Welcome to Saint Andrew's
At St. Andrew’s we believe that God delights in the diversity of all creation. We are a reconciling, affirming and inclusive Christian community striving through worship, love and service to welcome all people. No matter where you are in your journey of faith; whether you are single, married, divorced, separated, or partnered, our welcome knows no boundaries of age, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic condition, physical or mental ability.
We would love for you to join us Sunday morning or Wednesday evening as we break bread, celebrate God's goodness, and go forth to share the light with the world. We delight in incorporating our ancient liturgy and rich musical tradition with energy and relevance for today's people. We wish you God speed on your spiritual journey and know our community would be blessed by your presence.
What to expect when you visit
St. Andrew's is a large brick Georgian Style church on the corner of Woodbourne and Ellerbe in the Highlands, The main entrance is off Woodbourne; the handicap and alternative entrance is off Ellerbe. There is ample signage to find your way around, but you can always ask someone!
Dress is casual - wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing.
There is lots of street parking. We also have a small parking lot, with a section expecially reserved for guests - feel free to use those spaces. There is parking as well across Ellerbe in the synogogue parking lot.
For the 8:15 service: Enter the church at either Woodbourne or Ellerbe - there are no greeters or ushers. The early service is a quiet and meditative gathering. It last about 30 minutes.. Holy Communion is open to all baptized person.
During the fall, winter, and spring, there is organ music before, during, and after the service, but there is no singing. At the end of this liturgy, please introduce yourself, and if you wish, join us for coffee and lite fare in Collins Hall (just follow everyone else!).
Christian Formation (education) for all ages 9:30-10:15: During fall, winter and spring, there are education opportunities for everyone. We have an excellent children and youth program. For more information click here.
Adults meet downstairs in Room 200. Our discussions range from spirituality to current events to matters of faith.
For the 10:30 service: At Woodbourne, you will be met by a greeter to welcome you and answer any questions you may have (where's the bathroom?) Next, you will meet an usher who will give you a bulletin (program) containing all of the service except the hymns. There are always people milling about in the back, so feel free to introduce yourself, or not. Once you enter the main church, sit wherever you feel comfortable.
At around 10:30, there will be announcements from the lectern up at the front (chancel) of the church. Once they are over, there is an organ prelude. Use this time to quiet your mind and thoughts.
The Episcopal Church is a liturgical church, meaning we follow the ancient rites and ceremonies of Christianity, but in a modern context. We begin with a sung hymn - the Hymnal 1982 is the Red Book in the rack at your seat - feel free to join in! During the hymn, the crucifer (cross bearer), torth bearers, choir, and ministers process to the front. Once everyone is in place and the hymn has ended, we proceed with the Eucharist (also called Holy Communion, Holy Liturgy, or Mass). From this point you can follow the service as it proceeds. Do feel free to participate as much or as little as you desire. Many people first visiting an Episcopal Church will simply observe the service.
Holy Communion is open to all baptized Christians, and we encourage and invite you to receive Communion.
At the end of the service, we sing a hymn as the crucifer, torchbearers, choir, and ministers process to the back of the church. After the dismissal, there is an organ postlude. Feel free to sit and listen to that, or, feel free to move toward the back of the church (called the narthex) where we can meet you. There is coffee and cookies available as well. Epicopalians are known for always having a coffee hour - even when it is 95 degrees outside!
That is about it. If you have questions, as anyone - we are a friendly group. If you wish to be contacted, there are cards in the pews (seats) and there is a guestbook in the back. If you wish, you may text the word "Welcome" to the phone number in the bulletin - that will give you a link to our website.
Inquirer's classes are offered periodically throughout the year on an "as requested" basis. This is a short and informal course designed to introduce people to the Episcopal Church ethos regarding spirituality, theology, scripture, worship, and structure. A sort of Episcopalianism 101.
If you would like to learn more about the Episcopal Church and/or St. Andrew's, please contact Fr. Bill Parker.
How to Become a Member
Joining St. Andrew's
The best way to join is to just show up! If you are interested in becomming a member, fill out the form below:
As a member of St. Andrew's you are able to participate in most of the ministries of the church. You do not need to be a confirmed Episcopalian to help with outreach ministry, worship with us, attend different studies, or come to our events!
Baptism is a crucial element of the Christian life. It is the sacramental entry into the Church. You don't have to be baptized to be a member of St. Andrew's; however, to receive communion or be confirmed you need to be a professing follower of Christ. The Episcopal Church recognizes all baptisms in Christian denominations regardless of age. If you were baptized as a baby and wish to renew your baptismal vows and commitment to the Episcopalian church you can "reaffirm" your vows before the Bishop as an adult.
Transferring membership from another Episcopal Church
If you are an Episcopalian in good standing somewhere else, you can move your letter of membership to be a full member at St. Andrew's. You may contact the parish office to make this happen.
The Bishop visits regularly to confirm and receive people as well as witness reaffirmations for both youth and adults.
The word 'confirmation' is used in two ways:
First, it means that you are saying "yes" to the vows to Christ and the Church made for a small child by parents and godparents. If you have been baptized as child or baby you can, as a mature Christian make a public choice to confirm your Christianity and membership into the Episcopal Church at St. Andrew's.
Second, when confirmation is applied to adults outside of the Episcopal church, the focus is different. If you come from another Christian tradition as an adult that is not rooted in "apostolic succession", we would confirm you as an Episcopalian.
Typically members of United Methodist, Non-denominational, Presbyterian and others protestant congregations are confirmed into the Episcopal Church. Nothing is deficient about these congregations, but the Episcopal Church places a lot of value in the unbroken "family tree" that as traced from the disciples to today in "apostolic succession."
If you were not previously a Christian, you can be baptized. If the Bishop is present at your baptism, you do not also need to be confirmed. If you get baptized at St. Andrew's, then the next time the Bishop visits you would confirm your baptismal vows in the presence of the Bishop.
Each person who is confirmed at St. Andrew's is listed in the parish records and can take part in every aspect of lay leadership in the church from vestry to lay reading to being convention delegates and everything in between.
If you have gone through a period of instruction that led you to full member in your former Lutheran, Orthodox, or Roman Catholic Church, then the bishop will welcome you as an Episcopalian by receiving you. Anyone who is received is then put into our records and is a full member of the Episcopal Church.
If you come to St. Andrew's as an Episcopalian in good standing, but do not feel like you were active enough before, you might consider reaffirming your vows to Christianity and the Church. This choice might be for those who have been away from the church for a period of time and want to make a new beginning or for those who sense they are at a new stage in their spiritual life and want to affirm this in ritual. This can also be done when a bishop visits.
For more information, feel free to contact Fr. Bill.