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FIRST-TIME VISITORS

WE WELCOME PEOPLE WHEREVER THEY ARE ON THEIR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY

G R E E T I N G S! 

We’re delighted you’re considering attending Church of the Redeemer.

We want you to be comfortable during your visit so you can worship God freely. Episcopal worship services use several resources (explained below) and involve movement. Our worship exercises all the senses–sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. This whole‐person involvement gives God a lot of ways to reach us!

We know our services can be overwhelming at first, so we would like to equip you ahead of time and set you at ease.

We hope you will take a moment to learn more about our beliefs and how we are helping people connect more deeply with God and each other. Then below find the steps you can take to become a member of the church. If you have questions, please complete the form at the bottom of this page and a member of our staff will be in touch.

COVID-19 UPDATE:  In-person activities are limited. For details on our current level of regathering, click here.

Let's Start with Some Frequently Asked Questions....

What if I'm not a Christian?

You are welcome among us. Hopefully, we’ll learn from each other!

What other options are available for my children? 

Our nursery is for children ages 0‐3 and is available during the 10:30 worship service in a play room near the kitchen. A trained childcare worker stays with the children at all times. Also during the 10:30 service, older children aged 4 through high school are invited to attend age‐appropriate Sunday school classes downstairs. Children rejoin their families in the worship service for Communion.major parts of the service are in the bulletin–if you want to follow the service word for word, this sheet directs you to the page numbers in the Book of Common Prayer. Also included in the "stuff” are announcements of upcoming events.

Why is everybody so quiet?

Quietness tends to be part of Episcopal church culture. Many Episcopalians take time before the service to sit quietly in the sanctuary to greet God, prepare for communion, and perhaps read the Scripture passages or other information printed in the bulletin. But we never want our penchant for quietness to make you embarrassed if you have family members with special needs or children for whom quietness is challenging.

What if I or someone I love needs prayer?

In the foyer outside the sanctuary, on a table near where the ushers/greeters stand, you can find a list of people for whom we offer special prayers. If you would like to add someone’s name to the prayer list, call the church office ahead of time, or handwrite the person’s name on the list. They’ll be included in our prayers for four weeks. If you would like someone to pray with you in person, you can approach one of the people standing near the baptismal font during Eucharist. You are also welcome to schedule a visit with a member of our clergy during the week.

Remember, do what makes you feel comfortable. The point is, God’s glad you’re here, and so are we.

Why do some people touch themselves on the forehead and shoulders at certain points in the service?

Again, this is a personal worship style known as "making the sign of the cross.” Some people do it out of habit, others because it reminds them of the sacrifice Jesus made to enable us to respond to God’s love; still others because it’s their way of "taking up their own cross” and following him.

Will I need to stand up and give my name or anything like that when I visit?

No. We don’t want to embarrass you or make you uncomfortable. But we hope you will complete one of the "Guest” cards in the pew and give it to an usher, or put it in the offertory plate. If you feel comfortable introducing yourself to some of us privately, we would be thrilled to meet and welcome you personally.

How is Communion celebrated at Church of the Redeemer?

All baptized Christians of any age are invited and encouraged to participate in communion, which is our corporate remembrance of and participation in Christ’s sacrifice for us and the whole world. All others are also invited to come forward for a blessing pronounced by the priest in the name of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

Those receiving communion or a blessing may kneel or stand.

Those wishing to be bless may cross their arms over their chests as a signal to the priest.

What does it mean that Church of the Redeemer Welcomes Me? 

In our Baptismal Covenant (BCP 304-305), we vow to serve Christ in all persons, love our neighbors as ourselves, and respect the dignity of every human person. We strive to reach our welcoming arms wide in embracing and affirming persons of all walks of life, races, sexual orientations, income levels, ages, and abilities at all levels of our common life and worship.

Are children welcome in your service?

Yes! If you bring your children with you, we recommend that you sit at the front or near the aisle, so that your children can see and hear well. We also have activity bags (hanging in the foyer, near the bathrooms) for your children to use during the service if they wish.

What books do Episcopalians use in worship?

The smaller red book is the Book of Common Prayer, often referred to as the "BCP.” This prayer book unites Episcopalians around the country in a common order of service and sets the schedule for our Scripture readings. Its roots date back to the sixteenth century in England, when Thomas Cranmer wrote the first English version of the Book of Common Prayer for the Church of England.

 

And… The larger blue book is the Hymnal 1982. The songs for each worship service are indicated in the bulletin. Our 10:30 service features our organ, praise band, and adult choir.

 

And… The spiral bound praise music booklet is a compilation of Christian songs treasured across many decades but not found in the Hymnal. We often sing songs from this book during the offertory.

What is inside the bulletin the ushers distribute before the service?

The bulletin includes the page numbers we will use from our 3 primary books: the Book of Common Prayer, the Hymnal, and the praise booklet. You will find the Scripture passages printed word‐for‐word. Every week, designated lectors read aloud the first and second lessons from the Old and New Testaments, the whole congregation reads a Psalm together, and a deacon reads aloud from one of the four Gospels. The bulletin may also include announcements of upcoming events and contact information for our clergy.

Why do some people bow or kneel before entering the pews?

People have different ways of "reverencing,” or showing respect and submission to Christ. Some bow in the direction of the altar, some "genuflect” (touch their knee to the floor), and others reverence silently or without gesture. Do whatever helps you to worship; don’t do whatever hinders that.

This all sounds very Roman Catholic to me. Is this a Roman Catholic Church?

No. Yes. Well, that’s a hard one to answer in a booklet like this. Although the ancient Church from which the Episcopal Church sprang was Roman Catholic, the present‐day Episcopal Church has practices and beliefs that are distinctly different from those of the Roman Catholic Church. The Episcopal Church is often referred to as a "bridge” church. We have deep roots in both the Catholic and Reformation traditions. The important thing, however, is our worship of God and our membership in the body of Christ, which includes Christians from many denominations.

What will happen during the first few minutes of service?

We encourage you to come a little early, so that you can get settled and familiarize yourself with the bulletin, possibly even preparing your Hymnal and Book of Common Prayer by marking the pages noted in the bulletin. You’ll hear a musical Prelude, and you may notice people in white robes lighting candles on the altar to symbolize God’s presence. During the first hymn, all of the people serving at the altar (as acolytes, Eucharistic ministers, and clergy) will be dressed in robes and will process together from the back of the church, following the cross and the Bible, with the clergy at the end of the line. The congregation may reverence the cross as it passes them.

Besides Sunday morning worship services, what else does your church provide for spiritual nourishment and friendship?

Adult Sunday school meets at 9:15 in Coffelt Hall, and everyone is welcome; no preparation is necessary.

 

Wednesday evening Adult Formation participants enjoy a potluck supper together at 6:00 p.m. and educational programming from 6:30‐7:30.

 

Men and women’s groups meet alternating Tuesday mornings in Coffelt Hall at 10 a.m. Ministry opportunities abound and may be found by clicking the "Ministries” tab on our website or by checking the "Outreach Ministries” brochure at our newcomers’ table in Coffelt Hall.