What should I expect?
Sundays at Old First
Never fear, church is not as intimidating as it looks. We have all the answers you seek such as, “where can I park?” “what do I wear?” or “where can my children go?”
Check out some answers to our most frequently asked questions below and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions.
Will I fit in here?
We are an “open and affirming church,” which means we are committed to welcoming people of every race, language, age, gender and gender identity, ethnicity, economic status, mental or physical ability, and sexual orientation into the full life and ministry of the church. At Old First you’ll worship with single people and married couples; families with two moms and those with a mom & a dad; seniors and twenty-somethings; recent immigrants and those whose heritage in N. America goes back generations.
We’re an interfaith family. Is that ok?
We recognize, celebrate, and give thanks for the many diverse gifts of God among us. We hold that discrimination is incompatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We commit ourselves to honor all people and to work diligently to end all oppression and discrimination that afflict God’s people in our society. We affirm all relationships founded on the principles of God’s love and justice.
How do I get there?
Old First is at the corner of 4th & Race Streets in Philadelphia.
We’re easily accessible by public transportation. Several Septa bus routes go near our location, and we’re just a few blocks from stops for the Market-Frankford line, the Septa Regional Rail and the Patco High Speed Line.
We also have a bike rack for those coming on two wheels.
Is there parking?
On Sunday mornings, we have street parking available on the East side of 4th Street between New St and Arch St., and on the south side of Race Street between 3rd & 4th Streets. Please display the Old First parking placard which you can print out and bring with you, or pick one up from a greeter when you arrive.
What should I wear?
God doesn’t care what you wear to church, and neither do we! Dress as casually or formally as you feel comfortable. Most folks are somewhere in the middle. Listen to a radio ad from the United Church of Christ (our denomination) that uses humor to make this point.
God is not hosting a fashion show
What about the children?
Children of all ages are welcome in the sanctuary during our worship services. An usher will be happy to give your young child a “Just for Me” packet with activities and crayons. We also provide child care during the service on the first floor. Our nursery staff would be delighted to care for your young children so you can more easily participate in worship. The choice is entirely up to you.
I have a physical disability and/or hearing problem.
Is there any special assistance?
Please ask the greeter to show you the elevator which will take you to the second floor for our worship service. And an usher can set you up a device for hearing assistance.
What sort of music will I hear?
Old First prides itself in offering high quality music from a wide range of genres and styles. We are proud of our organ and enjoy the traditional sacred music written for it. But on a typical Sunday morning you also might hear a gospel anthem, a jazz combo or a bluesy solo accompanied on the piano.
What about after the service?
We invite you to stay for our coffee hour immediately following the service. A greeter will be happy to show you to our Social Hall, where you can meet some of our members and our pastor, Michael Caine. We understand that you might not be able to stay or feel comfortable staying at first, so don’t feel bad if you need to rush off!
If you’d like to get to know a few of us in a more informal setting, there is often a group going out for brunch after the service. Let us know in advance if you’d like to join them.