Getting Started

Our doors and hearts will be open to all. We will provide a variety of worship and study opportunities for people of all ages to encounter the living God. We will be agents of positive change throughout the larger community.

Wondering what your first Sunday might look like?

First of all, you can expect to be welcomed! Hospitality is our middle name.

We cordially invite you to worship with us and we’ll do everything we can to make you welcome.

When you drive onto our campus, you’ll notice that our building is in the shape of a giant U. The part that is closest to the parking lot is our church sanctuary. The other arm of the U is Lackey Parish Hall. The connector between them is where you will find the offices and handicapped-accessible bathrooms.

Wheel Chair | Walker Accessible

Need to use a walker or wheelchair? We’ve got you covered! The entrance at the back of the church has a ramp for access to the offices, and there is also a pew-level accessible entrance ramp on the north side of the church which leads directly into the sanctuary where our services are. If you’re coming for a meeting, use the door with the ramp at the back, and if you’re coming for worship, use the latter entry door.

“We first went to Christ & Grace to hear our friend sing a solo. We ended up talking with other parishioners afterward and everyone was so welcoming that we just started going every Sunday, solo performance or not!”
Lucia Malon

Our Doors Are Open

As Our Service Begins

When we are starting our services, the doors to the church will be open, and an usher will be at the door handing out the service bulletins. The usher will greet you and will be only too pleased to answer any questions you may have about the service. There may be other newcomers in church as well. You may also ask an usher to get you a name tag.

When you visit us, you’ll be our respected and welcomed guest. You’ll not be singled out in an embarrassing way or asked to stand before the congregation or made to come forward. You’ll simply be worshiping God along with the rest of us. Note that you don’t have to bring a Bible with you.

If you don’t yet feel ready to participate in one of our services, you can simply come in to watch and listen to what happens. If you read the page at the link on the left marked “The Service,” nothing will come as a surprise. Once you’ve come one or twice, you may feel that you’d like to join in with the rest of the congregation. In any case, our services are live streamed, so you can see how our worship services flow. Check us out on YouTube!

On most Sundays between September and May, and occasionally during the summer, there is an Adult Forum (a Sunday School for grown-ups) in Lackey Hall unless otherwise specified. You are welcome to join in this time of conversation and learning; it may be a Bible Study, or dealing with the issues that we wrestle with as Christians or church history.

We Learn, We Pray, We Worship

The service of Holy Communion follows a standard format, laid out in our worship book called the Book of Common Prayer. This is the same book that all Episcopal Churches use. The good news is that the entire service, just as it is in the Book of Common Prayer, is in your service leaflet, so you don’t have to juggle a Prayer Book, a Bible and a Hymnal. You’ll receive a service bulletin from the usher when you come into the church, and that, in combination with the hymnal you’ll find in the pew rack, will be all you need.

The service is divided into two parts: the Liturgy of the Word, when we learn from God’s Holy Scripture both in readings and in the sermon, and the Liturgy of the Table, when we celebrate as Our Lord instructed us at the Last Supper, praying, consecrating the bread and wine, sharing it, and thanking God for our time together, before we go out into the world to do what God has taught us to do.

We offer the consecrated bread and wine – the Body and Blood of Christ- at the altar rail. For those for whom going up to the rail would be difficult, the priest and a lay chalice bearer will come to you in your pew to serve you. The wine is offered in two ways: by sharing a sip from the common cup, or by dipping the wafer into a shallow intinction cup. You may also choose to not consume the wine at all (just cross your hands over your chest) or to come forward not to receive the bread or the wine but to get a blessing. Again, crossing your arms over your chest is the indicator to the server that you simply wish a blessing.

In both parts of the service, there are prayers (your parts will be highlighted so you know when it’s your turn to join in) and lots of beautiful music. If you’ve come from another Christian tradition, most of the hymns may be familiar. There may also be what is called “service music,” special prayers that are sung every week as part of the service. Those pieces of service music (the Gloria, the Sanctus, the song at the Breaking of the Bread) are also in the Hymnal.

In between the two liturgies, there are announcements to let you know some of what’s going on in the week or weeks to come, and the giving of funds toward the work of the parish. Some folks give by simply putting cash into the collection basket at that time. Others give through an automatic payment from their bank.  In any case, you’ll find out more about giving here

 After the service, we would love it if you would  join us in our parish hall for refreshments! Prepare to be welcomed with love by the parishioners. In any case, please do introduce yourself to the clergy. We’d be delighted to get to know you so we may serve you as a new friend!

Labyrinth
Front view of Christ and Grace Episcopal