Stepping inside the doors of a new church can be a leap of faith on many levels, even for people who’ve been going to church for a long time. Below is an overview of what to expect on any given Sunday:
The center of Christian worship for Episcopalians is Holy Eucharist, sometimes called Holy Communion or the Last Supper. Each Sunday, we gather to remember Jesus how he taught his earliest disciples, through the breaking of bread and sharing of the cup, which represent our share in his body and blood for the life of the world. We also gather with music, scripture, prayer, and fellowship at every service.
The Courtyard Service is an all-ages service specifically designed for persons at every age to participate fully and wholly. The Nave Service is a contemporary blend of ancient practices of prayer and worship that is joyful and inclusive. We will also continue to broadcast our Nave service on our worship page (sttims.org/services).
When you arrive at St Timothy’s, there is plenty of parking either in the front or back parking lot. As you enter the front doors (or gate to the courtyard), you’ll be met by some friendly people (we call them “greeters”) who’ll say hello and hand you a bulletin with upcoming events. You’ll find a place for you to fill out information about yourself to help us get you more connected with the community: please fill it out and place it in the offering box or hand it to one of the greeters. (We promise, this doesn’t sign you up for any telemarketing lists, or email spam.)
You’ll notice that everyone is dressed comfortably, in anything from “office casual” to flip-flops and shorts.
What About My Kids?
Children are always welcome to worship with us indoors, in the Courtyard, or online! In the Sanctuary, we have a space set aside for kids called the PrayGround and it is stocked with books and coloring sheets. Currently, we are not offering a nursery or Godly Play (Sunday School) for children.
Our service follows the order of most Episcopal services, which use the liturgy found within The Book of Common Prayer. The service usually begins with everyone standing and singing followed by a welcome and a series of Scripture readings and prayers. You’ll notice that throughout many parts of the service that the congregation participates by saying the prayers together (words are in a bulletin that you can get on your phone or a paper copy), but it’s also ok to stand silently if that feels more comfortable.
Towards the middle of the service, the priest will present a sermon, which usually lasts around 10-12 minutes. If you are in the Courtyard Service, we have a children’s sermon. After the sermon, there will be announcements, and a celebration of birthdays and anniversaries for the week. Then, the priest will say,
“The peace of the Lord be always with you!”
And the congregation replies: “And also with you!”
What follows is a joyful, sometimes boisterous time of everyone saying hello to one another, along with the phrase “Peace be with you!” In these post-covid times, we are sharing the peace by waving or bowing to each other.
The Holy Eucharist, or Communion, is the final part of our service.
The service lasts about an hour.
Following the service, we will have a gathering under the Oak tree in the front parking lot.
We hope you’ll join us!