What to Expect When Visiting
You are invited
St. George's extends a cordial welcome to you to worship with us, and offer this description as a brief introduction to our church building and to our style of worship.
Parking & Access
St. George's has two parking lots, an upper and lower. All traffic enters the upper lot and exits from the lower lot. Entrance to the upper lot is from Manor Lane (the road between the Church and the Ferneding Insurance building). If you enter the building from the Lower Lot you will need to go upstairs one level to the Sanctuary or use the Elevator and go to level 'S'.
Our building is fully handicapped accessible: to make use of handicapped parking please use the upper lot; if all spaces are occupied there are two more designated handicapped parking spaces on the driveway that connects the upper lot to the lower lot. If you park on the driveway please use the double red doors and continue straight ahead to the elevator on the right. Select "S" for the Sanctuary level. ADA restroom is located on the lower level by the east stairs.
Nursery & Sunday School
Both are located on the Lower Level, which can be directly accessed from the Lower parking lot (enter through the double red doors and then turn left down the hall). From the upper lot enter the main church doors, go past the sanctuary and follow the signs down the stairs to the Sunday School wing or Nursery. Click here for more information about the Nursery or Sunday School.
The Place of Worship
As you enter, you will notice an atmosphere of worship and reverence. Your eye is carried to the altar, or holy table, and to the cross. So our thoughts are taken at once to Christ and his great sacrifice for our sins. The Holy Table is where we celebrate Holy Communion with bread and wine. All baptized Christians are welcome to take communion at St. George's.
To the left and right of the Table are the pulpit and lectern, where the sermon and readings from Scripture are given, respectively. Thus the layout of the Church focuses us on Jesus Christ, His Word and Sacraments.
Our Church is also blessed to have beautiful stained glass windows which depict scenes from the Bible, events from the life of Jesus Christ, and on the south wall of the Sanctuary, many well known saints from ages past.
The Act of Worship
In the pews you will find the Book of Common Prayer (red book with gold cross on front), the use of which enables the congregation to share fully in every service. At the 10:30 service we provide a full bulletin which contains the entire service, so you don't have to use the BCP if you don't want to. Most of our worship songs are found in the blue hymnal, the page numbers for the songs are found in the bulletin. At 8:00am and 5:00pm the bulletin gives the appropriate page numbers of the service in the BCP, but does not print the full service.
We have Holy Communion at all Sunday services. All baptized Christians are welcome to receive Communion at St. George's. If you are not baptized please join us for worship and if you would like to come forward to the railing during Communion simply cross your hands over your arms and the minister will pray for God's blessing upon you.
You may wonder when to stand or kneel. Practices vary---even among individual Episcopalians. The general rule is to stand to sing, kneel to pray, sit to listen. We stand, also to say our affirmation of faith, the Creed, and for the reading of the Gospel. We sit during readings from the Old Testament and New Testament, the sermon, and the choir anthems. You will find the services of the Episcopal Church Christ-centered, beautiful in their ordered dignity, and still mindful of the needs of the individual.
To add to the beauty and festivity of the services, and to signify their special ministries, the clergy and other worship leaders wear vestments. Lay Readers and Choir vestments usually consist of an undergown called a cassock (usually black) and a white, gathered over-gown called a cotta. Vergers, who are lay ministers who act as 'masters of ceremony' wear gray vestments, often trimmed with red, and carry a staff called a verge. The clergy wear a black cassock and a longer white over-gown called a surplice. Over the surplice ordained ministers wear either a stole, a narrow band of colored fabric or a tippet, which is a long, thick black band of fabric. They will also have on two white "tabs" or which hand down from their collar. These preaching bands represent the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, and that the preacher is charged with proclaiming the full Word of God. At the 10:30 service the minister who is preaching that day will wear a tippet and have two white tabs in the front of their vestments. The preacher may also be wearing an academic hood to signify their theological training to be a preacher. The clergy who is leading the service (the Celebrant), and any other clergy assisting with Holy Communion will wear a stole to match the church season color. Deacons wear the stole over one shoulder, priests and bishops over both shoulders.
Vestments and altar coverings are usually made of fabrics whose colors are changed with the seasons and holy days of the Church Year. The most frequently used colors are white, red, purple, green, and blue.
The Church Year
The Episcopal Church observes the traditional Christian calendar of the Western Church. The Church year begins with the season of Advent, during which we prepare for Christmas. Advent begins on the Sunday closest to November 30. Christmas itself lasts twelve days, after which we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6).
Lent is the forty days of preparation before Easter and begins on Ash Wednesday in February. Easter season lasts fifty days, concluding on Pentecost. The rest of the church year is considered the Season of Pentecost and goes until the start of the next Advent.
During these times the Bible readings are chosen for their appropriateness to the season. During the rest of the year---the season after Epiphany and the long season after Pentecost (except for a few special Sundays)---the New Testament is read sequentially from Sunday to Sunday. The Old Testament lesson usually corresponds in theme with one of the New Testament readings.