What kind of name is “Federated?” “Federated” in this case is an old word that describes a good thing. Here’s a very loose description of our history: A long time ago, when Placerville was a dusty gold rush town with horses and migrants just getting started, the Methodists church and the Presbyterian were just down the road from each other. Times were tough. Separately, neither church could afford to pay a preacher to come out to the dangerous Wild West. They had a great idea! “Let’s work together! Let’s become federated, pool our resources, and then we can have one great church.” So they did. And God blessed their cooperation… and God is still doing so here at Federated Church. Join us in working together for the good that our loving God wants for our lives, our families, our community and our world. All are welcome – All the time!
How should I dress? Dress as you feel comfortable doing. Casual clothes are just fine. Or if you feel like dressing up or getting all decked out–by, all means go for it!
What time should I get there? Our worship service begins at 10 AM, with children lighting candles and sometimes participating in setting the table for communion. Arriving by 9:40 AM should ensure you ample time to check in with our Greeters, find your Name Tag (if you don't have one yet, there are stick-on nametags one can use until the permanent one is made), be ushered to a seat, and read our weekly announcements (from the video screens) before service starts.
How long is the service? Service usually lasts under an hour. Afterwards, many like to mill around and socialize afterwards. Sometimes light refreshments are offered in the big room called Price Hall. We know it can feel awkward to enter a room full of people who seem to already know each other, but really there are plenty of newcomers almost every Sunday!! You may sit next to someone who feels new like you do, or another who have been with the church for 50 years. So please let someone know that you’re at church for the first time. We’ll be so glad to help you feel connected.
Is the worship location accessible for people with disabilities? We strive for full accessibility, and our Greeters and Ushers watch closely so they can be helpful to those who need some assistance. We have parking places, ramps, a wheelchair and plenty of people who want to help.
What about Communion? Communion is offered at least once every month. Currently the church is utilizing individually wrapped wafer-fruit juice packets. When "normal" times return, both regular and gluten-free bread will be available on the communion table. The gluten-free bread is baked by an experienced gluten-free baker in a dedicated kitchen. Both wine and grape juice are provided. Wine is served in the clear glass chalice and grape juice is served in the ceramic chalice.
Who may receive Communion? ALL ARE WELCOME to participate, regardless of age, church background, or faith tradition. Jesus welcomes all to the table!!
How do I ‘do’ communion? What is your process? After the communion blessing and prayers, the Communion Servers will position themselves at either side of the chancel. Congregants sitting at the back of the sanctuary will begin walking forward using the side aisles. When each individual arrives at the Communion Servers, they will choose a slice of bread, dip it into either wine or juice and place in their mouth. Anyone needing gluten free communion is invited to come to the table and break a piece of gluten free bread and dip it into the dedicated chalice of juice. Congregants will then walk back to our seats down the center aisle.
Will I feel pressured to join the church? There is no pressure to join, only the hope that you will move from feeling like a visitor to knowing that you belong and are embraced by this faith community. Many people at Federated are ‘members’ of either the Methodist or Presbyterian denominations. Through those groups, we have the chance to join hands with others across the globe to work for peace, justice and faith-filled thoughtfulness. At the same time, many people participate in our fellowship without “joining” a denomination. At Federated, ALL ARE WELCOME, we are a spiritually diverse community of seekers of the Spirit.
Are children welcome? More than welcome!! Children are cherished as the light and spark of our gatherings! Children can take an active role in our worship each week (as they are comfortable); just talk to Pastor Laura. They can light candles, pour baptismal water, sing, set the communion table, and much more. They have lots of opportunities to learn and grow in a supportive, encouraging environment. Their time at church focuses on the life and love of Jesus; how he lived and how we might follow in his footsteps as kind and thoughtful people. The children are taught that no religion is better than another. They’re not taught that they are sinners; they are encouraged to be themselves, ask questions, ask for prayer, play, make friends and grown in love.
Are non-traditional families welcome? Yes! We are inclusive and always learning how we can be better at it. We are part of the More Light Presbyterians and the Reconciling Ministries Network. Federated Church is a welcoming place for the LGBTQ community, we are here to help heal any brokenness and give everyone the opportunity to worship our loving God.
How do you handle giving? Your presence at worship is a gift. It is a gift of your time and attention. It is a gift you give to God in appreciation for all that you have been given. Along with developing humility, gentleness, kindness and love, God calls us to embrace generosity. Thankfully, we have a church that is active in helping so many. By giving to the church, you can have a huge impact for the good locally and around the world. We put our resources together like our founding members did in the ‘olden days.’ You can be sure that your financial gift will go far. Giving is an act of faith and discipline, just like attending worship, taking time to pray, being baptized and taking part in communion. We are all learning, a bit at a time, and God is pleased with our desire to learn, grow and give. We pass an offering plate at each worship service and we also have an electronic giving program for people who want to give automatically each month. In addition, we have an annual Stewardship Season where we teach about the faith practice of giving and we ask our community to provide a ‘pledge’ for the coming year. When people pledge, Federated Church can plan a budget and make the most responsible decisions for our church finances in gratitude and service.