WORSHIP ON SUNDAYS AT
Many paths to worship,
wonder & awe!
At Plattsburgh United Methodist Church, we worship in many ways: through music, singing, stories, poetry, images, laughter, stillness and silence. The spirit is sent soaring in surprising and delightful ways. Sometimes we have to sneak up on the mystery of God.
Sundays at PUMC:
8 am Casual Worship
At 8 am we gather in the Chapel. The setting is friendly and informal.
This service lasts about 45 minutes. It tends to be interactive, with opportunities for congregation members to bring in their voices, prayers and experience. We find insight, depth, spirit, humor and transformation in a variety of ways, sometimes full of energy and enthusiasm and sometimes more meditative and reflective. Each Sunday we celebrate the power of gathering together as a community and each Sunday we share communion. All are invited to the table. We sing accompanied by piano.
After the 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. services on Sunday mornings. It offers delicious, nutritious and inexpensive food specially prepared each week. Payment is by donation. The Fellowship 15 is a great place to eat and chat after services. It is a hub of friendly energy.
10 am Classic Worship
At 10 am we gather in the Sanctuary for a service that weaves together powerful and uplifting choral and organ music, hymns both traditional and contemporary, insightful preaching, scripture shared in a variety of ways and elements of community life and service. The service is about an hour long.
Preaching is highly valued at PUMC. The pastor Rev. Phil Richards, preaches each Sunday.
The Sanctuary is large, open and full of light. It is often graced by banners that speak through color and design. We use three different hymnals to support a wide range of congregational singing. The Chancel Choir, which is open to any singers who are interested, sings most Sundays between September and June. Our Bell Choir, Liturgical Dancers, Vocalists and Instrumentalists of all sorts share their special gifts with us.
We celebrate communion during the service on the first Sunday of the month and all are invited to the table.
Classes for children grouped by age are offered during the 10 am service. The classes weave together progressive Christian education, spiritual awareness and development, peace and justice issues, and community connection. Children are given a variety of ways to interact and explore. Children go to the Sanctuary with their parents, then after the first part of the service, they leave with adult leaders for classes divided into three levels: ages 3 thru 1st grade, 2nd thru 4th grade, and 5th thru 6th grade. Parents pick up their children right after the service in their classrooms. The entire service is about an hour long.
Childcare for the youngest ones is also available all morning in the Nursery. If your child stays with you during the service and needs to move around or make noise, you are free to sit with them in the Narthex at the back of the sanctuary where you will still be able to see and hear the service.
Baptism, Communion, Membership and Weddings at PUMC
Our denomination, the United Methodist Church (UMC) affirms two sacraments –
baptism and communion. Both sacraments are outer, visible practices of an
inward and spiritual grace that represent the deeper truth of
God with us, God for us, God in us.
We invite you to celebrate these sacraments in your own faith journey.
At Plattsburgh United Methodist Church, we proclaim that God’s “Yes!” is upon us even as we are born into this world. To affirm God’s ever-present grace, we present children, youth and adults to the community of faith through baptism. In this act, the community enfolds the young and utters the truth of God’s grace in their lives long before they are able to reciprocate. Then, once an age of accountability is reached, we challenge them to intentionally live out of God’s “Yes!” We invite them to embrace the community of faith and walk in the Way of Jesus through Confirmation.
In our faith tradition, baptism provokes the paradox that we are chosen by God and also have the joy of choosing God. God is the one who initiates grace and reconciliation, and the awareness of being embraced by God is essential for the spiritual journey, particularly walking in the Way of Jesus.
Those desiring to signify the initiation of the faith journey may, after discussion with the pastor, choose baptism for themselves and/or their child. We urge the parents (or legal guardians) of all children to allow the congregation to baptize their young ones as an indicator of covenant responsibility for the community’s role in the forming of faith. And yet we trust that baptized or not, dedicated or not, God’s grace is already upon us.
