Worship‎ > ‎

What to Expect

 We know how awkward it can feel to attend a new church for the first time, even for those who attend church regularly. Every church, even those within the same denomination, has it’s own unique style and traditions. But we want your visit to Oxford Second to be a good one, so we put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions so you can know what to expect.  


What should I wear?

Wear whatever feels comfortable. Some folks prefer suits or dresses; others come casual in slacks, jeans or shorts (weather permitting!). We’re not about the clothes we wear, so whatever you choose, you will be most welcome.

Where should I park?

Parking is available along the street, or in the area directly across from the church.

Where are the services held?

Worship is usually held in the big brick church. As you enter, you will be greeted by one or two of our members who will give you a copy of the "bulletin." (See a sample here.) This shows step-by-step what will happen during the service. It also includes announcements about upcoming events, and the names and contact information of our leadership team.  

Our pastor, Joicy, may also be there, as she always enjoys personally welcoming everyone before the service begins. We have a guest book you can sign as you enter, and we also invite you to fill out one of our "guest cards" so we might best know your needs. Just hand it to the pastor as you leave, or pur it in the collection plate.

Everyone comes with different needs and expectations. We want to be of help, but also want to respect your privacy. So, we count on you to let us know how we can be there for you!

What if I'm late?

Just come in through the second set of double doors (these will be closed after the service starts), and help yourself to a bulletin (on the stand to the right as you enter). If we are praying, just wait until we've finished to be seated.

Where do I sit?

Feel free to sit anywhere you like.

What about my kids?

We love kids at Oxford Second, and we do what we can to make families comfortable. But we also know that a one-hour service can be a long time for a little one to sit still. So we have a couple of options for parents:

•    During the hymn just before the pastor’s message, one of our volunteer childcare providers goes around to collect all the young children (usually those around 5 and under) who might want to go to the play area in the chapel next door.

•    Our service is broadcast to a monitor in the chapel, so at any time kids get restless, parents are welcome to take their children next door. Kids can play with a variety of toys while parents watch the rest of the service on TV. There’s a changing table in the restroom, and usually a pot of coffee. We invite you to help yourself!   

What happens during the service?

Services typically last about an hour. Each week, our pastor offers a message showing how God's word is relevant to our daily lives, offering hope and guidance to the challenges we face. Click here to listen to previous messages.

Here is a summary of a typical service:

•    Our minister of music plays a “prelude” of music before we begin, while each of us get settled and centered on our reason for being there. 

•    The service includes at least two readings from the Bible, typically one from the Old Testament, and one from the New Testament.  

•    After the first reading, we all join together in reading our “Unison Prayer of Confession,” printed in the bulletin. This is followed by a few moments of silent prayer; a time for us to release to God all those things we know we have done wrong, and all those things in our lives that may be separating us from God. We then receive assurance that through Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and have a fresh start.

•    Announcements are followed by prayer concerns. All are invited to share a joy or ask for prayers, for themselves or others. The pastor prays, and then we all join together in praying the Lord’s Prayer, followed by a praise song (lyrics can be found in the back of the hymnal).

•    During the Offering, there is special music and the ushers pass offering plates among the members. We believe that all we have comes from God, and giving some back is a tangible sign of our trust and appreciation for all our blessings. You may wish to contribute, too, but please know that we do not expect this of any of our visitors. We are just glad to welcome you as our guest. 

•    The sermon is based on a second reading from the Bible. The purpose of this message is to help us understand who God is and what God wants, and how to apply this to our lives in very practical ways. 

•    Sometimes we celebrate a special service, and if so, the message may be followed by communion (first Sunday of the month and special holidays); baptisms; acceptance of new members; etc. (See more about this below).

•    The service ends with songs and a blessing, as well as a challenge to go live what we believe.

Anything else I should know about the service?
•    Usually, whenever we sing, those who are able are asked to stand. This is noted in the bulletin with a * but the pastor also lets us know.

•    Since many churches traditionally sing each week the “Gloria Patri" and the “Doxology,”  many folks already know them by heart. For those who don’t, the lyrics can be found in the front cover of the hymnal, along with the words to the Lord’s Prayer. If you’d like to see the prayer and lyrics, and hear the music before you visit, just click here. 

What happens after the service?

After the service, the pastor greets folks as they leave, and we all go next door to the chapel for refreshments. This is a casual time of visiting and getting better acquainted, and we hope you’ll join us! 

What happens during Communion?

In communion, also known as the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, we remember Jesus’ last meal with his disciples, and how Jesus gave his life for each one of us so that we will have life even after death. When we serve communion, you will see a loaf of bread and 2 cups on the table in front of the pulpit. After the sermon, the pastor begins the communion liturgy and says a prayer. She invites the servers (deacons and elders in the church) to come forward, and leads the congregation in the "Communion Response" found in the hymnal. She invites all those who wish to participate to come forward, break off a piece of bread, dip it in juice, and eat.

Anyone who has been baptized is welcome to participate. You don’t have to be Presbyterian or even a member of any church, and there is no age requirement. One only has to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, and to understand the significance of sharing in this special “meal.”

What happens during a Baptism?

After the sermon, the one being baptized, the family, and one of our elders come forward to meet the pastor by the baptismal font. The pastor explains the meaning of baptism, and asks a few questions of the person being baptized (or the parents, if it is an infant or child) concerning their faith in Jesus Christ. The congregation is also asked to commit to helping and nurturing the one being baptized. Then the pastor dips her hand into the water in the baptismal font and touches the head of the one being baptized three times, “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”  A prayer is said, and all are welcomed to God's family.

Subpages (1): Music and Prayers