What to expect when you arrive at St. John’s
When you arrive at St. John’s on Sunday morning (8 or 10 am), you’ll be greeted by an usher and given a bulletin. You can also ask one of the ushers for a hearing assistance device that connects directly to our sound system. Sit wherever you feel most comfortable.
Children are welcome to remain with you through the service. Should they make normal kid-noise, that’s okay. They’re kids. If you prefer, during the 10 am service, you can ask an usher to show you the nursery (birth – 3 yrs) or children’s classes (4 yrs – 5th grade). They then process in together midway through the service and rejoin their parents for communion.
Typically, the bulletin you received will contain the entire liturgy (except the hymns that are found in the blue hymnal). For those unfamiliar with our style of liturgical worship, the flow of the service – sitting and standing; congregational responses; symbols and metaphors – can be a little confusing. If you are new to this style of worship, don’t worry if you’re not “doing it right.” Nobody will be watching or judging you. It usually takes three or four weeks before it starts to feel normal. If trying to follow along is distracting, you are welcome to set the bulletin aside and relax, simply being attentive to what’s going on around you.
Before the service begins there are announcements and blessings for birthdays and anniversaries. Whatever offerings are given for the blessing support our missionary in South Africa.
All the Hymns (10 am) are found in the blue hymnal in the pew pocket in front of you, accompanied by the organ or piano.
Midway through the service you’ll be invited to “share the peace” with your neighbor(s), as a sign and acknowledgment that we have been joined together by God’s grace. It need be little more than making eye contact and making a gracious nod of the head, or saying “Peace.” (During COVID, we don’t shake hands)
Offering plates are passed for any who would like to share their gift with the church, but there is no pressure to do so.
Official polity of the Episcopal Church invites all baptized Christians to share in Holy Communion, but St. John’s also welcomes any who feel drawn to participate. Come forward when indicated to stand or kneel at the rail. Gluten-free bread is available, indicated by crossing your out-stretched hands, palm-down. If you prefer only to receive a blessing, indicate this by crossing your arms over your chest. During COVID, wine is served in a common chalice for intinction (dipping) only. If you prefer to drink the wine, pick up an individual cup on your way to the altar and a server will pour it for you.
After the service we gather for coffee in the church entrance. Stay as long or little as you are comfortable. If you’d like the priest to contact you later in the week, you can introduce yourself right after church, or fill out a guest card (found in the pew pocket), then drop it in the offering plate or hand it to the priest after church.