What’s a normal gathering like? If you come to Tolono United Methodist Church, you can expect a congregation full of smiling faces, and an experience similar to a family reunion. We have a predominately older congregation but there are younger families who will tell you how much they and their children enjoy having so many grandparents! But we would really enjoy more Grand Children of all ages. Some of us still think we are children, we have pictures to prove it.
When do you gather for worship? We worship at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday. We also have special services throughout the year, including services during Lent and Advent.
Beginning in February 2021, we will meet in-person and those not ready to meet in- person can still access the service via Zoom. We do ask all who enter the building to wear a face mask and to social distance. The ushers will instruct you on our procedures for entering and exiting the sanctuary.
What do people wear? You will see a variety of dress on a Sunday morning, but it is generally some form of casual dress. Very few people wear formal wear (ties/jackets or fancy dresses), but some do – especially for special occasions! Whatever the case, please come as you are comfortable.
What about my kids? All churches say that they like kids, but some actually only like the idea of kids. At Tolono UMC, we like actual kids – the kind that make noise, that don’t sit still, that ask peculiar questions. There are activity bags available for kids during the service, and if you feel like you want to leave with a child, you can still view and hear worship from the Fellowship Hall. Ask an usher if you have questions during the service.
During the pandemic, the activity bags are not available.
Is the building accessible? Tolono UMC is fully accessible, with a single, unisex handicap restroom. Our sanctuary’s chancel has a few steps with handrails on both sides, but everything else is on one-level! The door to the left of the cross and flame sign (on the front of the building) has no steps and generally has a greeter on Sunday mornings who can hold the door for you if you need help.
Communion and Baptism
What about Communion? We celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of every month. We, as United Methodists, believe in an open table. This means that all are welcome to partake of the bread and cup. Another interesting note is that our cup will be filled with unfermented grape juice. This is further evidence of the open table, because we would not want alcohol to keep anyone from experiencing Communion.
Typically, ushers will direct persons to the front by the center aisle where they will receive a piece of bread torn or cut from the common loaf. They also take an individual cup where they can take the two elements together. Persons can kneel at the chancel rail and pray if they wish and then return to their seats by one of the outer aisles. The open table extends to all people. You do not have to be a member of the church or of any church to partake in the sacrament. Even our toddlers look forward to sharing in the Lord’s Supper.
During the pandemic, we will provide pre-measured communion in sealed packaging as you enter the sanctuary. During the communion service, the church will remain in their seats.
What about Baptism? Baptism is a work of God and the Holy Spirit. It is marking a person as God’s and entering them into the family of Christ. For this reason, all ages are welcome to be baptized. If you are seeking baptism for yourself or if you are wanting to have your child or infant baptized, please contact the pastor.
If you were baptized once, and are wanting to be baptized again, we want to remind you that the work of baptism is God’s work. Once is enough. It counts regardless of what you have done since your baptism. And we accept your baptism whether you were sprinkled, immersed or poured.
How do I become a member of the church? For information on confirmation or church membership (including what it entails!) please contact the church office or our pastor.