Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the church located?
We’re located at 321 W. South Street, in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, just across South Street from Bronson Park.
Where do I park?
Our parking lot is located behind the church, on Lovell Street. There is also parking along South Street – free on Sundays and after 6 P.M. There are entrances on both sides of the building.
When is Sunday worship?
Our main worship service is at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings. We have many other worship opportunities as the Spirit moves and the community desires. These have included prayer services, campfire worship, vespers, Taizé-style worship, and many others.
What is Sunday worship like?
Our Sunday morning worship is traditional in style, using organ and piano (and occasional guest musicians ranging from brass groups, string groups, a harpist, an oboeist, guitar, and even bagpipes!) We have a large adult choir and a bell choir who participate in worship leadership. We sing hymns, join in prayer together, and hear scripture read and reflected upon. Our printed bulletin will help guide you through the service, and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have.
Is this church open and affirming to members of the LGBTQ+ community?
Absolutely! We are a member organization of the Kalamazoo Faith Alliance, and we welcome members of the LGBTQ+ community in all membership and leadership roles, and gladly celebrate marriage between people of any (or no) gender. There is a non-gendered bathroom on the Sanctuary level on the South Street side of the building.
Can I bring children and babies with me to worship?
Definitely! We celebrate the sounds and wiggles of children in worship and welcome them gladly! We have crayons and folders with children’s activities that connect to the day’s worship available in the narthex in the back of the sanctuary. After our opening hymns and prayers, children are invited to come forward for a moment of worship that is created just for them. After that, most Sundays, children are invited to go upstairs for Sunday School. Children are always welcome to stay for the remainder of worship.
Is there a nursery?
Yes. Our staffed nursery can be found on the Mid-Level, in Room 211. The nursery is equipped with a pager system so that the staff and volunteers may contact you during worship should your child have a need. Infants and toddlers are welcome in the nursery. Three year olds and above are invited to join us in Sunday School.
Is there a Sunday School for children?
Children are invited to come forward for our Moment for Young Worshipers and then preschoolers through 5th graders are escorted to their Sunday School rooms for the remainder of worship. Sunday School happens almost every Sunday during the school year. Summer Sunday School takes on different forms! Children are brought back into worship on Communion Sundays to share in the Lord’s Supper.
What about youth – middle and high schoolers?
Is there a Sunday School for adults?
We offer a variety of adult education programs on Sundays and throughout the week. Here’s a link to what’s happening now.
How do people dress?
People dress in a variety of ways – some get dressed up, others wear jeans, or whatever they have. Come as you are. Having the “right” clothes should never be a barrier to worship!
Is the building wheelchair accessible?
FPC is nearly 100% wheelchair accessible. The main entrances are barrier free, and the sanctuary is easily accessible. There are several pews in the sanctuary that have been altered to welcome worshipers who remain in their wheelchair, and the East Transept has had all pews removed and replaced with chairs that can be moved for accessibility and comfort. Each restroom is equipped with accessible facilities. All floors can be reached via elevator. Note that our columbarium is not accessible by elevator.
What about worshipping with a hearing impairment?
We have a Loop System installed in the sanctuary that works with most hearing aids. We also have assistive devices for those who can’t use the Loop. Just ask an usher!
What about worshipping with a visual impairment?
We have large print Bibles, hymnals, and worship bulletins. Just ask the greeter at the sanctuary entrance. Wall signs are high contrast with braille text.
Is there a Child and Youth Safety Policy?
Yes, we have a safety policy to create a holy space in which children, youth, and adults can be assured of a safe environment for worship and education. Adults working with children are made familiar with this policy and expected to follow it, and we do background checks to ensure that our children are cared for by safe adults.
You can view the policy on our Reports page.
Does this church do weddings?
Yes, this church welcomes weddings between two adults of all gender identities, presentations and sexual orientations. Read more here.
What is a Presbyterian?
First Presbyterian Church is a part of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Presbytery of Lake Michigan. Presbyterians got their name from their form of church government: rule by presbyters or elders. These folks are elected by the congregation to serve as the decision makers for a period of time. Ultimately, whether in the local congregation, or in our larger connections as a denomination, decisions are made in community, by both clergy and non-clergy who work together to discern God’s will.
What do Presbyterians believe?
Presbyterians believe in God’s overwhelming grace that seeps through every part of our lives and we work to live and serve in gratitude for that gift. We don’t earn God’s love, but we rejoice to share it with others! The Presbyterian Church (USA) considers ourselves a big tent church, meaning we allow (and even encourage) a lot of diversity in our religious beliefs. Because of this, it is difficult to nail down what makes a Presbyterian, but in general, we are people who believe our call is to respond to what God has done for us by behaving gratefully—in worship, service, and love. We value theological integrity—which means we take our faith seriously—and theological humility—which means we take ourselves somewhat less seriously.