Considering a Visit? Here’s What to Expect

Old South is a small, but lively, community of faith located in Hallowell, Maine.  We are an Open and Affirming Church, meaning that we welcome all people to worship with us and to be a part of our community, no matter who they are and no matter where they are on life’s journey.  We welcome all sorts of people– young and old, liberal and conservative (and independent!), married, divorced, or single, as well as gays, lesbians,bisexual, transgender folk,  and those who may be questioning their sexuality or gender identity.  We also welcome those who aren’t quite sure what it means to be a Christian, but who wish to join with others in creating and maintaining a community that seeks to follow Christ and to learn about and live the sacred story of God and God’s people.

We are a community of faith, seeking to praise God and to accept God’s love for us and for all people.

In terms of “nuts and bolts,” worship is central to our life together.  It is where we gather to hear God’s word of hope and love, where we connect with each other, where we celebrate the sacraments, and where we seek to be drawn closer to God and to each other.

Clothes— some of us dress up, but many don’t.  We just care that you come.  We don’t care much about what sort of clothes you wear.

Worship— involves music and spoken word, as well as some silence.  We incorporate some ancient aspects of the Christian faith, like the Lord’s Prayer and the Gloria Patri), and those are printed out in the weekly program or “bulletin.” If you are not familiar with them, please ask, or just listen.

Worship also includes hymns, songs that are sung by the congregation and the choir, if there is a choir (the choir takes the summer months off).  If this isn’t familiar to you, don’t worry!   We are always experimenting with hymns, so they are sometimes unfamiliar even for those who come to worship every week.

Worship includes a sermon, or homily– an opportunity for the pastor to share more information about a Bible story.  The pastor always seeks to help the congregation understand, but also to relate Bible stories and lessons to everyday life and spirituality.  Sometimes there are stories that are mysterious even to our Pastor.  She lets us know that too.

In worship, we also pray, and sometimes we listen to someone from the congregation share an important story of their own.

At Old South, we seek to involve the congregation as much as we can.  We are a congregational church.  But, we also recognize that some people don’t have the time or inclination to participate in any other way than coming to worship.  That’s okay too.  We also have ways to be involved outside of Worship.  You can find out more about that in other sections of this webpage.  Keep reading!

In terms of attendance, well, we have a wide variety.  Don’t think that if you come to worship once, you’ll need to come every week!  We have some people who do come almost every Sunday, but we have some who come just when they can– maybe once every month or two.  We also have some people who are “snowbirds” (they are here in the summer, but not in the winter), and a few who are “winter birds” (here in the winter, but not in the summer).  We also have a few people who feel close to Old South, by reading the Pastor’s blog, or donating to a mission project, but don’t come to worship at all, except for maybe Christmas Eve or Easter.  All are welcome.  We really mean that.

We are a member of the United Church of Christ, a national denomination that seeks a just world for all and love for all of God’s people.