We know it takes a lot to try something new. As a visitor, YOU ARE OUR GUEST, and we will be sure to welcome you! Make sure to visit our welcome area before or after the service. You can speak to any staff or volunteer about your questions and learn about all the exciting things going on here at The Haven.
Where are you located and when are service times?
We meet at Ascension Lutheran Church, located at 33 Bay Shore Road, Deer Park, New York. You will find us there each Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
What is the service like?
Each service is about an hour and a quarter. Feel free to sit wherever you like. You will not be asked to stand to introduce yourself or to pray out loud. We’ll be singing Psalms, traditional hymns, and contemporary hymns as part of a worship service in which we glorify and enjoy God according to his Word. We’re all learning what it is to worship like this, so join us for the learning and worshipping experience. Incidentally, if you don’t know a song we’re singing, you can simply follow along silently.
Pastor Bill Shishko will be our usual speaker. He’ll be drawing from his forty years of preaching and pastoral ministry to minister the Word of God to us in a way that will be clear, practical, and challenging. We expect the Word of God to transform our lives!
We'll be celebrating the Lord’s Supper each week. If you are trusting in Jesus Christ and have publicly confessed your faith in him at another church we welcome you to join with us in this special time of communion with Jesus Christ and with his gathered people.
What kind of music?
The grace of God puts new songs in our mouths, and we delight to worship God with songs that are scriptural, singable, and suitable to the worth of our majestic God and Savior.
All of our songs will be included in the bulletin you’ll receive each week. We want you to take it home and sing the songs during the week. Among other songs, we’ll be using selections from the Trinity Psalter Hymnal during our congregational worship. The book is a wonderful collection of psalms, hymns, and recent spiritual songs, faithful to the heritage of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and United Reformed Churches.
What about the offering?
During each service, we receive an offering which is one way we express our gratitude to God for what he has done for us and given to us. We use the collected offering to maintain the ministries the Lord has given to us. We do not expect or depend on you, as a visitor, to give. Feel free to pass the offering bag on to the next person in the row.
What about my children?
We want all generations to be present for our worship from 4:30 p.m. until about 5:45 p.m. After the worship service is done, children will be called to their classes where they can join other children in our young disciples' classes, which are located in the classrooms on the other side of the building that houses the sanctuary. Adults: We invite you to be part of the Sunday Seminary that meets in the sanctuary until 6:15 pm when we all join together for evening refreshments in the fellowship hall.
Where do I park?
There’s ample parking in the lot across the street from Ascension Lutheran Church where we meet.
What do I wear?
Whatever you’re comfortable with. We just want you to be with us!
How can I get connected?
We hope you’ll find this website to be a helpful introduction to who we are and what we are about. The best way to learn about The Haven, however, is to join us for our afternoon worship service. If you choose to visit The Haven you will find us to be a welcoming, friendly, joyful, and diverse group, reflecting all ages and every stage of life.
We invite you to stay for a bit after the service so that we can get to know you better. We tend to linger after the service for extended times of conversation. We enjoy the relationships we have with each other but we also love to meet new people. We hope that your tour through our website will encourage you to visit us in person.
Will I be welcome?
We know it can be difficult to be new somewhere. No matter who you are and where you find yourself in life, there’s a place for you here at The Haven.
We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, straight, gay, filthy rich, dirt poor, or no habla Ingles. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying newborns, skinny as a rail, or could afford to lose a few pounds.
We welcome you if you can sing like Beyoncé or Michael Bublé, or if you can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re “just browsing”, just woke up, or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you are more Reformed than John Calvin himself or haven’t been to church since little Billy’s baptism or Mary’s wedding.
We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet – or over 60 and feeling every year of it, and to teenagers who are growing up way too fast and trying to figure out their place in this confusing world. We welcome soccer moms, hockey dads, starving artists, hairdressers, hedge fund managers, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegans, computer nerds and junk-food eaters.
We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted – some of us have also been there. We welcome you if you’re having problems, or you’re down in the dumps, or if you don’t like “organized religion” – we’ve been there too. We welcome you if you are “spiritual” but not “religious” and if you’re curious whether it’s possible to be both at once.
If you blew your offering money in a football pool or online betting, you’re welcome here. We welcome you if you work too hard or are out of work. We welcome you if you have a PhD, but are working at Trader Joe’s, or if you can’t spel reel gud, and the job you have is killing you. We welcome you if you only came to church because Grandma is in town and wanted to go to church and you didn’t want to disappoint her.
We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now. We welcome those who had religion shoved down their throats as kids, or by someone in the office after they grew up. We welcome you if you wound up here by mistake, thinking this was the Catholic Church (it’s just North on Deer Park Avenue, but since you’re here already, you might as well stay for the service. We welcome Catholics too!) We welcome tourists, seekers, doubters and everybody on the edge of faith, which includes, well, pretty much all of us.
Bottom line: WE WELCOME YOU!
And we welcome you because we know that no matter who you are, Jesus welcomes you to come to Him. Oh, and also because we know that when we, in faith, receive the welcome that Jesus offers, everything in us begins to change for the better; and things keep changing as long as we do and as long as we welcome others in His name too!
(adapted from a piece used by Ascension Lutheran Church, Deer Park, NY)