Tuscarora Indian Mission
Who We Are
We are a Nondenominational Congregation however our affiliation is through the American Baptist Churches.
Down to Earth, Multigenerational, Lots of kids, Hand-clapping, Casual, Spirit-filled, Friendly
Community Service, Faith and Work, Missions, Food Pantry
Praise and Worship
What are services like?
Despite having a "start" time at 10AM during the summer or 11AM at all other times, the service actually starts, "Indian Time" which means about 15-20 minutes later than the listed start times. This is unsettling to time driven people, but its a cultural "thing". Also families will wander in for the first hour of the service, which for some "straight-laced" church people this can be a little annoying. 'Chillax' sometimes Satan throws a curve ball into the morning 'let's get ready for church' routine that you don't know about! Our service opens with a praise song, prayer, Scripture verse and about 30-45 minutes of hymn singing including personal testimonies of congregants. General announcements follow the singing and then special music (usually our children sing). Children are dismissed from the Sanctuary for Sunday School and the adults enjoy 30 minutes of preaching which ends with prayer and a hymn. Those who arrive "on time" enjoy fellowship with other "on timers" before the service. After the service we address personal prayer needs privately and there is lots of hand shaking and general talking. Services last about 1.75-2 hours! Parking lot is in the back of church. We are currently undergoing a Sanctuary remodel and the front of the church looks gutted. We are holding services in the back of the church in our Fellowship Hall. Enter through rear doors, grab a songbook off the table in the back of the Fellowship hall as you enter, if you want to sing and grab a Bible if you want to use one during the service and didn't bring your own. Parking along the sides of the church is fine. Wheelchairs would need to use back entrance through the Fellowship Hall. Sit anywhere you want, there are no assigned seats. On the second Sunday of each month we have Cultural Sunday which means we sing SOME hymns in our Native Tuscarora language. Its a very beautiful thing to experience. We also celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the Month. You are NOT OBLIGATED to participate in Holy Communion, its between you and God whether you should participate.
What is the community like?
The Congregation is comprised of extended families, from the Tuscarora Indian Reservation and non-Native friends and relatives from Niagara Falls, Lewiston, Sanborn, Pekin, Ransomville, and Lewiston areas which include Grandmothers, Moms/Dads their children and grandchildren. We have a few people 70+years old , a good group of 60-year olds, many 50-year old people who attend regularly, we also have some younger families including husbands and wives in the 25-40 something age group. And yes, we have teenagers but they are very unpredictable in terms of regular attendance. Be prepared to enjoy a welcoming atmosphere andexpect some noise from small children during our opening part of the service. We are NOT a "shush" congregation. We realize that the sound of children in a congregation means there is life in the church. We love to sing praise songs and hymns to God. We are supportive of each other especially when someone is distressed/sad/sick. We have daily prayer chains that operate quickly and effectively through group cell texting; we enjoy dinners and special events together in our fellowship hall and we all pitch in for every task. We have a women's ministry called Helping Hands.
What if I'm not a Christian?
I'd say that's your personal problem....but we can help you with it, if you want. We don't have official membership because we are a "Mission" church. (As in our focus is Missionary-like work) Anybody is welcome to our Christian Church Services. We don't have assigned seats but like most people the trend is...middle of the road, front of the bus, BACK OF THE CHURCH! We have people in our congregation from just about every Christian faith denomination that you can think of, including those with no prior or current faith in God. This is a good place to start if you are just curious about this whole Jesus/God thing. We are not going to slam you with literature or pressure you to come back or chase you down where you live with Jesus/Jesus/Jesus talk! We recognize that faith in God is a very personal experience and when you are ready you will decide to be part of God's family or you will decide to walk away from Him, since those are the only two choices we truly have in life. We don't even take a collection of money /tithes during the service. We allow people to donate or tithe as they desire at the end of the service when people are getting up to leave or chat. You donate by coming up to the donation bowl on the table in front of the altar and throwing in whatever you feel you want to give. Nobody has to feel cheap or pressured to give any money. A lot of our people don't have money to give. Sometimes, when we have a special guest speake,r we will make a more deliberate attempt to "pass the plate" but we announce that the week before any visit and we are very generous with what we have to give. As "Mission" workers we are compelled to reach out to the "un-churched" and "unsaved" people in our community and provide a great no-pressure introduction to our Lord Jesus Christ with great Biblical teaching and preaching and personal attention and community interaction. Our weekly services are very Holy Spirit filled but we are NOT 'Holy Rollers'. We let the Spirit lead us and sometimes we will deviate from the standard service agenda to stop everything and pray for individuals by anointing with oil and laying of hands. ( Not every service does this happen and this is Bible based action.) The Spirit leads us in these kinds of deviations and visitors always comment that the atmosphere/aura of the service is very special/unique and different from their church experience. Ahhh, that would be the Holy Spirit's presence! It is a blessing to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and we appreciate His guidance in every aspect of our weekly services.