A woman smiles and holds a young child
The senior minister chats with a man
A woman holds an umbrella over another woman as she arrives at church

Your First Visit

Welcome to Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ, or “Rock Spring” for short

Rock Spring is a vibrant, progressive church that is serious about cultivating joy, building community, seeking understanding, and putting our faith to work. You are invited to bring your whole person to this community. We welcome you just as God created you. We affirm you and invite you to come just as you are, with your unique set of attributes, complexities, and gifts. Every Sunday we say, “whoever you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” And we mean it. Your presence is what matters to us.

“Our whole family felt so comfortable when we visited Rock Spring the first time. We came from a UCC church in another state and were so relieved to find that our favorite saying from there was so clearly true for this church as well. “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” This is our guide, so when we could feel this to be true, we knew this was our new home. We recall people being gently welcoming, not invasive, over-interested, or pushy.”

Eli Rainhart

We look forward to meeting you in person. Until then, we would love to connect with you!

I’m New to Rock Spring

Sunday morning

At Rock Spring we care more about belonging than beliefs. While we are distinctly Christian, we respect and draw insight from other faith traditions.  The members and friends of Rock Spring include those who are life-long Christians, humanist atheists, and/or part of multi-faith families. Our sanctuary is a beautiful, bright, and rather traditional looking space. Our music leans toward classical with the occasional Broadway tune or contemporary piece blended in. Our message is one of unequivocal inclusion, grace and kindness with continual encouragement to put our faith to work to bring about the world we believe God intends.

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we currently offer one online-only worship service at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Join us (virtually) in worship. 

Beyond Sundays

There are numerous programs and activities that happen at Rock Spring, and beyond our walls, every day of the week. You can find information about our youth activities, choirs, Sacred Circles and Men’s groups, Bible Study, produce packing, meal support, handmade ministries, book clubs, discussion groups on things like racial justice and ecology, advocacy, and more throughout the pages on this website.

Everyone likes to know what to expect. Here are some questions (and answers!) that you might have before your first visit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please note that the information below reflects our worship and program offerings during a “normal” year. At present, our campus is closed for in-person gatherings, but we are still offering a variety of virtual events and activities for all ages. Find out more here.

What times are your worship services?

We have worship services Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. (During COVID-19 our services are online only, livestreamed Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and available on demand through Streamspot, Facebook, or YouTube.) 

Where are you located and where do I park?

Rock Spring is located at the corner of Rock Spring Road and Little Falls Road in Arlington, Virginia. We are near Marymount University and just south of Old Dominion Drive. The church is a short walk from the 23A and 23C Metrobus routes. We have a small parking lot on the Rock Spring Road side of the building that is reserved for those who need to utilize our handicapped-accessible entrance. Additional parking is available on neighboring streets. Please note that there is limited parking along the south side of Rock Spring Road on Sunday mornings only.

What happens during church?

We are currently worshipping online only. When we worship in person, as you enter the church through the main Sanctuary doors (look for the double doors and brick steps facing the corner of Rock Spring Road and Little Falls Road), an usher will greet you and give you a bulletin to guide you through the service. All of our services feature reading, preaching, prayer, and music. At times you will be invited to stand as you are able, sing, pray, greet your neighbor, be in silence, or read responsively.

What about children?

Children are always welcome in all our worship services. When we are in person, at our 11:00 a.m. service, following the Time with Children, Preschool through 5th graders leave for Sunday School and 6th-8th graders leave for Youth of Rock Spring (YoRS).

Will there be communion?

We celebrate communion every Sunday at our 9:00 a.m. service. We celebrate communion the first Sunday of every month at the 11:00 a.m. service and at other occasional services. Our communion table is open to everyone – baptized or not, sure or not. However it is you come, you are welcome at the table. Children are warmly welcomed to receive communion.

Will I be expected to give money?

We receive an offering during our services to support the church’s ministries, and our members strive to live a life marked by generosity. If you are a visitor, your gifts are welcome but please do not feel obligated to put anything into the offering plate.

Do you offer child care or have programs for children and youth?

Children of all ages are a vital part of our congregation. They are welcome in our worship services, and we provide nursery care and Sunday School.

We have paid nursery staff available on site throughout Sunday morning. When you drop your child off at the nursery, you will be given a pager to take with you. In the event that your child needs you during the service, the care provider will page you.

We offer Faith Formation for children preschool through 5th grade during the 11:00 a.m. worship service. Our active youth groups for middle schoolers and high school youth focus on faith, fellowship, and service. They meet regularly during the school year and occasionally during the summer months.

What should I wear?

Please wear whatever is comfortable. Some Rock Springers still wear suits or dresses, but most dress more casually. You will see everything from “business casual” attire to jeans, sundresses, and Bermuda shorts in the summer.

Is the church accessible?

Rock Spring’s sanctuary is handicapped accessible through the ramp door on the Rock Spring Road side of the building. There is also an elevator to provide access between floors. Accessible restrooms are also available. In addition, we provide large-print bulletins and wireless hearing assistance devices for those who may wish to use them.

Please Note: regarding livestreaming

Worship services and occasional events at Rock Spring are video recorded and streamed live. If you do not wish to be included in these recordings, please let an usher know and you can be seated out of range of the cameras.

“Hearing, “wherever you are on life’s journey…” made me feel welcomed to an exploration of faith and community; having the answers wasn’t a prerequisite for entrance. The sermons put the Bible in a context applicable to modern realities across generations, leaning into actions that can bring about the world God intends. Communion isn’t exclusive like I’d experienced before, but it reminds me that we all come to the biggest table in the world, together.”

~ Mark Conover