As a community of faith that celebrates the spiritual truth that we don’t all have to believe uniformly to be in relationship with one another as the body of Christ, there is no “test of faith” for joining our community. Because we know that people come to the path of the spiritual walk from many different directions and for a variety of purposes, we do not require baptism to join our community. Instead, we talk about it, help with discernment around it, and celebrate when people freely choose to baptize their children or to be baptized themselves. God’s grace is wide, it is a privilege to wade into the water with you!
Baptism Policy at PUMC:
Baptisms are a celebration of God’s grace which is available to us from the moment of our birth. It is a witness both to God’s desire to have an ever closer relationship with us, and God’s grace which provides us the space and opportunity to know God more. Because we believe baptism is a gift of God’s grace, embodied through the Church, we celebrate baptisms for people of every age.
Baptism is also a covenantal relationship between the person being baptized, the Church, and God in which an individual (as an adult) or parents of infants and children share in vows with Plattsburgh United Methodist Church to help the person being baptized grow in their knowledge of God’s love and participate in community which brings that love to life for them. For this reason, adults being baptized become members of the Church through baptism and are expected to participate in our New Member Conversations, "Coffee with the Pastor" (held periodically throughout the year), while one or more parents/caregivers of children and infants being baptized must be members of Plattsburgh United Methodist Church.
Please contact the church office (563-2992), if you have questions or wish to speak to the pastor about either scheduling a Baptism or interest in becoming members of PUMC.
We gather around the table of Jesus Christ to remember how he gathered with friends on the night of betrayal and desertion, on the eve of his death. We gather as the body of Christ, trusting that as we break bread with friends and strangers, our eyes will open anew to the risen Christ in our midst. We come not to express an opinion or to make a statement, but because each of us stand in need of God’s mercy and long to be filled with the love made known in Jesus Christ.
At Plattsburgh United Methodist Church, we celebrate an open table. At an open table, all are welcome to break bread together—confessed or not, baptized or not, the young and elders alike. If Judas was welcomed by Jesus to God’s table, then all of us are welcome. We come hungry, trusting that God will do the rest. As a Reconciling congregation (RMN), we reflect the extravagant welcome of Jesus by especially welcoming at our table all of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) sisters and brothers, many of whom have been excluded from the table simply for being themselves. At the table we also intentionally remember the disinherited, the poor, the sick, and those living on life’s margins—all those whom Jesus loved, but who the world counts as last and least. We affirm that in God’s kindom, the first will be last and the last will be first.
At the table we reaffirm our baptism, God’s “Yes!” upon our lives and practice living out of God’s extravagant grace. We also give voice to our common hope that one day all will feast together at God’s abundant banquet table—reconciled and made whole. And so we break bread together to make manifest the alternate reality of God’s realm.
We celebrate communion on the first Sunday of every month by the ancient practice of intinction—coming forward to tear a piece of bread from the common loaf and dip it in the cup. Gluten free wafers are available, as well as juice for our children and those in recovery. On communion Sundays, we share the feast and expand the table of Jesus Christ into the world by collecting non-perishable food items for the Interfaith Food Shelf. We hope that you will join us as we gather at Christ’s table to taste and see that God is good.
Coffee with the Pastor
(New Member Conversations)
If you are considering membership at Plattsburgh United Methodist Church, the first step is to attend Coffee with the Pastor where you'll learn more about the church, get to know our pastor, and review expectations regarding membership. You will also hear about opportunities to serve, connect and grow! Learn more about our church in a relaxed environment where you can ask questions while you sip and snack. Please sign up by calling the church office (563-2992) or signing up at the table under the Welcome banner in the Welcome Area/Narthex during Fellowship 15.
Weddings are the special moment that begin the sacred journey of marriage. Our pastor hopes to help all couples start their marriages with a strong foundation. All couples are asked to complete premarital conversations in advance of their wedding date. Please contact the church office for information about getting married at Plattsburgh United Methodist Church. (518-563-2992)
Honorarium for the Pastor for those Unaffiliated with Plattsburgh United Methodist Church: $250 (this includes the 3 premarital conversations)
Honorarium for Musician: $150