NOTE: In the “pandemic season”, one 9:00am service. Social distancing and face masks requested for all. Normally, 8:00 and 10:15 A.M. Sunday mornings.
What to expect Sunday mornings at St. Stephen’s
A short visitor’s guide to what happens, just so you won’t be surprised!
Sunday morning, we always have the communion service, with distribution of bread and wine. You can stay in the pew if you don’t wish to receive the bread and wine.
Kids are always welcome in church. Crayons and paper are available at the back of the church.
Some men wear suits and ties, some don’t. The era of hats and white gloves has long since gone by, so dress is a bit less formal than it used to be.
The Sunday bulletin has announcements and a sort of “road map” through the service.It can be found on a table in the back of the church. Help yourself. The hymnals and prayer books are in the pews.
Nursery care for infants and toddlers is available from 9:00am to 11:30am in our nursery room, close by, behind the doors at the back of the church.
Bathrooms are also behind the doors at the back of the church.
Communion is distributed at the altar rail at the front of the church. You can stay in the pew if you don’t wish to receive the bread and wine. At the altar rail, you can kneel or stand. If you don’t want the elements, cross your arms in front of you to receive a blessing. If you remain at the altar rail after the elements have been passed, the priest will offer annointing with oil and ask for a healing blessing. Some people stay for this and some don’t.
The bread is homemade but the deacon also has the traditional wafers. Gluten free wafers are available by prior arrangement with Deacon Pat.
The wine will be offered by the chalice bearer, usually a lay person. You can sip from the cup, or you can dip the bread into the wine (called intinction) when the cup is offered.
There’s no rule about going to the altar rail for communion. Some people just remain in their pews.
The offering plate will be passed by the ushers. You may feel free to either make a contribution or not. First time visitors may want to fill out a “visitor’s card” and place it in the plate as their offering. That’s entirely optional.
We often have a “coffee hour” after the service. You and your family are welcome to participate and meet people.
Two services: 8:00am and 10:15am
8:00am Sunday mornings
Some have called this the “quiet” service, since we have no music and kids usually go to the later service.
10:15am Sunday mornings
There will be hymns (blue hymnal) supported by the choir. The hymn numbers are listed on the hymn boards on the wall of the church. There is usually a choir anthem, and there is organ music before and after the service.
There is often a short children’s sermon following the invitation, “Will the children please come forward.” Kids can come forward at that time if they wish to do so. They go out for a Church School lesson right after the kid’s sermon. If your kids would like to go, we would be glad to have them.
Usually there is a “coffee hour” after the service back in the parish hall. It’s easy to find past the doors at the back of the church and down a short hallway. You are most welcome to go there and meet a few people. Feel free to introduce yourself. Kids are welcome at the coffee hour, too.
Children’s Worship Papers: There are small clipboards with a coloring page based on the lectionary gospel text and a few blank sheets of paper in a basket at the back of the church, crayons also. Please help yourself if your child would like to use this resource. Please return the clipboard and crayons at the end of the service.