Visitor’s Guide

NOTE: We currently have one 9:30 am service.

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.

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.

There is a nursery for young children but it is currently not staffed. Feel free to use this room as needed with your child(ren) during the service.

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. 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 anointing 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 upon request.

There’s no rule about going to the altar rail for communion. Some people just remain in their pews.

The offering plate can be found at the back of the church. 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.

The Service

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.

During the school year 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.

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