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Are You New to Church?

The Episcopal Church believes that God loves you, without exception.  Its legacy of inclusion includes the ordination of people regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.  The Church promotes peace, justice, and equity as essential parts of a Jesus-centered life.

The Episcopal Church is built upon the belief that, as God’s children, we are free to make our own choices and use human reason.  Our history of open inquiry and diverse viewpoints is one of our strengths.  So, when you visit us, we promise that:

  • You will be treated with respect

  • We will not single you out or embarrass you

  • We will not tell you what to think or what to believe

  • You will not be pressured to give money

  • You are welcome to choose which parts of the service you feel comfortable participating in.


The Episcopal Church is considered to be a "liturgical church" which means that every service follows a standardized and predictable order of events.

As a brief outline of our worship service, you can expect:

  • Musical prelude for prayer or quiet reflection

  • Opening prayer and hymn of praise (we love to sing!)

  • The Lessons, where parishioners volunteer if they desire, to read sections of the Bible (Old Testament, Psalms, and New Testament) out loud

  • A reading, by the priest or deacon, from the Gospel, which tells the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection


  • Sermon from the priest

  • A statement of our beliefs according to the Nicene Creed

  • Prayers of the People, where we pray for members of our congregation, the nation, and the world


  • Confession of Sin, read as a group, to acknowledge that we all fall short of what God would want us to do


  • The Peace where we greet one another


  • Holy Communion (Eucharist) where the priest blesses the bread and wine as Christ’s body and blood.  All are welcome to participate in Communion if they wish.

  • Closing hymn followed by a blessing to go forth in peace to love and serve the Lord


You can follow the service in the red Book of Common Prayer or a seasonal worship booklet.  The hymns usually come from the blue Hymnal 1982 book, though we sometimes use service music from other sources.  People will stand or kneel at various points in the service.  Don't worry about doing “the wrong thing.”  Participate as much or as little as you feel comfortable.  And know that any of your neighbors in the pews would be happy to assist you in navigating the service!

Parts of this description are adapted from St. Dunstan’s Church (Madison, Wisconsin)

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