Visitor FAQ

What do you believe?
We are a church that believes in covenant, not creeds. This means that you don’t need to pass a test or profess particular beliefs to join. Instead, you are welcome to come and explore your faith in community with others. You will find a diversity of beliefs at South Church, and you will have the opportunity to explore your beliefs more deeply. We take the Bible seriously but not always literally. We are a Christ-centered church, and in the spirit of Jesus, we welcome everyone into fellowship.
What is your Welcome Statement? Although we are of varied minds, we are one body...
We are a Christ-centered community that celebrates the love of God. Although we are of varied minds, we are one body, bound together in Christ. We recognize the uniqueness of every individual as God’s beloved child. We seek to respond faithfully to God’s call for justice for all creation. We strive in word and deed to be faithful to Jesus’ model of loving acceptance. We seek to create a sanctuary where all will know they are welcomed and included. You are welcomed, no matter your age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, race and ethnicity, physical and mental ability or economic circumstance, into the full life and ministry of South Church, including worship, sacraments and rites. Join us as we grow together in God’s love.
What is the service like? “Vibrant”, “inspiring”, and “spirit-filled...”
Here are words our members have used to describe worship at South Church: “vibrant”, “inspiring”, and “spirit-filled.” Our service includes a mix of traditional and contemporary elements, from an organ anthem and acolyte candle-lighting (except during the summer) to a gregarious passing of the peace, to sharing joys and concerns aloud or written during prayer time. In all, a service typically lasts from 60 to 75 minutes. Audio recordings of recent sermons are available here.
Do you offer childcare or Sunday School? Yes! Children are a cherished part of our community...
 Yes! Children are a cherished part of our community, and we welcome the babbles and giggles of little voices. A special “Time with the Children” takes place about 15 minutes into the service, after which children from Pre-K through 12th grade are invited to attend Sunday School. Nursery care is available for younger children, or you are welcome to keep them with you.
What programs are available for Youth? Sunday school, youth groups, musical...
We have Sunday School classes for Middle School students, which starts about 15 minutes into the service. High School students stay in worship for the whole service. We also have a very active youth group program. Youth can also participate in our annual fully-staged musical. All who wish to participate are included. There are many opportunities for youth to join a group in our music program. Also check out our Education page more information.
How do you do Confirmation? Ninth grade is a major transitional time...
Ninth grade is a major transitional time for most young people. It is also a special time when young people can consider the foundations of their faith through participation in South Church’s confirmation program. From September to May, a team of lay and pastoral leaders provide opportunities for potential confirmands to explore topics of faith and the role of membership in the United Church of Christ. More information can be found on our Education page.
Where do I go? Our church is located at 41 Central Street...
Our church is located at 41 Central Street in heart of Andover. We recommend that visitors park on the street or in the larger parking lot to the right of the church. If you enter through the large doors facing Central Street, you will be met by greeters who will direct you to the sanctuary. If you come after the greeters have been seated, just go straight up the stairs and into the sanctuary.
Is your building accessible? Yes...
An elevator inside will take you to the Sanctuary (S) level, where you will find a pew that accommodates wheelchairs.
What are your Rites & Sacraments? Communion, Baptism, Marriage, Memorial Service/Funeral...

COMMUNION
The Sacrament of Holy Communion is celebrated in the service of worship on the first Sunday of each month.

BAPTISM
The Sacrament of Christian Baptism is offered for infants, children, youth or adults. Consultation with a member of the pastoral staff precedes the administration of this sacrament.

MARRIAGE
The Rite of Christian Marriage is celebrated on request though the church office or by direct contact with a member of the pastoral staff. Normally arrangements for the sanctuary are made 9 to 18 months prior to the desired date for the wedding. A series of pastoral consultations precedes all wedding services. These involve conversations about the spiritual and practical dimensions of marriage as well as the details and planning of the actual service. A wedding coordinator and the director of music/organist are also part of the planning team.

MEMORIAL SERVICE/FUNERAL
The Rite of Christian Memorial Service/Funeral is celebrated on request from the family or through the funeral director. The initial contact should be made when death is imminent or soon after. The entire staff is prepared to respond to such need. Arrangements for the organist are made through the officiating pastor, and again, are considered urgent in order to serve the needs of the family.

Interested in joining other newcomers for conversation?
Interested in learning more about South Church? Are you considering membership? Join us in the Chapel to learn more about South Church’s vibrant community of worship, fellowship, and service. We welcome you no matter where you are on life’s journey. Meet our ministers and other new and long time members, and share your questions and stories. Childcare is available. These gatherings are held several times a year. Please feel welcome to attend our upcoming newcomers gatherings. Please contact us for information.

Do you have a Safe Church Policy? One of our priorities is to make sure each child is well cared for and safe...
Yes we do. As in all loving families, one of our priorities is to make sure each child is well cared for and safe. Our office staff can provide a copy of our Safe Church Policy.
How can Adults get more involved? Social events, retreats, outreach opportunities, adult education...
We have numerous small groups (such as bible studies, our women’s social group, The Women’s Connection, and our Green Team) and boards/committees adults can join. There are social events, retreats, outreach opportunities and adult education mini-courses (such as Faith Forums on Sunday morning before our worship service), as well as our many opportunities to participate in our music program. Adults can also participate in our annual fully-staged musical. All who wish to participate are included. Check out our Events page for more information.
Do you have historical information about your Cemetery? Yes! Historical facts as well as the ability to search our cemetery database...
Yes, our cemetery page has historical facts as well as the ability to search our cemetery database for detailed information about individuals who were buried here. Maps of our cemetery plots are available by our side entrance. We also have an active historian who gives several tours of our cemetery every year, and is always willing to answer questions and share information. Check out our cemetery page for more information.
Are you a Green Church? We strive to create a green atmosphere in our building...
Our very active Green Team works with our congregation to continually strive to create a green atmosphere in our building, promote the Three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), and use energy savings measures such as our recently installed solar panels on our roof. This group also works to raise awareness and foster action in regard to the Climate Change problem. Visit the Green Team blog for more information.
How can I contact Andover Rompers Nursery School? The school is independently run...
The Andover Rompers Nursery School is independently run and located in the Discovery Room at South Church. If you would like further information, please visit their website and contact the Director, Norma Cratty, at 978-475-4080 or andoverrompers@hotmail.com.
What if I still have questions? Contact our Church Office or minister...
Do you want to be in conversation with a real person before your first visit? Contact us with any and all questions. Also check out our calendar, upcoming events, and our monthly newsletter for more information.