Frequently asked questions about West Shore ...
Are you a little befuddled by some of our terminology or simply have questions? Perhaps the following will help. If you need additional clarification, please call the church office at (717) 697-0226 OR explore other areas of this website.
To what are people referring when they say "West Shore?"
It is an abbreviated form of West Shore Evangelical Free Church. It's easier than saying the whole name, and not as hard to say as WSEFC, although WSEFC is often used in written announcements.
Does the church provide services for those with special needs?
Begun in 1984, the A-Team is the church's ministry to people with cognitive and multiple disabilities. It was called the A-Team by its original members, a name that in many ways reflects the group's ability to triumph in the midst of life's challenges, just like their TV namesake. It meets Sundays at 9:00 AM. Sign language interpreters are available at our 9:00 AM service.
What is What's Happening?
It is a weekly information sheet that is given out by the ushers upon entering the worship service each week. It is a primary way of communicating to the church about the activities and opportunities in the upcoming weeks.
What is the purpose of the Kiosks?
Kiosks are counters in the upstairs lobby and downstairs entrance areas.
- We have two information kiosks (specifically labeled - one on the lower level at the Children's Ministry area main entrance; one on the upper level at the main entrance in the lobby) where guests and church family alike can seek answers to their general questions, get a building map, a list of current fellowship groups, offering envelopes and obtain other helpful information from the volunteer staff.
- Additionally, there are four numbered kiosks in the upper level lobby where specific ministries are available to provide information about specific events and programs.
Is Coffee Central a place to get coffee? I certainly hope so!
Yes it is! Get a cup and fill up with coffee or tea at Coffee Central. Located to the left of the auditorium upstairs, Coffee Central offers coffee on Sunday mornings and is also open for special events.
What is Sermon Central? Is it a place to listen to the sermons?
The name certainly implies that, doesn't it? It is our church bookstore. It is located in the lobby to the right of the auditorium. It sells sermon tapes and CDs (hence the name) as well as books recommended by members of the pastoral staff. Tickets for upcoming events are also sold there.
What is the Caring Closet?
It is a clothing ministry. The Caring Closet is a ministry that collects good, used clothing and shoes for people in need throughout the area. Clothes can be dropped off at the designated closet on the lower level. Clothing is gathered throughout the month, and then on the third Friday of the month (8:00 AM to 12:00 PM) the closet has an "open day" when people are invited to come and take whatever clothing they may need. The closet also offers free Christian literature and an opportunity to have coffee and desserts with staff members and volunteers. The closet is closed in December, January, June, and July to give our volunteers a much-needed break. Childcare is also provided during Caring Closet.
I've heard people talking about Life Giving Saturday. What is that day about?
LGS is a Saturday when our church family leaves the church building to serve others outside the church. This opportunity to serve others in the surrounding communities began in 2007 as a way for our church to flow like a river into our community, deep and wide, bringing the life and love of God to those around us. In 2008 over 900 people participated in more than 70 projects suggested by individuals in our church. We want to become a church that gives ourselves away and shares Jesus' love in a tangible way that lets others know we truly care about them.
What are Fellowship Groups?
Fellowship groups are groups of 25-100 people who meet at West Shore Free Church on Sunday mornings (Sunday School). Because we believe that it's important for us to feel like a family, we have developed fellowship groups. These are groups of people, often organized according to life stages (or intergenerational), who gather on Sunday mornings to share their lives with each other. The groups meet during either the 9:00 or 10:45am service. The time typically consists of fellowship, prayer, announcements, and Bible teaching. The Information Kiosks have a description of each group.
What is New Beginnings?
This is a group for those who have experienced significant hurt or loss. Begun in the fall of 2006, this ministry is meant to encourage those who are experiencing deep hurt or loss - the death of a loved one, divorce, prolonged or terminal illness, spiritual struggles, depression, abuse, addictions, infertility, and any other difficulty. This is a welcoming community where people are encouraged to find fellowship with each other and hope in Christ. It meets Sunday mornings.
SPECIFICALLY FOR NEWCOMERS
What is the Connections Class?
Connections class is a series of 5 weekly sessions that help folks "connect" with the church. It is offered three times a year for newcomers to West Shore. Each of the sessions in the series addresses a different "stand-alone" topic about our church, its mission, and its ministries. Thus you can stop in any week and connect with us! Watch What's Happening for announcements regarding the dates and location OR stop by the Information Kiosk in the main lobby for information.
The Newcomers' Luncheon sounds like something I would like to attend. What happens there?
This is a luncheon for newcomers to meet and eat with members of the pastoral staff. In conjunction with each Connections Class series a luncheon is held for those who are new to our church. It is a great opportunity to learn about the church and its ministries directly from the pastoral staff. Advance reservations are required (watch What's Happening for an announcement about the upcoming date or call the church office at 697-0226).
CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Awesome Adventure? Is that an outdoor activity?
It is our wonderful children's ministry! It is called Awesome Adventure because we believe this term accurately captures what the ministry strives to do - show children what an awesome adventure it is to follow God! Awesome Adventure incorporates infants through 6th graders.
Kidz 4 Him - Children's choir for 1st-6th graders that meets Sunday mornings
What options are available for children in Awesome Adventure?
Worship Adventure - A time of worship held between services (10:15-10:45) for 1st-6th graders
Faz 6 - Wednesday night ministry for 6th graders
Upward - Sports ministry for 1st-6th graders
What is that fun-looking Tiki Hut all about?
This is our elementary information desk. Located on the lower level in front of the elementary school hallway, the Tiki Hut does indeed look like a tiki hut, as part of the children's ministry's jungle theme.
Tell me about your Vacation Bible School (VBS).
This is a kids' week-long church event. Held in the evening Monday through Friday, one week during the summer, VBS is a time when kids and their friends are invited to enjoy games, crafts, songs, skits, and stories as they learn more about Jesus. Your children will love this exciting week and leave knowing more about God and His love for them.
Youth Cafe? That sounds fun!
Located adjacent to the Sr. High Youth Room (226) is a room fashioned to look like an old 50s style diner with booths, a soda fountain, and pool table. This is a great place for our youth to hang out on Sunday evenings.
I'm interested in hearing about your Youth Ministries.
- Shockwave - Jr. High youth ministry for 7th & 8th graders
- Vibe - Sr. High youth ministry for 9th-12th graders
- Youth Group - Refers to the youth meeting held in a large group every other Sunday night (for Sr. High) or every other Wednesday night (for Jr. High). On the opposite Sunday and Wednesday nights they meet in individual homes for Small Group.
Please tell me about MOPS.
Mothers of Preschoolers. This nationally known group is for mothers of infants through preschoolers. It meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 9am for a time of encouragement, discussion, and learning (www.MOPS.org).
In the event of severe weather, cancellations will be posted on the church home page, on the church automated voice mail attendant - Option 6, and via the following media: CW15, CBS21, ABC27, FM90.3, FM92.1 FM97, FM98.9, FM102.3, AM1390. On Sundays when the First Service is cancelled that also includes the cancellation of all classes and programs prior to the Second Service. "Second Service" fellowship groups each make their own decision regarding meeting when First Service is cancelled.
How do I find out about weather related cancellations?