We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, and filthy rich or dirt poor. And to those who are crying newborns, skinny as a rail, or who could afford to lose a few pounds. We welcome you if you can sing like Barbara Streisand or like our priest, who can’t carry a note in a bucket.
You’re welcome here if you’re “just browsing”, just woke up, or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re more Catholic than the Pope, or haven’t been to church since little Joey’s Baptism. We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, NASCAR dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, and junk-food eaters.
We offer special welcome to those who think the world is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or because Grandma is in town and she wanted to go to church today. We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts… and YOU!
I’d like to know more about St. John’s.
You will find an overview of the parish and some of our activities here on our web site, but we can’t list everything! We hope you will come and visit — and ask questions!
When you visit with us, we invite you to fill out a visitor’s sheet found in the maroon booklet in the pew (where the Book of Common Prayer is). Please drop it into the offertory plate and during the following week you will receive a letter and an invitation to meet with our priest. In addition, in the Narthex there are information cards on the Welcome Table (where the name tags are located). These cards will answer many of your questions about St. John’s, so please feel free to take any that are of interest to you.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask! The Greeters, Ushers, Father Ripp or anyone else will be happy to help you out.
We pray you will discern whether this is a community of faith where you want to grow and be nurtured in the faith. If it is, there will be invitations to a Newcomer’s Dinner, Newcomer’s Class, and New Member Liturgy.
All Baptized Christians may receive Communion.
In the Episcopal Church, anyone who has been baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” may receive the body and blood of Christ at the time of the communion. You do not have to be an Episcopalian.
To receive the bread, please hold out your hands palm up and the priest will place the bread, “the host,” in the palm of your hand. To receive the wine, please guide the cup or “chalice”, to your lips. You may also dip, “intinct,” the bread into the wine. If you do not wish to receive either the bread or the wine, cross your hands across your chest; that will signal to the priest to offer God’s blessing upon you.
Our practice is to arrive before the start of the worship service to prepare our heart, mind, body and soul to worship God. We encourage you to kneel, if you are able, and pray. To help you get started you may want to look at the prayer “Before Worship” on p.833 or the prayer for “Sunday” on p.835 in the red Book of Common Prayer.
Our bulletin is our Order of Worship.
We use a liturgy, sometimes defined as the work of the people, where we worship as a body who participates in the service as well as listens and learns. Our style of worship goes back to the early church established by Christians. You will find the liturgy for the service in the bulletin. The hymns will either be found in the blue hymnal or the bulletin.
We participate in our worship with our posture.
We stand to praise our Lord, sit to learn from the Word and kneel before our King. We do so because we are in the presence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Also, you may notice some people make the sign of the cross on their upper torso. They are responding in worship asking God’s blessing, as they make the sign of the cross, on their mind, heart and strength. We do this because this is how we are called to love the Lord our God.
Children are always included in our worship.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me; do not hinder them. For it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” (Mark 10:14). We do all that we can to involve children in our worship and to provide safe care for them while they are at St. John’s.
Activity bags are available to left of the Sanctuary doors in the Narthex for younger children to use during service. Simply pick one up from the basket on your way in and return it on your way out.
A nursery is available in the Education Building from 8:30am until the end of the 11:00am service each Sunday morning for infants and children through the age of three.
We also have Children’s Chapel at every service. The children leave the main service for chapel at the Gloria and return during the Announcements.
I would like to take communion but have not been baptized.
If you have not been baptized, but wish to receive the Lord’s Supper, please speak to our priest. Baptismal instruction is not long or difficult. Our priest would be happy to meet with you to explain the nature of baptism, the Eucharist, and church membership.
Preparing children for worship.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me; do not hinder them. For it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” (Mark 10:14). We love having children in our worship and work to provide great care for them while they are at St. John’s.
Here are a few hints to help prepare your child for worship:
- Make sure your child wears a name tag! If you don’t have one please let us know and we will make one. If you are visiting us, please ask our greeters for name tags for the whole family.
- Activity bags are available under the Welcome Table (name tag table) in the Narthex for younger children to use during service. It’s okay to let your child color during church – they are paying more attention than you think!! Pick one up on your way in to service and return it on your way out.
- A nursery is available in the Education Building from 8:30am until the end of the 11:00am service each Sunday morning for infants and children through the age of three.
- During the Peace, remember to pass the Peace to your child and to the other children around you saying, “Peace be with you.” Invite your children to do the same.
- After Announcements, there is a time for recognizing birthdays. Be sure to bring your child forward to bless their special day.
- Give your child an offering to place in the Offering plate. Remember, no offering is too small
- Once your child has been baptized, they may receive communion. After baptism, it is up to you as their parents to decide when they begin to participate in the Eucharist. (Children are welcome to come forward for a blessing instead of communion.) Our priest will teach a communion class when requested.
Note about Children: While your children are welcome to stay with you during the whole service; a special Children’s Chapel is offered at every service. Children, Pre-K through the third grade, leave the main service for Chapel at the Gloria and return during the Announcements.
Do you have a special prayer need or request?
We have people who are available to pray for you or with you for a loved one or friend. They stand up in the niches by our altar during communion. If you would like to involve the priest and have Unction (Sacrament of Healing) and the laying on of hands, that is available directly after the service, in consultation with the priest.
You can also request prayer through our website.