Upon your arrival, expect to be warmly and sincerely welcomed to this church. We may call ourselves Episcopalians, but God doesn’t care about labels. Here in His house, all, and we mean all, are welcome. It does not matter whether or not you are an Episcopalian or even Christian, whether or not you think you are religious or spiritual, whether or not you even feel that God is part of your life, you are welcome here because God loves each of us. No exceptions!
There are no assigned pews! Please sit wherever you feel comfortable and take a minute to read the service bulletin you received from an usher. This is your guide to the service, so that hopefully you won’t feel overwhelmed or confused by what is happening. The large blue book and the green softcover book both contain music we sing. The bulletin will indicate a hymn number; if the letters WLP follow the number, then that song will be found in the green book. The page numbers on the right direct you to the red Book of Common Prayer.
Beware Episcopal calisthenics! As the service proceeds, you will find the congregation standing, sitting, and/or kneeling at various moments. Don’t worry about it. If kneeling is uncomfortable for you, then don’t kneel. If standing is difficult, then please sit. You can’t make a mistake; do what is comfortable for you!
Now for the actual service. Here are some highlights:
Processional: We sing to begin our worship while the choir and clergy walk to the front of the church.
Readings: Opening prayers and readings from the Bible are next.
Children’s Moment: Following the readings during the service, the children join the Rector in the center of the church for the Children’s Message.
Sermon: A minister will speak with the congregation connecting God’s Word to our everyday lives.
Creed: We all recite the Nicene Creed, written in the 4th century, because it summarizes our beliefs.
Prayers of the People: Next we pray for those who are sick, who have died, who are in need…for the whole world.
Peace: Then we share God’s peace with one another. Be prepared; the scene may become a bit boisterous! Our congregation loves to move out of the pews and joyously greet one another.
Holy Communion: Now we begin the actual focus of the service—Holy Communion or Holy Eucharist during which we will take bread and wine as Jesus’ disciples did at the Last Supper.
Recessional: We conclude the service with another song.