What should I expect?

Parking: There is parking to the right, left, and rear of the church. If you park on the right side you will enter the church from the main entrance. You will find a stairway leading up to the narthex and main level.  There is a bathroom to the right at the top of the stairway.  If you park on the left side you will enter the main door.  Once you enter the main door there will be two bathrooms to your left and a lift for wheelchair and walker accessibility to your right.

Greeting: You will be greeted when you enter by a greeter or an usher.    You will be asked to sign a registry and complete an address form so that we can write you a thank you note for spending your time with us. If you desire, you will be assisted in locating a seat.

What should I wear? Wear whatever you are comfortable wearing.  There may be people wearing tee shirts and sandals and people wearing coats and ties. 

What about children? Children are welcomed in the service.  There is a nursery with a changing table, youth bed, toys and sink provided if you need it.

What about communion? All baptized believers are welcome to receive the consecrated bread and wine in the service of Holy Communion.  Communion takes place every Sunday when clergy is available.  The ushers will direct you when it is time for you to receive the bread and wine. If you would rather only receive the communion bread, you may do so. If you elect not to commune, please step aside so that others in your row may go forward.  If you have difficulty walking then inform the ushers that you would like to commune at your seat and the clergy will bring communion to you after everyone else has received.  When you go up to commune, there will be a chalice for intention (in which you dip your wafer) and for drinking the wine and you may choose either one.

Where should I sit? We have cushioned pews in St. Stephen’s Church. You may sit wherever you wish.

How long does the service last? Generally, the service lasts about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Will I have to speak? No.

Will I be singled out? The greeter will ask you before the service if you wish to be introduced to the congregation. You do not have to be introduced.

What are your services like?  We are an Episcopal Church.  Our services are liturgical. This means that they follow an outline or order of services found in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer.  It means that our services are usually centered around the sacrament of Holy Communion. The congregation is led by fulltime clergy, The Reverend Father Willis Renard Foster, Rector. When our regular or supply clergy is not available Morning Prayer Services are led by Lay Eucharistic Ministers/Leaders. There are two Sunday services. An 8:00 A.M. service followed by 9:15 A.M. Christian Education, and a 10:30 A.M. Service.

When you enter the church you will be greeted by a greeter or an usher. There will be a baptismal font in the aisle. It contains Holy Water.  At your seat you will need to pick up a Book of Common Prayer, Hymnal, and LEVAS (Lift Every Voice and Sing). Page and hymn number will be announced to the congregation.

The service begins with introductions of visitors and any announcements that need to be made. After the service begins lay people in the church read the lessons. After the lessons there is a sermon the presiding clergy or lay leader. After the sermon, the ushers pass an offering plate to the congregation and members may contribute to it. The service also includes prayers for members of the congregation and others.  It also includes a passing of the peace among members of the congregation.  After the sacrament of Holy Communion, and the singing of the final hymn, the service ends with a blessing and a dismissal.

What happens after the service? Members of the congregation provide light snacks (coffee hour) and drink in the parish hall. Visitors have a chance to meet and mingle with members of the congregation if they wish. We hope you will join us!

What about religious education?  Various educational opportunities are listed in our weekly parish notes, our quarterly newsletter, and our diocesean news and publications.

Is there a playground for kids? No. There is an indoor kids play & reading area in the parish hall. 

Can I see more of the church? Yes. If you ask one of the ushers or the greeter they will be happy to give you a tour of the church.

How do I join the church? You meet with the clergy or when they are not available with the Senior Warden.

What is your mission?  The mission of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is “to meet the needs of the Church and Community” so that all people, young and old, rich and poor, wise and foolish, who are drawn here may know themselves deeply loved and deeply welcome, nourished by joyful liturgical worship as the center of their common life, and living out their calling in generous service to one another and to our community.

What are your core beliefs? The core beliefs of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church are that Christian Churches of two different traditions can successfully worship together with mutual enrichment, and grow in Christian strength and love; that every person is of infinite value to God; that outreach to the greater community and world as well as sensitive care for each member of our church community are imperative to living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ with integrity.

What Is Going On?

St. Stephen’s Greeters Ministry

As Greeters of St. Stephen’s, our mission is to extend God’s love and welcome those who enter our doors each Sunday.  The hospitality that we show our visitors is both a reflection and an extension of God’s own Hospitality, to us in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Our goal is not “New Church Members”, but “More and Better Disciples”.  Your newest people are usually your best recruiters.  Give them opportunities to invite.

We currently have four teams with two greeters assigned each Sunday.  The greeters are:  Nancy Bryant, Veronica Fountain, Tanya Harris, Annie Henderson, George Henderson, Anthony Lewis, Reginald Tabor and John Russell. We began this ministry in January 2013.

Welcoming others into God’s house is an important part of our evangelism!  COME AND JOIN US!!

Nancy Ross.