Here we answer your frequently asked questions in hopes of making your first visit with us a smooth and pleasant one.
I’ve never been to your church before. How will I know where to park, where to go in?
First Presbyterian Church of El Paso is located at 1340 Murchison Drive, just east of the intersection with Brown, and about a half a mile east of El Paso High School. There is ample parking all around the campus, and you are welcome to park in any available parking space, although most members seem to prefer to park in the lot on the Northeast side of the campus. The main entrance is on the North side of the campus. Greeters at the front door will be happy to show you in and help you find your way. If you are new start here.
I have a very young children. Is there a good nursery? Can I keep my kids with me instead?
We have a fully staffed nursery at all worship services, as well as Sunday School and other church-wide events. An usher or greeter will be happy to direct you to the Nursery in our Pre-School area. If you prefer, you are more than welcome to keep your children with you during worship. The Bride’s Room (with sound) in the foyer of the church is also available when children need special attention. If you have any questions feel free to contact Teresa Ramos who is our preschool coordinator.
What about Communion? When is it celebrated? Is it okay if I take part?
Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is celebrated in both worship services on the first Sunday of every month, as well as on special occasions. All are welcome to participate, regardless of age or religious background. Sometimes, the communion is by “intinction” during which worshipers come forward to receive a piece of bread which is then dipped in the chalice. Other times, the communion is served in the pews using trays containing individual cups. The Lord’s Supper is always a time of gracious acceptance – you don’t need to worry about “doing it wrong.”
What if I have never been baptized?
Baptism is the sacrament signifying that one has become an “official” member of the Body of Christ, known as the Church. Adults are baptized upon confessing Jesus as their Lord and Savior and expressing their intention of following him. Although baptisms always take place in particular congregations, the Presbyterian Church recognizes all baptisms performed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. To find out more about baptism, we encourage you to talk to Pastor Neal Locke or elders. Baptized members of the church are encouraged to present their children for baptism at any age.
What makes the Presbyterian Church different from other churches?
Dating back to the Protestant Reformation of the early 1500s, the Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest denominations in America. We are distinctive in that all leaders are elected by the people they serve, and all decisions are made by elders and clergy working together. We believe that both women and men are called to all ministries of the church. Theologically, the Presbyterian Church is known for placing great importance on the sovereignty of God and salvation by grace. Historically, Presbyterians have tended to emphasize education, mission, and community service.
I have been attending for several weeks now, and I think I want to become a member. What should I do next?
Just mention your desire for membership to one of the elders or Pastor Neal Locke, or again, you may call the church office (915-533-7551). The next step will be to meet with a few church elders to share your story and your request for membership. You will then be received as a member by one of three ways: baptism (if you have never been baptized), affirmation of faith, or transfer from another congregation.
I’m serving in the military. Are there any other military families in your congregation?
We are proud of our servicemen and women and their families, and we understand the challenges they face when moving to a new community. We want to be here to help you. Call us ahead of time, and we will meet you at the front door to make sure you know where you are going, and we’ll introduce you to some of the other individuals and families in our community who are currently serving or have served in the military. We also know how important family time can be when you are separated by long deployments and we are committed to being family friendly. We offer many opportunities for you to participate in church activities as a family (or as a couple, or single parent, with your children down the hall). Our church family is full of people, young and old, who have lived in the El Paso community for years and we are eager to help you integrate into the El Paso community.