Thank you for your interest in Riviera United Methodist Church! If you have not already taken the opportunity to visit us on a Sunday morning, please consider this your invitation. Below are the answers to questions that new visitors often ask.
What time is your church service?
Worship begins at 10:00am Sunday morning in the sanctuary. The service generally lasts about an hour. During worship, after the children's moment, children PreK through 5th grade are invited to Kids Church for the remainder of the service time.
How do I get to Riviera United Methodist Church?
We're located on the northwest corner of 62nd Avenue North and 1st Street North in St. Petersburg. Riviera UMC is two blocks east of 4th Street.
Where do I park?
Riviera UMC has two parking lots on our campus and one overflow parking lot. Handicap parking, new visitor parking, and limited spaces are available in front of the church in the paved parking lot. The entrance to that lot is on the north side of 62nd Ave N (exist is west towards NE Madison Circle N).
All other parking is available behind the church building in a grass lot. Entrances are accessible on either the east or west side, 1st ST N and NE Madison Circle N, respectively.
In the event either of those parking lots are full, overflow parking is available on the west side of NE Madison Circle N.
What should I expect when I arrive?
Riviera UMC greeters will meet you at the entrance doors to welcome you in. They will offer you a bulletin that outlines the worship order, provides a few important announcements regarding Riviera, and where you can take notes during the sermon. From there you are invited to the sanctuary to find a seat anywhere you'd like in either cushioned pews (bench-style) or limited cushioned chairs in the rear. There is a Welcome Center just outside the sanctuary where you can ask for information about the church, the service, or directions (restrooms, nursery, etc). Hearing devices are available upon request. An usher or member at the sound-board can assist you.
What are the worship services like?
We have one modern worship time on Sunday morning. Generally worship begins with music played on a variety of instruments (guitars, piano, drums, bass) and features both modern songs and hymns. Dress is casual or business casual, but wear whatever you are comfortable in!
There will be times of prayer, greeting each other, brief announcements, more singing, and a children's moment (kids are invited to Kids Church for the remainder of worship). An offering plate is passed around for those who wish to give money to support the ministry of our church.
Our pastor delivers a sermon and worship is closed out with more music and prayer.
Directly following worship, coffee, donuts, and pastries are available in the narthex (lobby outside the sanctuary). This is a time where many people get to chat, eat, and enjoy each others company. We encourage everyone to stay and get to know someone they've never met. During the school year, there are also classes for children and adults.
What about my children?
For infants through 3-years-old we have a staffed nursery just down the hall from the sanctuary. Older children in the nursery play music, read Bible stories, color, and hear that Jesus loves them. We are happy to provide this, so that you may relax during worship knowing that your little one is well-cared for. However, if you would rather keep your children in worship with you, that is fine too. There are worship bags in the back of the sanctuary available to all kids. These bags have fun, quiet activities. Please return worship bags at the end of the service.
About half-way through the worship service children PreK through 5th grade are invited to the front of the sanctuary for a children's moment led by one of our leaders. Immediately following the children's moment, all kids PreK through 5th grade are invited to head to Kids Church (located in the Kids Ministry Room) for the remainder of worship. While in Kids Church, students will experience God and scripture through games, art, music, drama, and more! Many parents of toddlers choose to keep their children with them during the first portion of worship, and then walk them back to the nursery when the PreK through 5th graders leave to go to Kids Church.
Kids are welcome to stay and worship with their families instead of Kids Church.
During the school year, Kids Small Groups will follow worship. Children in Kids Church who are staying for Small Groups do not need to be picked up (they will be escorted to their small groups straight from Kids Church). Small groups end at noon. During this time, adults may participate in our adult classes, or grab a cup of coffee and fellowship in the area outside the sanctuary.
What about my youth?
The youth (6th-12th graders) participate in worship with the rest of the congregation. We encourage participation during worship - if any youth would like to volunteer their time in areas of music, tech, ushering, or another aspect of the service, contact the church office.
Middle school small groups are available Sunday morning during the school year. Small groups are split by gender and begin immediately following Sunday worship.
Do I have to give money?
There are no conditions to worship at Riviera - as a visitor, you don't need to give anything at all. We do encourage our members and regular attenders to pray about committing a portion of their income to God's work at Riviera UMC. There is a time in each service when folks are able place their offering money in a plate that is passed around. You can feel free to participate as you wish.
We also believe that the giving of our time and our talents is equally important. If you would like to volunteer at Riviera, contact our church office.