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WHAT TO EXPECT

when you visit

Our FAQs section will provide straightforward answers to common questions about Living Hope OPC and the church in general. If you don't see your question below, please reach out to us!  We'd like to help you feel comfortable when visiting.  You may call (616) 261-0327 or email info@lhopc.com.

  • WHAT DOES "ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN" MEAN? 

First, 'orthodox', a word that means straight/true thinking or teaching, emphasizes our denomination's desire to be true to what the Bible, as God's inspired, inerrant, and authoritative word, teaches and commands.  Second, the term 'presbyterian' indicates our belief that Christ governs his church through elders, as well as our conviction that the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms are an accurate summary of Biblical teaching.

  • WHAT IS WORSHIP AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Worship is the human response to what we most value. We are constantly living our lives according to the things we value most -- whatever they may be.  We gather together in the presence of the world to exalt the name of our saving God and to show the wonder of Jesus who has called us out of darkness and despair and into his marvelous light.  Worship matters because it is about ultimate things.  It addresses the most essential aspect of your existence and is the single greatest determiner of your eternal joy (heaven) or eternal woe (hell).

  • WHAT WILL THE WORSHIP SERVICE (LITURGY) LOOK LIKE? 

Just as in any new activity or experience, it may take you a couple of Sundays to feel comfortable observing and/or participating in the service.  A greeter will hand you a bulletin on your way into the sanctuary, where you will be able to choose your seat.  Our bulletins will outline the service for you.  The bulletin will list the songs, prayers, and the Scripture readings for the day.  The theme of the sermon will also be listed.  We use a projector to provide words and notes when we sing.  Our weekly bulletin can be found at www.lhopc.com/bulletins

  • WHERE CAN I PARK? HOW EARLY DO I NEED TO ARRIVE?

There is a parking lot at the front of Moline Christian School, where we meet for worship. As a new visitor, you may want to give yourself extra time to find a parking space, use the restroom, and find a place to sit.  If you arrive 15 minutes prior to the service start time, you should have ample opportunity to get situated!​​

  • WHAT DO MY CHILDREN DO DURING THE SERVICE? 

We place a high value on children and with warm sincerity welcome them to remain with their parents through the full worship service.  We aim for children to catch the passion for worshiping God by watching Mom, Dad, and other adults enjoy God week after week.  Even if most of the sermon goes right over their heads, experience shows that children hear and remember remarkable things.  The content of the prayers, the songs, and the sermon gives parents an unparalleled opportunity to teach their children the great truths of the Bible. 

  • WHAT DO I WEAR?

Dress is varied at Living Hope OPC. Some men may wear a dress shirt and pants with a tie and sport coat, while others may wear a shirt and jeans.  Women wear slacks, dresses, skirts, or jeans.  All visitors are welcome!

  • DO I NEED TO BRING A BIBLE?

While Living Hope does not keep Bibles in the rows of seating, we do provide Bibles for use during the service.  These are located on a rack at the back of the auditorium. If you are not sure where to find them, please ask an usher or greeter and they will be happy to help you!

  • HOW LONG IS THE SERVICE?

Our services begin at 9:30pm and 5:30pm and usually last one hour and 20 minutes each.  Occasionally, a service may run an additional 5-15 minutes.​​​​

  • DO I STAND, SIT, OR KNEEL? WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR SERVICE?

During the worship service there are times that the congregation will be invited to stand and times where it will sit. No one is obligated to stand.

 

Following worship, there is a time for fellowship when people very often gather to greet one another and enjoy refreshments provided by church members.  Visitors will find a welcoming congregation that likes to visit after worship.

  • WILL I NEED TO SIGN ANYTHING?  WILL I NEED TO INTRODUCE MYSELF DURING THE SERVICE?  WILL ANYONE CONTACT ME?

When visitors arrive in the sanctuary, a greeter will welcome them and give them a bulletin.  Visitors are not asked to stand and introduce themselves, but Living Hope members may stop and say hello before or after the service.  We encourage you to fill out a connection card during the worship, or fill out our Connection Card form on our website before or after visiting!

  • DO YOU TAKE AN OFFERING?  AM I EXPECTED TO GIVE?

The Bible teaches that our offerings to God should reflect our belief that all we have is His gift to us.  It teaches us that with our offerings we worship and honor God and express our trust in Him to continue to take care of us.  As our guest, we will not expect you to contribute an offering, nor do we want to pressure you into doing so.  You may wish to learn more about our ministry before bringing your offerings to God through our church, but you are welcome to participate as you feel led to give.​

  • HOW OFTEN IS COMMUNION SERVED?  WILL I HAVE TO TAKE PART?

If you’re visiting with us you may wonder whether or not you should receive the sacrament of Holy Communion (The Lord’s Supper).  We don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable in partaking.  We also don’t want anyone to partake merely as a form or ritual or just to be sociable!  In fact, the Bible says it’s dangerous to do so.  This isn’t our table.  It’s not the table of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.  It’s the Lord’s table.  Therefore, we try to follow His instructions as nearly as we can.

 

In light of His instructions, we invite you to participate in the Lord's Supper if each of the following is true:

- You trust in Jesus Christ – plus nothing – for salvation and right standing with God, recognize and are grieved by your sin, and take

  seriously the call to repentance and the promise of forgiveness (1 John 1:8-9; 2:1). This you do only by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

- You have been baptized (either as an infant or as an adult). [Baptism (the sign of union) must always precede the Lord’s Supper (the

  sign of communion). If you wish, you can make arrangements for baptism with our pastor.]

- You are not living secretly and unrepentantly in sin but are striving by the help of the Holy Spirit to glorify God with your entire life.

- You have joined or have been confirmed as a communing member of a church that proclaims the gospel. [If you have not, then we

  invite you to consider becoming a member here. If you would like more information, please see our pastor.]

- You have not been excommunicated or asked by your church to refrain from taking communion. [We respect the discipline of other

  churches, and we do not want to encourage the practice of lowering the standards of Christian living or evading accountability by

  allowing unrepentant people to do what their own congregations do not allow them to do.]

If you can sincerely say “Yes” to each of these things, then we welcome you in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We believe He wants you to renew your covenant bond with Him and us in this way.

If you cannot say “Yes” to each of these things - or if you are not sure - then we ask that you please refrain from partaking at this time, and we invite and encourage you in Christ’s name to talk with the pastor about how to take steps to enable you to openly enjoy communion with Christ and his people.

1 Corinthians 11:23-32:

"For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world."