What to Expect

Welcome! We’re glad you’re here. Visiting a new church can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s a new denomination or new tradition to you; if it’s your first time attending in a while; or your first time attending ever! So here’s a little bit about what to expect when you visit First Pres from when you first drive up to waving goodbye.


We have…

  • Handicap parking on Maxwell Street
  • A small gravel lot to the southeast
  • Lined street side parking along Ashley Street
  • A parking lot off of Ashley Street 
  • Street side parallel parking along Broadway

There is also usually space in the Siloam Springs City Building parking lot across Broadway from the church during off hours.

Children in Worship

We highly value your children in worship. We understand that they are still training in a liturgy and that this important task comes with noise. You and your children are welcome here! See “Children in Worship” below for more information.

Where to Enter

We have two entrances marked by stars on the map (left).

      1. The main entrance is on Maxwell with ramp accessibility. 
      2. The second entrance is by the Ashley Street parking lot. It enters into the downstairs lobby near our Children’s classrooms. For accessibility, we have an elevator from this lobby to the main level. Ask the greeter for assistance.

Worship Service

We are a liturgical church and follow a historical liturgy adapted from the Book of Common Prayer that is printed in our bulletins weekly. See “What’s the Liturgy like?” below for a full explanation.

Click here to view a sample bulletin.


Inside both entrances, you will be greeted by a friendly face and a bulletin. We also have a welcome table with everything you need for the morning.

  • Bulletins are located in the wicker baskets (if no greeter)
  • Children’s Worship Bulletins & crayons
  • Kids Visitor Bags
  • Brochures about our FPC
  • Flyers with upcoming events

Our historic building has three levels:

  • Downstairs – You will find the downstairs lobby, the gym, restrooms, and children’s CE classrooms.
  • Main Level – You will find the sanctuary, the Library, the choir room, restrooms and the nursery.
  • Balcony – You will find balcony seating, offices, and the couch room.

Every church has a liturgy. A liturgy is just a way of conducting a service. Ours is based on a historical liturgy that was standardized in the printing of the Book of Common Prayer during the Reformation in the 1500’s. The rhythm of this liturgy leads us through the story of the gospel and invites us into worship with God. It moves from a call to worship, to praise, to confession, to receiving the word, to responding to that word, and a sending out. While it’s possible for patterns to become rote and meaningless, we find that more often than not, they give us the words and structure to be able to enter worship well and meet God. 

  • You will need a bulletin to follow along with the service, but everything you need to say or sing can be found there.
  • All songs are either hymns from the hymnal, with the number printed in the bulletin, or refrains or full songs printed directly in the bulletin. 
  • There are several call and response sections throughout the service. The words in bold indicate where to read aloud communally. We also say a Confession of Sin, The Apostle’s Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer aloud communally each week. They are printed in the bulletin.
  • You will be directed from the front when to stand if you are able, and when to sit, but standing is also denoted in the bulletin with an asterisk. 
  • The prayers of the people are given by an Elder. These are not printed in the bulletin, but the worship leader will lead the congregation in singing a refrain to concur with the prayer after each section. On rare occasions, we speak the call and response where the leader says, “In your mercy Lord…” and the congregation responds with “hear our prayer.”

When we partake in the Communion, we practice an open table, so all believers are invited to participate as the global Church. 

  • We come to the front, forming two lines down the center aisle. Starting in the front, each pew row joins the line. We collect the bread and the juice cup and then return to our seats from the outside aisles. We hold the elements and take them all together when instructed to do so.
  • Those who do not wish to take the elements, or young children, can cross their arms over their chest and receive a blessing instead. 
  • Those who cannot make it to the front can remain seated and the elements will be brought to you by one of our serving elders.
  • To be good stewards of God’s creation, we use glass juice cups that can be washed and reused. Empty juice glasses can be left in the back of the pew in front and will be collected to be sanitized after the service.

We believe it’s important for children to participate in worship as part of the body of Christ. They won’t understand everything, but you will be surprised at how much they catch. Cultivating cross-generational relationships is one of our stated values, and our members have vowed to support our children as they learn the rhythms of worship. We understand that they are still training in a liturgy that establishes the gospel rhythms in believers and that this important task comes with noise. Any glances you may receive are in encouragement, not out of judgment. You and your children are welcome here!

