Where do I enter the church for worship?
Walk across Elm Avenue at Jefferson Street and enter through the porte cochere. You can also come to worship by way of the garden; simply come through the open gates on the Jefferson Street side of the church.
What do people usually wear for church services?
We welcome you in whatever clothes you wear. Attire at the morning services ranges from Sunday formal to business casual. T-shirts, blouses, jeans, even flip flops are more usual for the Gathering at 5 p.m.
What about childcare?
The Child Care Center is on the second floor and within easy reach of the chapel, nave and parish hall. Child care is available for children, infants through preschool, on Sunday mornings from 8:45 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. and Sunday evenings from 4:45 until 7:30 p.m.
Will I be expected to stand up and introduce myself during the service?
No. We invite you to make a nametag so people can get to know you by name. We encourage all people - young, old, longtime members and newcomers - to wear nametags.
If I am not an Episcopalian, can I still receive communion?
The altar is the Lord's Table, so regardless of your Christian tradition, all baptized persons are welcome and encouraged to receive communion. In other words, whether you were sprinkled with water or immersed in a pool in the name of the Trinity, you can receive communion.
Do you use real wine for communion?
Yes. If you do not drink wine, simply cross your arms across your chest in order to indicate to the chalicist that you will refrain from drinking the wine.
What is a rector? A parish? A vestry?
A rector is the chief priest at a parish; he or she is responsible for worship and the spiritual care and formation of God's people in a given parish. The Reverend Eric Long is our rector and he came to St. John's in August of 2014. Because St. John's is a large parish family, we also have two additional associate rectors and an assisting priest. A parish is another name for a worshipping, learning and serving community that gathers together weekly for Eucharist in order to be the Body of Christ in the world. A vestry is a group of elected lay people (people who are not ordained) who serve as spiritual leaders and make financial decisions for the parish.
Why do Episcopalians have Holy Eucharist, often called Holy Communion or the Lord's Supper, every Sunday?
Sunday is the Lord's Day and a weekly celebration of the resurrection. Holy Eucharist is the primary way in which we remember what God has done in Christ. Holy Eucharist is the primary encounter from which we live the rest of out lives Monday through Saturday with God's help.
What am I supposed to call the priest - Reverend, Father, Mother, or his or her given name?
In some Episcopal parishes, priests are addressed as Father or Mother. In other parishes, priests are addressed simply by their first names. At St. John's, either usage is welcome.
Do you have to be a member to come to classes?
Definitely not. All are welcome.
What does it mean to be a member?
Being a Christian is about living out one's baptismal promises:
- participate in worship and study in a faith community
- do your best to resist evil and turn back to God when you fail
- by your words and actions live the Good News of God in Christ
- love your neighbor as yourself
- strive for justice and peace for all people
- support the ministry of the church with time, talent, and treasure
How does one become a member?
Baptism is full initiation into the Church, the Body of Christ. If you have been baptized in the name of the Trinity and you wish to become a member of St. John's parish, call Kristi Brown (343-9341) to transfer your letter of membership. If you have not been baptized and wish to be, contact any of the clergy and they will guide you through the process of scheduling your baptism.
If I'm not sure what I believe, is there a place for me at St. John's?
Yes. A questioning heart is a sign of faith, not faith's opposite. Questions, doubts, frustrations, fear are welcome here because God in Christ welcomes all.