What is "OFCN"?
OFCN is an abbreviation for our full name, Ontario First Church of the Nazarene.
What is a Nazarene/the Nazarene?
Scholars believe that Jesus' name was quite common during the time of His ministry. To differentiate Him from others named Jesus, He was called Jesus of Nazareth, since Nazareth was His hometown. His disciple Nathanael famously asked, "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" (John 1:46), suggesting that the town didn’t have such a great reputation. Jesus' followers were often called Nazarenes. Sometimes we refer to ourselves as Nazarenes, too. The names, "Nazarene" or, "Church of the Nazarene" don't make us special or better than anyone else; rather, it reminds us of Him who loved us in spite of our sinfulness.
How many people attend OFCN?
On a typical Sunday morning, we have about 300-350 people between both services.
What is your building like?
Our building is two levels with a variety of rooms to meet, learn, pray and worship in. We have specific areas for teens and children of all ages. There is a Mom & Baby room where families can go and still listen to the service if the little one is fussy or has other needs. There are two prayer rooms, one on each floor and a Welcome Area stocked with information and event notices. We also have a full gym, commercial kitchen, and play area outside as well as a multi-use field. There is ample parking on three sides. As you can see, we have a lot to offer.
What kinds of activities/programs/ministries do you do?
Take a look at our Typical Schedule page to see what a normal week might look like at OFCN. Other, occasional events can be found under Upcoming Events or our Calendar. For more a more specific idea in regards to children, teens or adults, look under the Ministry tab at the top of the page.
How are you involved in your community?
As a church body and as individuals, we support various Christian ministries in our community, such as Harvest House and Hope Pregnancy Center. We are also involved in a backpack program, filling backpacks with healthy snacks for kids. Children, teens, and adults are invited to participate in various community service activities throughout the year (for example--the teens had a Rake and Run, raking up leaves in yards around town and many in our congregation participate in our local Community Serve Day). More directly, Upward Basketball & Cheerleading provide children in our community with a fun, safe place to play and learn. We are committed to offering Upward scholarships so no child will be turned away.
Our compassionate ministries team connects members of OFCN with needs in our congregation and community, such as collecting donations for Thanksgiving food baskets. We're excited to see how God will use this new team to help us reach out to our community.
Most importantly, we believe ministry isn't something that only pastors do, or something that only happens inside a church building. As Christians, we are all called to share the love of Christ with our neighbors. Anything we do for God is ministry.
Your basketball program is called "Upward"? It's not called "Upward Bound"?
Nope, just Upward. We're not really sure where people started hearing the name "Upward Bound." You can learn more about the program at the official Upward site.
Do you do mission trips?
Typically, every other summer, our youth pastor plans a mission trip for our teens, traveling to different destinations to serve. In summer 2012, they served at an Indian reservation in South Dakota. Adults of all ages are also encouraged to be involved in mission trips (often called Work & Witness trips). A group traveled to Manchester, England in 2012 and a new group just finished serving in Manta, Ecuador in 2016. We also completed our first family mission trip, serving in the Seattle area in July 2013.
What time are your services and/or Sunday school?
On Sundays at 9:30am, we have worship, childcare, and Sunday school for all ages. At 11:00am, we have worship, childcare, Children's church, and Sunday school for adults. During 2nd service, children age 4 - 6th grade join their families for worship and are dismissed to their classes. Other than that, both worship services are the same.
However, during the month of July, our schedule changes slightly: There is no sunday school for adults, children or teens, and there is only one worship service at 11:00am. Nursery and children's activities are available during both hours.
What classes and Bible studies are you offering right now?
You can find out on our Life Groups page, or by giving us a call, 541-889-2155.
Where do I park?
There are parking areas on the north, east (Alameda), and south sides of the building. Park wherever you'd like! The main doors on all three sides are open on Sunday mornings. If you've come to the gym previously for Upward Basketball or another similar event, look for the entrance a little closer to Alameda Drive.
What should I wear?
You'll find a variety of dress at OFCN on a Sunday morning, from shorts and flip-flops to more traditional "Sunday best" attire. This isn't a place to pretend to be who you're not, so come as you are. Whatever you wear, you are welcome here!
What is tithing? Are visitors expected to participate?
As a voluntary act of worship, we give back to God a portion of our income. We call this tithes, and other gifts we call offerings. If you're visiting, you are our guest and are not obligated to participate in tithes or offering.
What is your worship music like?
During both services, we sing a mix of hymns and contemporary choruses with the worship band (vocalists, guitars, drums, piano, keyboard, and other instruments). A larger choir assembles for praise and worship musical programs for Easter and Christmas.
Do you have a library or coffee shop?
We have a Book Share lending library in the KidZone hallway.
We don't have a coffee shop exactly, but complimentary coffee is available on Sunday mornings.
We typically have a concessions stand during Upward Basketball season.
What do you believe?
Excellent question! Ours is a Christian denomination. We believe in one God, revealed as three Persons -- Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit -- who invites us into personal relationship. A summary of our core beliefs can be found on our district Beliefs page. To explore this in greater depth, and to see the Bible references which guide those beliefs, visit the Nazarene Articles of Faith. If you would like to know more or discuss what this all means, we'd love to talk with you. Feel free to contact us.
How can I connect?
Like any other relationship, simply showing up is the first step. The activities at OFCN create an environment for getting to know others, in addition to our core goal of getting to know God.
Worship services are vital and uplifting times, and generally have the greatest number of people. The focus during these times is very much on God, and generally offers fewer opportunities for interacting with others.
The smaller-group format of Sunday School allows for greater interaction, and participants often enjoy talking about what they're learning and hearing from others. It's a great place for asking questions and exploring issues from a God-centered perspective.
Like Sunday School, the smaller size of life groups are excellent for developing relationships with each other while journeying together in matters of faith. These tend to be more informal, and vary quite a bit in topic, location, and time. Life groups are people simply "doing life together," and are a particularly excellent place for connecting with others. Check out our Life Groups list for who meets when and where.
What other ways can I get involved?
There are lots of ways to get involved! Check out our Ministry Opportunities page for some ideas.
What do you do with communion?
Communion ("The Lord's Supper") is one of two sacraments in the Church of the Nazarene. It is done in remembrance of Jesus' crucifixion as the sacrifice which provides forgiveness for sin. The bread is a symbol of Jesus' body, and the juice of his blood, as described in the Bible (see 1 Corinthians 11:23-32, for example). It is not limited only to Nazarenes. Anyone who believes in God and has accepted Christ's forgiveness is welcome to participate.
We typically have the elements available at the front of the sanctuary and those who want to participate come forward. If you're not ready to take this step, you can stay seated. Those who are unable to come forward may have the elements brought to them.
What does leadership mean in the church?
There are several individuals serving Ontario First Church of the Nazarene as its pastors. As pastors, they serve in an official and public leadership role for the church, but ministry should never be limited to staff. We believe God invites all Christians to join in His mission to bring about reconciliation between God and humanity. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:11-13, "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." We work together!
As Ephesians 4 teaches, pastors and staff provide guidance and direction for the congregation to accomplish our mission. A volunteer board is also elected each year to provide leadership and wisdom to help the whole organization function effectively together. Within this structure, many others serve in teaching, hospitality, worship, and all other areas of ministry.