Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about United Church of Huntsville.  They are here to make you feel more comfortable and welcome should decide to visit.

I don't want to stand out by wearing the wrong clothes.  Is there any
informal "dress code" at UCH?

No, there's not. You won't look out of place clothed in anything that you might wear in any public place. On any Sunday morning, you'll see some members dressed in suits and ties and some dressed in jeans and t-shirts. When the weather's hot, some folks might even be in shorts. Comfortable, casual clothes are probably the most typical attire in either service. We care about welcoming you, not trying to make you coordinate your fashions.

How many people can I expect to be there?

At the 11AM, there are commonly around 40-60.  We also stream our services via Facebook and YouTube. You can view old services on our YouTube channel.

We're not married, but we live together. Can I attend with my partner?

We'll be happy to see you together with the one you love no matter what your marital status is.

What do I call the pastor? How should I address the members of
the congregation?

There's no special church terminology you need to learn to address anyone at UCH (for example, no one calls each other "Brother Bill" or "Deacon Jones", like they do in some churches). You're welcome to call our pastor by his first name, Brian, or you may call him Reverend Byrne if you feel more comfortable with a more formal initial relationship.  Most of the congregation will want to be on a first-name basis with you, but again, if you're more comfortable addressing new people as "Mr. Kirby" and "Ms. Simon", no one will mind that.

Do I have to worry about sitting in someone's "assigned space"?

Don't worry, there's always plenty of room in every pew. It's human nature that people tend to sit in the same general parts of the church every time they attend, but no one has staked out any specific spot!

What if I don't know the hymns?

The congregation typically sings along with 3 or 4 hymns during the service, and sometimes the hymns are new ones to long-time members, too. Just follow along with the words in the hymnal. And you don't have to sing if you don't want to.

What about Communion?

At UCH, we practice an "open communion table," when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.. That means that you don't have to be a member of UCH to participate, and that your participation does not require an explicit affirmation of faith.

Communion is normally celebrated on the 1st Sunday of the month and on special days in the liturgical calendar:  Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Easter Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, A Close of Summer Sunday, World Wide Communion Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve.

Our communion is one in which the elements are made available in the front of the sanctuary for anyone to receive. All are welcome at Christ's table. The first element is the bread, and a tray of small pieces of bread (with a gluten-free alternative for those who need to avoid it). Participants take a piece. The second element is the wine, and a tray of tiny cups  (the darker liquids are grape juice, for those who wish to avoid alcohol). Participants take a cup and then consume the bread and wine. There are baskets on the front pews to take the empty cups.  

Are there any other rituals I might not be expecting? Any foot-washing
or things like that?

Nothing like that.
There is a responsive call to worship, in which the congregation, as a group, responds to the pastor's words; this is usually short, and it changes every week. The words are printed in the bulletin, which is handed out when you enter the sanctuary.
There is usually a congregational recitation of "The Lord's Prayer" (we provide the words in the bulletin in case you don't know them by heart).
We usually sing "Shalom" at the close of the service (it's an easy song to learn, but we don't assume everyone knows it the first time they visit and the words are printed in the bulletin).

Do I have to be baptized to join or attend UCH?

No. If you want to be baptized, you are welcome to talk with our leadership team to arrange a baptismal service for you, but it is not required, nor is it expected or assumed. No one will pester you about baptism, or ask "Have you been saved?" or "Have you been baptized?"  When baptism is performed at UCH, it is typically the "sprinkling" kind, not the "total immersion in a tub" kind.

I have strong political opinions. Will my politics make me seem like "the enemy"?

While our denomination, the United Church of Christ, has a reputation for supporting progressive social causes, our local membership is politically diverse. You won't be ostracized or disliked for your political preferences, and you won't be presumed to support any specific political policy or ideology just because you're at the UCH. Politics are not typically subjects during our fellowship hours, but those who wish to might discuss them politely and with mutual respect. 

How can I learn more about The United Church of Huntsville?

In addition to the information on our website, we periodically hold Inquirers Sessions each year. There are three one-hour sessions that explain the history of the denomination and the local church. In addition, they explain how the church is organized and operates. Attending the sessions is not a requirement to join the church.  If you have any other specific questions please ask the Pastor or any church member. You can also view past services online on Facebook, our YouTube Channel, the media section of this website, or on our "United Church of Huntsville" app that can be found in the Google Play store or the Apple store.


If you are attending a service, there are prayer request cards on the backs of the pew facing you. These can be filled out with your request and put in the offering plate. They are not announced publicly, but will be sent to the Pastor and our caregiving team. If you download our "United Church of Huntsville" app in the Google Play store or the Apple store, you can send a prayer request email directly to the Pastor from there.