WHAT TO EXPECT
Everyone is welcome!
You don’t need to be an Episcopalian or even a Christian to enter our doors. Attending a service doesn’t commit you to anything. We won’t coming knocking on your door (unless you want us to). We don’t charge membership fees. We don’t have a dress code — anything from a suit to shorts is seen here. There’s plenty of ceremony in a typical Episcopal church but you don’t have worry about “getting it right”, just listen and feel God’s presence around you. If you decide to join us again, you will eventually learn what we jokingly call our “pew aerobics”. We were all just as confused at one time - and sometimes still are whenever there is a change in the liturgy!
We are a part of the Anglican Communion, with about 100 million members world-wide. The American branch of the Anglican Communion is the Episcopal Church, with about 2.5 million members, and is the oldest continuously functioning Church in the USA founded at the Jamestown Colony in1607. Many of the country’s founders - Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Paul Revere, Patric Henry, Madison, Monroe, Hamilton - were faithful members of the Episcopal Church
Anglican worship is based on traditions stretching back centuries. The Episcopal Church is grounded by the authority of scripture, governed by reason and faithful to tradition, or what we call the “three legged stool”. Our focus of worship is praise and love of the Lord Jesus Christ and our participation in living out his word.
And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’
The Episcopal Church welcomes new members, but we understand that for a lot of newcomers, we can look puzzling. Our worship is anything but “made up on the spot.” Centuries of thought and prayer have gone into putting together some beautiful, and we believe true, words of prayer: centuries of devotion have gone into customs and ceremonies which are beautiful, and we believe helpful. But like a great wine or an even greater novel, our charms may take a bit of getting used to.
When you enter our sanctuary, you might wonder why no one is talking —- are we that unfriendly? Not at all! Our tradition is to have silent prayer and contemplation before the service begins. We will talk you ears off afterwards, and invite you to join us for coffee.
Our “guidebook” is the Book of Common Prayers (BCP), found in the book rack behind each pew. In this book are our prayers, creeds, and beliefs, and will be used throughout our service. These prayers have been going on pretty much 24/7 for about 2000 years. Join in as you feel comfortable. We will have lessons from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and the Gospel, then a sermon expounding on those lessons. And every Sunday we have Holy Communion. All Baptized persons are welcome at the altar rail for communion. You may also come forward for a blessing, or just stay seated in your pew if you wish.
Please let us know how we might make your visit more welcome and comfortable. We love having visitors!