One of the biggest concerns a person has when they attend a new church is what it will be like and what they should expect when they get there. Because of our unique character in the East Texas spiritual landscape, that is especially true of Woodland. We know that it can be a frightening thing to show up at a church for the first time and not be sure if you will be welcome, if you can be yourself or even if the roof will cave in when you walk in the doors. For some of us, the first time was so daunting, we got to the parking lot and actually turned around before we gathered up the courage to come in. So, we want you to know what to expect.
Regardless of who you are, you can expect smiling faces to welcome you. When we say “everyone is welcome!” we really do mean Everyone. You’ll probably be offered hugs, fist bumps and handshakes by people you’ve never known before. We don’t care what you’ve done, who you love, where your journey has taken you or who you are. YOU are welcome at Woodland. Not only are you welcome to come and join us in worship, but you are welcome to participate. We want you to find a place in ministry, to join Woodland as a member and to share your story.
Casual, “Come As You Are”, Atmosphere
We don’t really care how you are dressed for worship as long as you come dressed! Wear shorts, wear a dress, wear a suit and tie. You’ll probably find that we don’t follow all of the normal conventional church rules. So, relax, let your hair down (or put it up if you prefer) and let’s focus on what we’re really here for. The least of our life concerns is how you dress for church.
We offer Sunday School classes for adults and children. Sunday School meets at 10:30 a.m. There are 3 different adult classes to choose from. The children’s classes are loosely grouped by age.
An Eclectic Worship Experience
We meet for worship every Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Our worship service can best be described as eclectic because we come from so many different faith traditions and because we appreciate the value of traditional aspects of worship as well as the contribution contemporary worship offers. You’ll probably find some familiar aspects that make you feel comfortable and some unfamiliar aspects that may challenge your thinking or stretch you a bit. God meets us in all of those ways. Here are some of the things we do every Sunday:
We celebrate communion, or the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. Usually it includes a communion meditation offered by one of our members. Then we take communion by intinction. Each person comes to the front and tears off a piece of bread and dips it in a cup of grape juice. Because Christ invites everyone to experience His gift of new life, we also invite everyone without restriction to celebrate communion with us.
Yes, every church prays. We do something a little different that may be new. Our Pastor leads a pastoral prayer and then, at the appropriate time during his prayer, we all mention the names of other people that we would like to pray for. Our Pastor then concludes the prayer and we all pray the model prayer that Jesus taught his disciples together (the “Our Father, who art in heaven…” prayer).
At Woodland, we have an Open Pulpit. That means that on any given Sunday, you’ll hear a message from a different member of our congregation. This is one of the ways that allows us to hear from a wide variety of perspectives and stories in our congregation. Pastor Robert brings messages on a regular basis as a part of the preaching ministry of Woodland.
Something for the Kids
We invite the children to join us during the music and communion. During the message, they are dismissed to enjoy a time of worship on their level along with special activities and refreshments.
There is a nursery available during Sunday School and Worship. The nursery is staffed by paid individuals who have completed background checks.