We know that visiting a church for the first time can be a little daunting, especially because you don't know anyone and you aren't familiar with the customs of the church. Here are the most common concerns:
WHAT DO I WEAR?
We are in Arizona! Dressing up in formal attire can be very uncomfortable, especially in the summer. Please, be comfortable. You will see slacks and shorts, skirts and dresses, jeans and t-shirts, and some love to wear their Sunday Best! Jesus wants you here. He doesn't care what you wear.
WHAT ABOUT MY CHILDREN?
All children are absolutely welcome to attend worship with parents, but most children attend the Saturday 4:45PM or Sunday 9:15AM Sunday School. They have a special lesson and then join their parents in the Main Sanctuary for communion. We have a Nursery for all children age 3 and under. If you have a child Pre-K through sixth grade, we invite them to attend Sunday School. The check-in table is the first table you will see as you come in from the parking lot. Again, for a first time visit, feel free to bring your child to worship with you.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING IN THE WORSHIP SERVICE?
Episcopal worship has a routine. We begin with music and an opening prayer. We listen to readings from the scripture. One of our Pastors will give a message that connects the scripture to our life. We stand together and recite our statement of faith. Our Deacon leads us in prayers of healing and thanksgiving and we recite together our confession. We give an offering. Our Pastor leads us in what we call the Eucharistic Prayer and then we all receive Holy Communion. The service concludes with a final prayer, blessing, and a dismissal from our Deacon to "Go into the world and serve!" Don't worry. You will know the routine of the service within a few weeks and each service has either a bulletin to follow or screens that will allow you to participate in choral responses.
WHAT ABOUT THE OFFERING? AM I EXPECTED TO GIVE?
As a guest, you may certainly give, but it is not expected. Should you decide to make St. Peter's your home, we all share in the cost of the mission and ministry of our church.
WHAT ABOUT HOLY COMMUNION? WHAT DO I DO?
It is the custom in our church that wherever you are on your faith journey, you are welcome to receive communion. It does not matter how old or young you are, what church you come from, what your denominational status is - if you wish to receive our Lord Jesus Christ, He invites you!
When you come to the communion rail, you may stand or kneel. Place one hand over the other to receive the Host (the consecrated bread). It is our custom to receive the Common Cup (the consecrated wine). If you do not wish to drink from the Cup, you may leave the Host in your hand and the Chalice Minister will dip the Host in the wine and place in your mouth or you may "intinct" or dip the Host into the wine yourself.
If you wish to participate without receiving communion, you can cross your arms over your chest and a blessing will be offered over you.
We do offer grape juice at all services as well as gluten free host (0.001% gluten).
WILL I HAVE TO STAND UP AND SAY SOMETHING?
Absolutely not. After the service, you are invited to our Guest SP Table where you can get more information about our church and we can give you a gift and learn what brought you our way!