FAQ

If you’re new to us, here’s a bit more about us…

(Click on the individual questions for more information.)

What’s a Presbyterian?

Presbyterian is more of an adjective than a noun. We are Presbyterian Christians. Presbyterians originally hail from Scotland, but today there are Presbyterian congregations all over the world.

What do Presbyterians believe?

While so much is often made of the distinctiveness that particular churches hold to, we Presbyterians are first and foremost Christians who call Jesus “Savior and Lord.” We understand our roots to go way back to those very first followers of Jesus. With the whole of the Christian Church, we confess the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed.

But there might be a few things that are unfamiliar to you about the way we talk about and practice our Christian faith. Here are a few: We believe that all of our members are ministers, not just the preacher. We believe that the Lord’s Supper & Baptism are sacraments – visible forms of God’s invisible grace towards us. We believe that the church gets off track sometimes and continually is in need of being reformed by Word & Spirit. We believe in baptizing infants – they, too, are part of the Christian community. A lot of these things are explained in much more detail in a collection of historic and contemporary creeds and catechisms and confessions in something called the Book of Confessions. Our What We Believe page offers the big picture in relatively few words.

How do I get to Randolph Heights?

We’re on the corner of Hamline & Palace, in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood of Saint Paul. Click here to see a map. We’re just off Randolph Avenue, and a MetroTransit bus stop is just a block-and-a-half away at the corner of Randolph & Hamline.

I’m curious to go to a worship service at a church, but it’s been a while. What should I expect at Randolph Heights on a Sunday morning?

Just so you know, the dress is fairly casual – gone are the days of everyone wearing their “Sunday best” – some weeks the pastor doesn’t even wear a tie! On the way in, make sure you get a worship bulletin – this gives you the roadmap for the morning. In the worship service itself, we pray prayers together of gratitude and confession and concern. We greet one another. We sing together – sometimes out of our hymn books and sometimes the words to the songs are projected on the wall. We stop to listen to the words of Scripture, trying to hear God’s word as it is read and proclaimed. We sit in silence, aware of God’s presence in and among us. We are given an opportunity to give, out of the abundance that God has given to us. The service is mostly led by the pastor, the music director, and a lay worship leader. Sometimes young people read the Scriptures.

After the service is over, everyone’s invited to stay and drink a little coffee or juice, and have a chance to get to know some of the folks you’ve been sitting and standing with for the previous hour.

Does Randolph Heights sing traditional hymns or contemporary praise songs?

Yes! In our case, it’s not an either/or but a both/and. At Randolph Heights, we value the wonderful and long history of Christian hymnody, and also believe that newer, more contemporary songs also faithfully give voice to our praising God. So, we blend the two. On any given Sunday, you might hear a 4th century hymn text set to an old English folk tune on the organ and also a song written last year with guitar, bass, and drums.

Are children welcome to come to worship?

Absolutely. We are a family-friendly congregation, and value children and their participation in the life of the community.

How can I learn more about Randolph Heights?

A couple of ways come to mind. RHPC101 is a gathering for newcomers to the congregation that covers the basics of Randolph Heights – what we believe, how to get more involved, what it means to join us as a member, a little history. RHPC101 is scheduled every other month or so. Email us to find out when the next class is scheduled.

Otherwise, it’s best to get a chance to hear about the community from someone who’s been around a little while. If your neighbors in the pew haven’t already, ask them to tell you about the place.