Frequent Questions

Worship Service

What time are your services?  Sunday Worship Service is at 10:30 a.m.

Where are you located? How do I get to your Church?  What about parking?  We are located at 4511 N. Hermitage Avenue in Chicago at the corner of Sunnyside and Hermitage.  See the Contact Us page for directions by car, train and bike as well as a map.  There is street parking in the area and in a large free parking lot on Ravenswood Avenue, one block west.  We have a drop off area in front of the Community House doors on Hermitage for those needing a little assistance walking. 

What style of worship can I expect?  Traditional and informal.  We have a Time with Young People every Sunday.  Youth Sunday School is held during the school year (starting September 25).  Services include a number of hymns, Bible readings and a time for prayer requests.  Our congregation is multi-generational and multi-ethnic.  Our Sanctuary has a traditional feel with a beautiful piano and working organ.  See the About Us page for some photos of the church.

I’ve never been to your church — will I be able to follow along?  We lay it all out in the Bulletin each week to make it very easy, so by your second visit you’ll be completely comfortable with how we worship. Bibles and hymnals are available in the pews. The United Methodist Hymnal is blue. The Faith We Sing Hymnal is black. An asterisk in the bulletin indicates standing as you are able. Bold type indicates the congregation speaking. Just follow the Pastor and the lay leader, and you’ll do fine.

How should I dress?  God doesn’t have a dress code and neither do we. Dress how you feel comfortable.

How long is the worship service?  Forty-five minutes to an hour.

Can I bring my children? What is there for my kids?   We are family friendly. Children are always welcome in worship.  We have a children’s area in the Sanctuary stocked with a variety of quiet toys, books and stickers to help keep the younger ones engaged.  Children are invited to go to Sunday School following the Time with Young People. It’s often based on the same theme as the sermon.

Crying babies too?  Yep.  We love them all. Although some of our grandmoms and moms of older children may want to borrow them for a bit.  We promise to give them back!  We do have a stocked baby changing station if needed. 

Will I feel welcome?  We take pride in welcoming newcomers, making everyone feel comfortable and answering any questions you might have.  Our greeters, ushers and pastoral staff are available before during and after services.  Whatever your gender, race, economic status, sexual orientation, condition of ableness, etc., we greet you as a beloved child of God.  Try to stay around after services for some light refreshments in the gym (we like to eat!).  

What is a Reconciling church?  A church with the understanding that “All” means “All”.   Ravenswood  Fellowship is a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network dedicated to the inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in both the policy and practices of United Methodist Church.

I’m in a wheelchair. Can I get around easily?  We have made investments to make our church more accessible.  We have a designated loading area on Hermitage in front of the Community House.  We have a chair lift from the entrance up to the Sanctuary as well as accessible restrooms.  A Greeter at the Community House doors will be happy to provide assistance to anyone who needs it.   Our restroom off the gym is wheelchair accessible.  Our Sanctuary also has a hearing assist (Hearing Loop) system.

What is your Sanctuary like?  The Sanctuary Building was built in 1890 and maintains much of its original charm and character.  The first thing most people notice about the Sanctuary is the large stain glass windows on the north and south sides.  The windows were designed by Healy & Millet, whose glass artistry many of us Chicagoans cherish inside the Chicago Cultural Center. The sanctuary is a large open space with exposed wood beams, oak pews, and a fan shaped organ behind the pulpit.  It seats about 300.  We have a few photos of our Sanctuary on the Photos page.  The pictures give a sense of the space, but seeing it in person is highly recommended. 

We also have an adjacent Community House building next door which is connected to the Sanctuary Building.  This building has our church office, gym with full size basketball court, kitchen, Midori Market and a number of meeting spaces and office type spaces.  We recently upgraded our gym by replacing the flooring, windows and backboards. 

What goes on after Service?  We like to eat.  Most Sundays we have a coffee hour with beverages and light refreshments in the gymnasium.  The kids get to run around in the gym and burn off some energy while we get to socialize and catch up.  It’s also a time to informally organize events or prepare meals for the Night Ministry (see Our Partners).  It’s a great way to meet some people and learn more about the church.  You are only a stranger here once.


Tell me about Communion in your church.

We celebrate Communion once per month on the first Sunday of each month. The Communion elements include grape juice, bread and gluten free crackers.   Communion is offered to all and does not have any prerequisite for participation in the Lord’s Supper.  You don’t have to be a member of Ravenswood Fellowship or any church.  Anyone who seeks to be in a relationship with God is welcome at the table, but if you’d rather not receive communion, that’s fine. If you have trouble getting around, the communion servers will bring the communion elements to you.


Can I be baptized at your church? If I’m already baptized in another denomination, do I have to be re-baptized?  The United Methodist Church practices both infant and adult (believer’s) baptism through immersion, sprinkling, or pouring. We also practice Confirmation when a person who was baptized as an infant may affirm the vows of baptism, become a member of the church universal, and commit to membership in the United Methodist Church, and a local congregation. If you’re transferring membership from another congregation–Methodist or otherwise–you do not have to be baptized again. For more detailed information on baptism, please contact Pastor.

Can I be baptized even if I am not a member?   Yes.

What’s a customary payment for baptism?  There is no payment or fee required for baptism.  Baptism is a sacrament and means of grace.  Grace is free.


Can we get married in your church?  Please call or e-mail the church office regarding the church policy on weddings.

Joining / Supporting

How do I join the church?  Let the Pastor know and she will meet with you and answer any questions. 

I admire all your programs, but I’m not the organized church type. Can I support Ravenswood Fellowship UMC anyway?  Of course!  Worship of God is central to what we do and serving shows our devotion.  There are all kinds of ways to support the church.  From donations, helping with events like the annual Rummage Sale, donations of school supplies or helping with the Night Ministry, we have multiple ways for you to support our mission.  Just contact us and we will be happy to help get you plugged in.

If I attend church, do I have to join?  Though we’d love to have you as a member, you’re not obligated to join us. We understand that some people like to get involved in projects or service work, while others just want to attend worship services. We’re just happy you’re here!

Prayer Requests

How can I request prayers for someone in need?  Just contact us and we will write a personal prayer for you.  We also have access to other resources for help.  We can visit and pray. 

Building Use

Can we use space at Ravenswood Fellowship for our group?  Our focus is on providing space for organizations that share the mission and values of the church via instruction, support groups, the arts and recreation.  All building use is at the discretion of the Board of Trustees and must be approved by them.  Contact the church office for additional information.