in style. That means that we participate in the service by using printed prayers and responses for a number of parts. Everyone gets to take part that way. The service is led by a “liturgist” (that’s a member who leads the liturgy) and the pastor. You can also listen to some previous sermons here.

• What kind of music do you play? What if I don’t know the songs?

We sing hymns mostly. We have a pretty darn good choir who lead our singing and usually offer a musical anthem before the sermon. Our music director is a great pianist, and he plays several numbers during the service, as well as the hymns.

If you don’t know the songs, that’s okay. You probably aren’t alone. Listen to the words and music, and see if they have something to teach you or if they touch your spirit somehow. If a song is long enough and easy enough, you can join in once you get it. Otherwise, just enjoy it for what it is.

• I’ve got kids. Is there a place for them to go during the service?

Right now, it kind of depends, actually. We love to have kids in worship with us, really, so your kids are welcome to stay in the service, no matter what age they are. We understand that it’s hard for wee ones to sit still and be quiet for that long. Many of us have been there, so we don’t mind some noise or even some ballyhoo. It’s a joy to have children’s energy in God’s house.

Nevertheless, we are working on refurbishing our nursery, which is taking longer than we hoped. When it’s done it will be available for newborns and toddlers. We do currently have Sunday school for kindergarten through 5th grade that starts about 15-20 minutes into the service. Older kids can generally “stick it out” through the service like the adults do, and we hope they will.

• How much does it cost to come to a service?

No charge. It’s all free. We will “pass the plate” so people can give their gifts and offerings, but that is for folks who have chosen to make that commitment. No one is required to give anything, and we certainly don’t expect our guests to have to pay.

Beliefs

• What do Presbyterians believe, any way?

Short answer: God is in charge, and God loves you. Jesus is God’s Son, he died and rose again, and he loves you. The Holy Spirit is God present in our lives, helping us on our way, and the Spirit loves you. Our #1 job is to glorify God and enjoy God. We do that by worshiping God and by loving and helping everyone else. The rest is details. 

• I’m not Presbyterian, I’m [fill in the blank]. Does that matter?

Doesn’t matter. We’ve had all kinds. You are welcome here.

• What if I don’t really believe all that god stuff? Can I still come?

We hope you will! You’re not the first one in that category to pass through our doors. Pretty sure the roof won’t cave in. You are welcome here.