What to Expect
Casual dress is the norm at Village Chapel; though some men may wear a coat and tie and some women wear dresses, relaxed, comfortable clothing is typical.
VCPC does not have a parking lot. Parking in front of the church and on both sides of Venable Avenue and 39th Street is allowed. Our neighborhood does not have monitored parking or require stickers. There are several Handicapped Accessible parking spots in front and beside the sanctuary. Walgreens (at MacCorkle Ave and 38th Street) also generously allows us to use some of their spaces on Sunday mornings.
There are three main entrances into the building. If you face the building from Venable Avenue, the far left entry, where the mailbox is located, is into the office and education building. Use this entry during weekday business hours or to reach Sunday School classrooms.
The middle entry is the Handicapped Accessible entrance. It opens into a small room which connects to the fellowship hall (door to the left) and the sanctuary (door straight ahead).
The far right entrance has two sets of double doors leading into the sanctuary. During the Sunday worship service, (from 11 A.M. to noon) these are the only unlocked doors.
As you enter the sanctuary for worship you will be greeted by a member of the congregation who can answer any questions you may have and see that you get a bulletin (which includes the order of worship and participatory liturgies as well as the weekly church calendar, prayer list, and other information). Seating is open—no one is going to get bent out of joint if you sit in their spot! Some seat cushions are available in the unpadded pews.
We celebrate communion on the first Sunday of the month and on special church holidays such as Christmas Eve, Easter, and Pentecost. We have an ‘open table’ which means all people are welcome to share the elements – there are no requirements or expectations for participation.
Children in Worship:
We believe that children learn to worship God by being part of the congregation’s worship, so all children are present for the first part of the service. The ushers will direct families with children to the ‘worship bags’ which are stocked weekly with a children’s bulletin, a snack, and other items to engage young worshipers. And a comfy rocking chair is available in the back for soothing fussy babies.
We do not expect children to sit still and be silent, but love to see them engaged with and moving to the music and singing along, praying, listening and responding to what they hear. We hope that parents will not be embarrassed if their children make some noise—trust us, we’re not bothered, but let us know if you need anything.
Our youngest children up to first graders are welcome to go to the nursery after the Time with Children with our volunteer attendants (parents may accompany their children as desired). Every one of the attendants has completed our Child Protection Policy and a background check and has been an active member of the church for at least six months. We have a two-adult rule that means children are always supervised by at least two unrelated adults.
The nursery is a large open room in our education wing basement, equipped with toys that encourage imaginative play. Parents retrieve their children from the nursery attendants following worship. On communion Sundays, the attendants bring the children back to their parents in the sanctuary so that all may share communion together.
Village Chapel’s sanctuary, fellowship hall, offices, library, conference room, parlor, and restrooms are all wheelchair accessible. Spaces are available in the pew area for wheelchairs. We have a small lift for the half flight of steps between the sanctuary/fellowship hall level to the main office and restrooms level. Some children’s classrooms and storage areas are not wheelchair accessible. We offer hearing assist devices during worship services.