You've Got Questions . . .
Coming into a church service for the first time can be a bit daunting. We've tried to provide you here with what we think you'll need to plan your visit. If there's anything we missed, don't hesitate to reach out!
When Should I Arrive?
Our services are held each Sunday at 10:00am. They usually run until just before 11:45am. We like to leave margin on either side of the service for people to connect and linger, so please feel free to come early and stay late.
What Should I Wear?
Our hope is that you would feel comfortable coming in as you are—whether you are more casual or formal. Clothing is not the sort of thing we want to define us as a church. God cares so much more about the state of our hearts than He does the state of our fashion. The church is composed of people from every tribe, people, language, and nation. That's a lot of clothing styles! It would be our joy if even more of that diversity were represented here.
So, again, long story short: Come as you are!
What Should I Bring?
Is it cliche to say a Bible? We know you probably have an app or something on your phone. That'll do. But we want for you to know that we are a church that's looking to build everything we do upon the foundation of God's Word. People come in on Sundays not to hear from one of our Elders or other church members, but to hear from God. You are invited to follow along in the Scriptures and keep us honest. If God isn't saying it, neither should we.
How Do I Get There?
With technology these days, navigating to a new place is much less stressful. Even still, perhaps a few words on this couldn't hurt. Our church meets at Allen at Steinbeck Elementary. This means that, as you approach our location, you shouldn't be looking for steeples or stain-glassed windows. We will, however, have plenty of signage along the way directing you where to go.
What if I have Kids?
If you have children, the following details will be important for you to know:
Mercy Hill Kids (Nursery thru 5th grade)
Mercy Hill Kids runs every Sunday of the year (unless otherwise noted). The Nursery (0 thru 2.5 years), Preschool (2.5 thru K), and Elementary (1st thru 5th grade) Classrooms are all open for check-ins at 9:45am. The Kids Service Overseer will be at the check-in station until 10:15am to assist you in any way needed. After this time, self check-ins begin.
Note: It is our policy that children 2nd grade and younger must be checked in and out of their class by a parent or guardian. Furthermore, for those checking a child into Mercy Hill Kids for the first time, we ask that you accompany them for the check-in process regardless of age. Thanks for understanding.
Mercy Hill Youth (6th thru 12th Grade)
Each Sunday, the youth remain in the Service with their parents and are encouraged to learn and worship along with the larger family of God. On second Sundays of the month (unless otherwise noted) the youth meet after the Service to enjoy free pizza, make new friends, share prayer requests, and discuss matters of faith.
Note: We also try to schedule regular times of fellowship and fun for the youth throughout the year.
What Should I Expect?
As you move towards the main entrance, you'll see a few of our members there at the door to greet you and assist in any way you might need. Our hope is that, even from your first moments with us, you feel something of the "hospitality of heaven" brought down to earth.
Once any kids are where they need to be, feel free to head over to the far side of the sanctuary where we usually have freshly brewed coffee available. Certainly, the sovereign voice of Jesus is required to raise a dead man like Lazarus from the grave (John 11:43), but we've found that some coffee in the morning provides the children of God with a little extra pep as they try to shake off those remaining burial garments ; ) (John 11:44).
Not every service is the same, but here's what a "normal" Sunday will entail. We'll sit under the preaching of God's Word and ask Him to help realign us once more with Himself and His ancient ways. We'll sing songs that reignite and reshape our affections for Him. We'll take communion as a remembrance of His daily provision in grace for us through the cross. We'll lift prayers together towards the Father's ear. We'll laugh. We'll cry. And, through it all, we'll come to find that God, in mercy, has given us fresh strength to face another week.
After the service, we like to linger. Because He is risen, we can rest. On some Sundays throughout the year, many will bring or buy food and enjoy a picnic-style afternoon together outside under the California sun. But, on every Sunday, you will find people after the service making new friends or reconnecting with old ones, sharing in the deeper things of life.
More than Sundays
Sundays are important. They are constitutive and catalytic for us in so many ways. They remind us who God says we are and who He is still making us to be in Jesus. But the church is more than Sunday. According to the Scriptures, the church isn't a building, a program, or an event on the calendar—it's a people redeemed by, gathered around, and going with the Son.
According to the Scriptures, the church isn't a building, a program, or an event on the calendar—it's a people redeemed by, gathered around, and going with the Son.
Because of this, even if you don't end up making a visit to one of our church services, our hope is that our church (the people) might, in fact, make its way to you. We want to be a church for the city. Jesus walked the streets and engaged the neighborhoods. He touched the wounded and embraced the lonely. He protected the vulnerable and covered the shamed. He ate with the sinner and welcomed the outcast. He loved both rich and poor, king and peasant, religious and irreligious, Jew and Gentile, man and woman, adult and child. He warned of God's coming judgment for sin but promised of a coming provision for forgiveness in grace. And then He died and rose to make good on that promise for us. But before He left this world, do you know what He did? He commissioned the church to enter back into the city and walk and engage it the way He did.
So here we are—hoping to look something like Jesus in the Silicon Valley; hoping to play some part in restoring you to God, neighbor, and city through the good news of Jesus Christ; hoping to see you soon!