Everyone is welcome at St. Andrew's, whether you are a long-time churchgoer looking for a church home in your new town, or someone who is curious, but doesn’t know the first thing about church. Here are a few things you may be wondering about before you come to St. Andrew's for the first time:
Q. What is the Episcopal Church and what do you believe?
A. We are a Christian denomination that is part of the “one holy catholic and apostolic church.” The Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican Communion, which is made up of more than 80 million followers of Christ in 160 countries. The Episcopal Church in the USA has a wonderful website that explains who we are and what we believe in great detail.
Q. Is there a place to park?
A. Yes! We have ample, free parking in our lot!
Q. How should I dress?
A. Come as you are! No fancy suits or dresses are required.
Q. How do I participate in the service? And do I have to?
A. When you enter the church, one of our ushers will hand you a bulletin that will lead you through our worship service. We encourage you to follow along and participate (or not) as the spirit leads you. Even the most seasoned Episcopalians rely on the instruction of those leading the service and details in the bulletins; of course, we hope you will ask questions if you need assistance.
Q. May I receive communion?
A. The heart of our worship as Episcopalians is the Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion. We experience the Real Presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in this ancient sharing of bread and wine. All baptized Christians of every age and all denominations are invited to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. Those of other religious traditions or of none are invited to come forward to receive God’s blessing.
Q. Can I bring my children?
A. Please do! Children are an essential and vibrant part of our church community. There are many ways for children to participate in services at St. Andrew's. You can always bring them to the service with you. If you are worried about squirminess, please don’t be! Children are important to the life of the congregation, wiggles and all. We are also here to help harness those wiggles: the ushers can direct you to baskets of activities for the littlest ones. You can also encourage kids to stand and to kneel, to help find pages in the Book of Common Prayer and Hymnal, to ask questions, and, of course, to lift their voices in praise. Children are also invited to join the clergy at the altar during the Eucharist.
Q. How can I learn more about what your church has to offer?
A. Taking the first step is easy! Look in the Announcements section of the bulletin to see what’s going on this week and in the near future. We encourage you also to take a Newcomer Card as they are handed round, fill it in, and return it either to an usher or to one of the clergy. We will look forward to getting in touch to welcome you and to answer your questions. We will also be glad to add you to our parish mailing list, which you can indicate on the Newcomer Card. Through the listserv you will receive a weekly update of what’s going on at St. Andrew's.
Q. How can I get involved in church activities?
A. St. Andrew's is active in the local and international community, and there are ways to be involved ranging from easy, one-time events to ongoing commitments. A few examples are bringing items for the local food pantry, setting up for coffee hour, providing hospitality for Feeding South Dakota, assisting during worship, praying for parishioners, helping with children’s ministries and much more! Contact our Administrative Assistant, Leni Wynant, for more information.
Q. How can I get on your email list?
A. Send an email to our Administrative Assistant, Leni Wynant, asking to be added to the email list.
Q. How can I learn more about becoming a member?
A. Just fill out a Newcomer Card at the church or be in touch with a member of the clergy.