New to Saint Thomas?

where-to-go-from-hereWELCOME – Whether you’re spiritually-minded, curious about Christianity or the Episcopal Church, looking for fellowship within an inclusive community or just simply wanting to live a life of compassion…we’re glad you’re here!

To learn more about who we are, our beliefs, values and mission, we invite you to review the content under the About Us main menu.

Take a moment to explore and if you would like to check us out in person, drop by one of our worship services or upcoming events.

Click on the selections below to help prepare you for your first visit:

GENERAL INFORMATION - Where do I start?

Visitor’s Table is a great place to start if you have questions or need help. We will have volunteers ready to assist you.

Childcare is available for ages four (4) years and younger in the Nursery located inside the Education Building (see Directions and Campus Map) from 10:20 a.m. until parents return after service.

Sunday School is offered for children ages 4 – 12 in classrooms located inside the Education Building. Check-in is at 10:20 a.m.

All children participating in Childcare and Sunday School must be registered on their first visit and signed-in and out by parents thereafter in accordance with safe church policies. Please see teachers for registration forms at time of check-in. Building doors are locked 10 minutes after church service begins. Caregivers require identification for later entry.

Handicap Parking and Wheelchair Access: There are designated areas for handicap parking and unloading. Wheelchair access is available – let us know if you are in need of assistance.

Hearing or Visual Needs: Assistive Listening Devices can be checked-out for sanctuary use. Larger print Prayer Books and service bulletins are also on hand. Make your requests at the door.

Children’s Corner is located in the back of the sanctuary to provide a comforting place to soothe and settle littles ones if needed during worship.

What to wear? People come in jeans, dresses, suits, and the littlest ones in diapers. Be comfortable.

Coffee Hour – Can I bring my morning coffee into the sanctuary? No, but you can join us for refreshments in Cowans Hall immediately following 8:00 and 10:30 A.M. worship services! Make some new acquaintances or visit the children’s play area while you’re here.

About mobile devices – Please place cell phones on vibrate mode and refrain from texting, tweeting, and playing Angry Birds or Pokeman Go until service is over. If you must take an urgent call, please step outside the sanctuary building for more privacy.

WORSHIP PRACTICES - New to Episcopalian worship?

Episcopalian Worship is participatory and response-oriented. Relax – enjoy the discovery process and let your bulletin show you the way. It may reference Hymnal selections (blue book) and interactive readings from the Book of Common Prayer (red book); both are located in book racks on the pews.

Book of Common Prayer (red book) is used with the bulletin to guide our participation in worship service.

Hymnal (blue book) is a collection of [sacred] songs, tunes and music authorized by the Episcopal Church [for use in worship] – The Episcopal Church Archive

Liturgy: We are a liturgical church which means that we follow an order of service that informs and involves the active participation of the entire faith community. All the elements of worship are an outward expression of the Lord’s Prayer and embody the life-giving work of Jesus Christ through the seasons of the year.

Communal Prayer is an important aspect of our worship and is one of the ways we care for one another. If you would like to be included with the “Prayers of the People” read aloud during service, please see the prayer binder in the Narthex before service. It’s located on a pedestal to the right of the entrance through the sanctuary doors. The binder lists places to write down special prayers, thanksgivings and to remember departed loved ones. Let us know if you need assistance.

The Creeds are statements of faith read aloud in community as an affirmation of what we believe.

The Peace “Basics” – is a time set aside during worship service for people to welcome and greet one another. We exchange a greeting – “Peace be with you” – and respond with “And also with you”. It is a time-honored tradition.

Who can take Communion? Anyone who has been baptized into the Christian faith is welcome to participate in this sacramental meal. We honor those who are undecided in their personal beliefs by offering a blessing at the altar. If you would like to receive a blessing, simply go up to the altar rail during communion and place your arms across your chest to indicate your wishes.

Need Extra Prayer? During communion, a non-ordained or lay healing minister will be standing to the right of the altar ready to pray with/for you in your time of need. We also have an intercessory prayer chain for ongoing support.

About Tithes & Offerings – It is one of the practical ways parishioners support the physical and spiritual resources that the church provides to the faith community. Participation is voluntary.

SPEAKING EPISCOPALIAN - What does it all mean?

Welcome to ESL – Episcopalian as a Second Language
We realize that we have a language all our own with a number of funny sounding words like Narthex or Sacristy that may not make a lot of sense at first glance. Not to worry! To make your journey a little easier, we will include a “tool-tip” or snapshot definition of these unusual terms to aid your understanding. Just hover over a highlighted term and a description will be displayed in a tool-tip pop-up. In time, you will be able to make these terms your own.

If you wish to do further research, we have located a couple of wonderful resources for church terminology with many thanks to the Episcopal Church library, see The Glossary and the Diocese of New York, see Church Terminology and Glossary of Terms

GETTING TO KNOW US - Let's do lunch?

Newcomers Lunch
We offer a Sunday luncheon that is hosted once a quarter to welcome newcomers in our midst. If you are new to Saint Thomas, it is a great way to get acquainted and learn more about our faith community. For more details, Contact Us.

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