If this is brand new for your kids, it can take some time to adjust, and that’s ok too. May we suggest:

  • Sit toward the front where it is easier for your littles to see and hear what’s going on. The back of peoples’ heads gets boring. We know it might feel like you’re exposed or that you’re going to distract other people, but you’re not. Kids in service is normal for us.
  • When the congregation stands, let them stand on the pew seats next to you to better see, especially if they’re following along in the hymnal. Yep, we just encouraged standing on the pews.
  • Quietly explain the parts of the Service and actions of the pastor, ushers, choir, etc. so they understand what’s going on and why it’s happening. You can use our Children’s Worship Guide as a resource! You can find a printed version at the entrance tables in the kids worship bags.
  • Sing the hymns, pray, and voice the responses. Invite them to engage too. Kids learn liturgical behavior by copying you.
  • Encourage them to draw pictures of the sermon, or fill in and color the weekly Children’s Bulletin. We often give out coloring sheets during the children’s sermon too.
  • Bring a bag of your own with quiet activities, but we recommend things that help them engage, rather than things that distract them from the service. A fidget in their hands might free their minds to listen, or blank paper and markers might inspire them to draw art related to the imagery in the Bible passage, while action figures might steer them to mentally zone out and just play.

We understand that sometimes it becomes too much or kids melt down and you need a breather. When (not if) that happens, feel free to leave the room with your child if needed. We have two quiet spaces available.

  • Quiet Space #1: The Elm Room, aka the Library, located to the right of the main entrance on Maxwell, equipped with a rug and kid-sized puff seating, and some quiet toys and books.
  • Quiet Space #2: Balcony Classroom, located at the top of the stairs behind the tiered seating area, equipped with couches and quiet toys.

BUT please come back once they’ve regulated themselves and are ready to engage again. As Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” 

Nursery is available for ages 2 and under for the entire worship service. All nursery volunteers are background checked and go through annual Child Protection Training through Ministry Mobilizer by Protect My Ministry. The nursery is located on the main level to the right of the restrooms. Be sure to stop at the check in kiosk for a child’s name tag and parent pickup ticket. Instructions are listed above the kiosk.

We stand and sit and speak and sing often. There’s so much kids can participate in. Even though our sermons are relatively short, younger kids’ attention spans are even shorter. For this reason, Young Children’s Worship is available for ages 2-PreK during the sermon, directly after the Children’s Sermon. Parents pick them up following the sermon during the Hymn of Reflection (as marked in the bulletin) so that they don’t miss out on the remainder of the service, like passing the offering, watching a baptism, or receiving a blessing during Communion. Parents must check children in and out at the bottom of the stairs each week.

“No one is born into the world with a neutral calendar. Our calendars are structured by values and a story.”

Tim Mackey, Bible Project

As God is rescuing the Israelites from Egypt, he shifted their calendar so that time itself would pivot around him and his work (Ex 12:1-2). God remakes their world by remaking their calendar. Their calendar tells a story and points to their values. 

Likewise, early Christians felt the strong conviction to shift the day of worship from Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) to Sunday (the day Jesus rose from the dead). After this, many other parts of the calendar shifted over the centuries to tell the story of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection. 

We follow this historical calendar beginning and ending with Advent. You will see that representation in the colors presented in our sanctuary. While it is late in our Gregorian calendar, Advent has come to represent the first and last season of the year “like the first and eighth notes of the octave.” (Sacred Season, Danielle Hitchen)

Advent – 4 weeks preparing for Christ’s coming

Christmastide – 2 weeks celebrating Jesus’ birth

Epiphany – 6 to 9 weeks for reflecting on the epiphany of Jesus’ coming

Lent – 7 weeks of somber preparation for Jesus’ death

Eastertide – 8 weeks of celebrating Jesus’ resurrection

Pentecost – A single Sunday celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit

Ordinary Tide/Time – The remainder of the year where we grow in our faith

Advent – 4 weeks preparing for Christ’s coming (both first and second)

During our Sunday School season (After Labor Day through the end of April) we have fellowship time after service each week downstairs in the gym. The church provides cookies, coffee and lemonade. It’s a great way to connect with our church community. If you’re new, we would encourage you to stick around and meet a few people!


We also have (mostly) monthly potluck lunches during the school year. Check the church calendar here for specific dates.