We gather in Christian worship for solace, strength, inspiration, and courage to live into our full statures, as Christ taught us. Our ancient services and prayers connect us with the wisdom and beauty of generations of people who have walked this path.
Nearly every Sunday two or three visitors attend our services. We welcome them! Whether visitors are vacationing in the area, seeking a new home, or just need to be in the presence of Christ's people for an hour, we are glad that visitors may find comfort, inspiration, or joy in our midst.
We try our best to say hello and learn the names of all visitors. We offer an opportunity to reconnect with Mtr. Sara on an individual level after services. We never pressure visitors or put them on the spot!
You will be welcomed at the door, given an order of service bulletin, and shown into the nave. Sit anywhere you like, the names on the pews indicate a gift. During the peace people around you will greet you. After the service you will be invited to fill out a name card and introduced to Mtr. Sara so we can make you feel welcome.
We try to make sure visitors feel welcome comfortable without being intrusive. We never ask visitors to stand or introduce themselves to the congregation.
Worship at St. Mark’s is based on scripture and follows the ancient liturgy. Our worship is participatory – you engage in the music and prayers as you feel comfortable. Throughout the service we stand, kneel, and sit at various times.
The service leaflet contains the four scriptures appointed for the day: the Old Testament lesson, the Psalm, the New Testament lesson, and the Gospel. The leaflet contains the order of service and the page numbers in the prayer book and hymnal. The Book of Common Prayer contains most of the prayers and service readings. The Hymnal 1982 holds the hymns and service music.
The 8:00 am service follows the Rite I Eucharistic liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer, and there is no music.
The 10:30 am service follows the Rite II Eucharistic liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer. Music at the 10:30 am service includes hymns accompanied by our organ and sung by the congregation and choir. The choir sings classical sacred music, English cathedral-style anthems, as well as American and African American spirituals, before the service, or during the Offertory, and Communion. The sung service music such as the Gloria, Sursum Corda, Sanctus, Benedictus, and Angus Dei are in the hymnal and sung by the Priest, choir, and congregation.
In both services there are four Bible readings after which our Priest or Deacon will share an encouraging and hope-filled message about Jesus.
In response to hearing God’s word, all baptized Christians are invited to receive Communion or a blessing at the altar rail. We use wine in the Communion cup. We also have a gluten free option (ask the clergy when you come to the rail).
At the end of the service, after the recessional hymn, there is a final dismissal such as “Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.” Then the congregation responds “Thanks be to God,” and the service concludes.
The Holy Eucharist at St. Mark’s is about an hour long. Sermons are usually ten minutes.
Children of all ages are welcome during our services! Our children sit with their parents, and many of them become acolytes as soon as they are old enough to carry a torch or ring a bell.
Come as you are. People attend St. Mark’s in suit and tie or shorts and a polo and everything in between.
Yes, of course! Just come! However, if you want to let us know ahead you’re coming, we’ll be happy to answer any additional questions and make sure you’re taken care of.
The Episcopal Church describes itself as Protestant yet Catholic, and the great middle way. It maintains apostolic succession, tracing its bishops back to the apostles through directly successive ordinations of its priests, as does the Catholic Church. The Church of England separated from the Catholic Church to break political ties. During Colonial times, most churches in the American Colonies were Church of England. In turn, after the American Revolution, The Episcopal Church separated politically from the Church of England to remove political allegiance to England.
The sacraments and services are organized in the Book of Common Prayer. The Hymnal 1982 contains the canon of hymns and service music most often used. Holy Eucharist, the normal Sunday service always includes four reading from the Bible.
Culturally, the Episcopal Church emphasizes a balance of Scripture, Faith, and Reason.
Members of the Episcopal Church have played leadership roles in many aspects of American life, including politics, business, science, the arts, and education. About three-quarters of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were affiliated with the Episcopal Church, and over a quarter of all Presidents of the United States have been Episcopalians. Historically, Episcopalians were highly represented among American scientific elite and Nobel Prize winners.
Episcopal means of or relating to a Bishop. It refers to the Episcopal Church’s organization into dioceses each led by a Bishop.
(sourced heavily from Wikipedia 1-4-23)
The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion after the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Founded in 1867 in London, the communion has more than 85 million members; most members reside within former British colonies. The Archbishop of Canterbury acts as a focus of unity, primus inter pares ("first among equals"), but does not exercise authority outside of the Church of England.
The churches of the Anglican Communion consider themselves to be part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, and to be both catholic and reformed. As in the Church of England itself, the Anglican Communion includes the broad spectrum of beliefs and liturgical practices found in the Evangelical, Central and Anglo-Catholic traditions of Anglicanism. Each national or regional church is fully independent, retaining its own legislative process and episcopal polity.
10. No snake handling.
9. You can believe in dinosaurs.
8. Male and female God created them; male and female we ordain them.
7. You don’t have to check your brains at the door.
6. Pew aerobics.
5. Church year is color-coded.
4. Free wine on Sunday.
3. All of the pageantry – none of the guilt.
2. You don’t have to know how to swim to get baptized.
And the Number One reason to be an Episcopalian:
1. No matter what you believe, there’s bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.