FAQs

Seeking Answers to Important Questions

It is natural to have questions about faith and worship. Oh, wait, you just need to know what time we serve coffee? We definitely welcome those deeper queries, but here we offer answers to questions of a more logistical nature.

Newcomers

What time should I arrive on Sunday?

For early risers, Early Worship begins at 8:30 a.m. (September through May). We meet in the Sanctuary.

If it is September through May, 9:30 a.m. begins our education hour. A greeter will meet you in the lobby (ground floor) of our Sanctuary building as you arrive (that’s the one that looks like a big “A” or a “canned ham”) and they will help you find the right room.

If you come for worship at 11:00 a.m., please arrive a few minutes early. Head straight to the Sanctuary (which you can enter through the Medlock Road doors). Running late? Don’t worry – we’ve all been there. Come on in. We will help you find a seat and get comfortable.

If, it is summertime (Memorial Day – Labor Day), there is no Early Worship or Christian Education time and we worship at 10:00 a.m.

What should I wear?

Clothes are best. Some people wear suits and dresses, others wear jeans and shorts. Wear the clothes you want to wear to worship God. You know what that means better than we do.

Do you have coffee?

Yes. Fair trade coffee is brewed fresh each Sunday. Come to the Fellowship Hall and grab a mug and take it with you to your classroom. Sorry, no coffee in the Sanctuary during worship. You can wait an hour for your next cup, right? And no coffee in the summer; it’s just too hot. During the summer, we have punch instead.

What is the Education Hour like?

For adults, there are several different classes to choose from every Sunday from September – May. Look ahead of time at the course descriptions and choose a class that looks most interesting. Our teachers are ready to greet newcomers and make you feel welcome. Class size may be anywhere from 8 to 60 people. Some classes encourage participation – that may be talking with another class participant or it may be painting with watercolors – but you will never be forced to participate. Adult classes run for a term of 4 weeks, then a whole new slate of classes is offered. We think our Adult Education classes are the best anywhere, so we hope you’ll find something that is interesting and practical… and will make you want to come back!

What if I have kids?

We love you, but we love your kids even more! Every Sunday, we welcome young folks from newborns to teenagers. During the school year (Sept. – May), Children’s Sunday School is from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., so come at 9:15 a.m. to get oriented to the building and meet your child’s teachers. Greeters can take you to the right classroom. Our teachers are amazing people–most are parents themselves. Our nursery care for babies is excellent. You are welcome to stay in your child’s room as long as you like, or you may leave to attend your own class. Plan to return to their classroom at 10:30 a.m. to go to the fellowship time as a family. Most kids like to go there to get a snack before worship. So do most adults.

Children are always welcome in worship. In Early Worship (8:30 a.m.), there is no “special” time for children. All children sit with their parents for the entire service (50 minutes). During 11am worship, children in 2nd grade and older attend the entire worship. There are crayons and pencils and activities for young children as you enter the sanctuary if you think they will get bored (or if you think you will get bored).

Children that are 1st grade and under attend the first part of worship with their families and then, after the children’s message (about 15 minutes into the service), they go to a classroom for “extended session” under the supervision of church members. A parent of a child who is visiting 11am worship for the first time should leave worship with their child, walk with their child to the extended session classroom, meet the leaders, and leave your cell phone number should we need to reach you during the service. You can then return to the Sanctuary for the rest of worship. Parents pick up their children from the extended session classroom as soon as 11am worship ends.

What is worship like?

You’ve seen the worship services with the rock bands and the big screens? OK. That’s not us. Our worship service is traditional, but also warm and personable. The music is a mix of traditional hymns, contemporary songs, classical works, and African-American spirituals. It’s eclectic–so are we.

When you arrive at the sanctuary for worship, you will receive a printed bulletin, which shows everything that happens in the service. You can sit anywhere you like. If you are in need of prayer, there are cards on which you can write a prayer request and if you place it in the offering plate, it will be added to our church’s weekly prayer list. As the service begins, follow along and roll with it. Feel whatever you’re feeling. You will experience an interweaving of prayer, song, and speech.

Each week, we hear a passage from the Bible read aloud. The preacher will speak for 20 minutes (the “sermon“) about what the passage might reveal about God and about ourselves. People say that the sermons at NDPC are “smart,” “funny,” “comforting,” and “challenging.” You can peruse our Sermon Series and listen to a sermon to see for yourself.

Do you have Communion?

Communion – sharing the traditional Christian “meal” of bread and cup – is offered through Intinction*, and happens the first Sunday of every month, and weekly at the early service. Everyone who comes to worship is invited to receive communion, but you do not have to if you do not wish to. We serve grape juice so it is accessible for our members and friends in recovery programs; we also offer gluten-free wafers.

* – Intinction is the Eucharistic practice of partly dipping the consecrated bread or wafer into the consecrated wine before consumption by the communicant.

Do you collect an offering?

We do ask for money during worship – it’s called the “offering.” All of the money we collect each Sunday supports the church’s work to love and heal our community and world. Visitors are encouraged to make an offering, but no one will look at you funny if you don’t. If you write a check, you will get a receipt to write it off on your taxes. How much should you give? It’s up to you. Contributing 10% or more of your income to charity is standard Christian teaching.

How long are worship services?

Early worship is 55 minutes. 11:00am worship is 70 minutes. After worship, you can hang around and meet the co-pastors and folks sitting near you. Or, you can make a bee-line for the door and go to brunch. We suggest Melton’s right nearby–where you’ll see about 1/2 of our congregation!

Anything else you are wondering about?

Email Co-Pastors David or Beth with your questions. See you Sunday!

Where can I park?

We are located on Medlock Road, just north of the intersection of Scott Boulevard and North Decatur Road. Dedicated visitor parking is located right in front of the church on Medlock Road. Our main parking lot is off Medlock, next to the church. If both locations are full, you are welcome to park in the lot for the shopping plaza across Medlock Road. Please don’t park in front of the nail salon–they’re open on Sundays, too! If your vehicle is the two-wheeled kind, we have a bike rack and/or moped parking right in front of the church building.

Volunteer

Are there volunteer options at NDPC?

Yes, NDPC offers many ways you can help. For more information visit our Serve section.

How Can I get involved with Peace and Justice?

The Peace & Justice Committee serves Christ by leading education and advocacy to transform structural forces towards peace, justice, and a respect for human rights. Learn how you can get involved.

Children's Programs

Are there any children’s programs at NDPC?

Children have been central to the life of our congregation. We value children, and take great care of their emotional and spiritual development, as well as provide support for parents. Visit out children section to learn more about our programs.

Blessings

Will you pray for me or someone I know?

Yes, we will. We have an ongoing prayer ministry, with a prayer list we send out each week by email to remind us of the needs and concerns of our community and the world. Email your prayer request to [email protected] and tell us what you are praying for.

Please indicate whether you are okay with your request being made public—we will keep it private unless you tell us we may share it with the prayer list. If you want to talk with one of our pastors about anything, please call the church at (404) 636-1429.

Can I get married at NDPC?

Yes, and you do not need to be a member of the church to have your wedding at NDPC. We welcome members of our community, including same-sex couples, to request use of the sanctuary for a wedding. The co-pastors would love to discuss plans for your wedding, with the hope that it will be a meaningful way to start your married life with a spiritual foundation.

More details about NDPC Wedding Policies (PDF)