That’s because services at the Norwalk church don’t start until three minutes after the top of the hour.
“It’s different and easy to remember,” office administrator Mandy Walters said. “Some people get here a little late, so rather than miss out (on worship services), we give them a few extra minutes.”
The :03 start time also goes for most, if not all church events, including this Sunday’s night of worship — which will be The Foundation Church’s first.
Justin Jacobs, the worship and youth group leader, said the idea of the “night” is a relaxing, low-key time of worship that breaks from the scheduled format of typical Sunday morning services.
“For some of the worship we’ll actually be on the floor,” he added.
“We want to make people feel comfortable when they’re singing … so we bring the lights down and turn the music up real loud, so that way you can sing your heart out without worrying about the person in front of you getting upset,” he said with a laugh.
When Jacobs joined the church in October, it had just moved into its new warehouse location at 535 E. U.S. 20.
“After 10 years in a beautiful building loaned to us from St. Paul Episcopal Church, we have moved into our own building,” according to the Foundation Facebook page.
“We kicked around the idea of adding carpet,” Jacobs said, while walking through the large, open space.
“(But) we like the idea of the concrete (floor) having scars and marks, and dirt. Ya’ know, it’s not perfect, we’re not perfect … so we just sealed it and kept it the way it was.”
Including a stage, the new space houses a café, areas for a nursery, young children and teen programs and meeting and prayer rooms. There’s also an area for creative art and shop-projects.
“We call it the ‘Artison’ — a-r-t-i-s-o-n room,” Jacobs said. “These three local artists will come out and do workshops and other activities with people and they have a kiln set up over there too.”
While Foundation is noticeably different than other churches, it’s also much younger.
Foundation’s head pastors are Bob Hudberg and Jeff Watson, and of the two, it was Hudberg who was the lone founder of a new church back in 2006.
“God planted a vision … nearly 13 years ago to build a church designed to reach the discouraged and disconnected,” the published piece reads of the church’s start.
Several years later, after hopping from one temporary location to another (Sheri’s Coffee House, then the Eagles Lodge), Hudberg was joined by Watson.
“Pastor Jeff came six or seven years ago,” Jacobs told the Reflector. ”He is huge with the missions.”
In a post on the church Facebook page, Watson wrote of the mission trip to Panama. Church members got home Monday.
“What an incredible mission trip to Chame, Panama. We did 10 different worship services in schools, a camp, a village (and) a children's program. … We are truly humbled,” the pastor wrote.
“See, we don’t want to be like other churches. We change our service format every week,” Jacobs said. “The hardest part for us right now is parking. At the old building they had to park at the funeral home across the street.
“We want people to ‘hit the reset button’”, the worship and youth leader added.
“Foundation is a contemporary church, geared towards people who’ve been disenfranchised by their own churches. We want to offer people a safe space … where they can worship and get back to developing their relationship (with Christ and the Lord).
“New place. New building. New people. So we hope that this place will feel like ‘home’ to them.”