New to St. Andrew’s?
Coming inside the doors of a new church can be a leap of faith for many people, even if they’ve been going to church for a long time. Some of your questions might be:
- Will anyone talk to me? Or will too many people talk to me?
- Will I be able to leave if I don’t enjoy it?
- Will they ask me for money?
- Will it be okay if my kids can’t sit still or be quiet during the service?
- What are the right clothes to wear?
- Does it matter if I am not an Episcopalian?
- What is there to love about St. Andrew’s?
Whether you’ve never been to church before, or you’ve been going to church for a long time, we want you to enjoy being at St. Andrew’s and we want you to be glad you came. Below is an overview of what to expect on any given Sunday.
Choosing Which Worship Service to Attend
St. Andrew’s has three distinct worship services, each offering a different approach to worship. All are centered on the Holy Eucharist (Communion, Lord’s Supper, Mass).
8:00 a.m. Quiet Meditative Service (in the sanctuary)
10:00 a.m. Family Service (beginning in the sanctuary, continuing in the chapel)
10:00 a.m. Choral Eucharist (in the sanctuary)
When you arrive at St. Andrew’s (either from Lorcom Lane or Military Road), there is plenty of parking either on the side or in the upper parking lot. As you enter the front doors, you will be met by one of our ushers who will say hello and hand you a service leaflet which will guide you through the service. The usher can also direct you to the restrooms or chapel. Once in your seat, you will notice some printed information about our church and a card for you to fill out with information about yourself. To help us get you more connected with our community, please fill out this card and place it in the offering plate. (We promise, this does not sign you up for anything, but gives us a way to know about you!)
You’ll notice that everyone is dressed comfortably, and there is no expected dress code. You will find anything from business dress to office casual to casual. If you arrive early for the 10:00 a.m. Choral Eucharist, you will hear the organist warming up and the Adult Choir rehearsing. And arriving early for the 8:00 a.m. service allows time for quiet and solitude.
What About My Kids?
Children are always welcome to worship with us at all of our services. Some of our older children who attend the 8:00 a.m. quiet service enjoy serving as acolytes. Our 10:00 a.m. family service is specifically designed with young children in mind; we begin in the sanctuary, move to the chapel for children-centered worship, and return to the sanctuary where we all share Holy Communion. Our aim is to give parents a wide range of options for worship that best meet your family’s needs.
During the Service
Our worship in the sanctuary follows the order of most Episcopal services, using the liturgy found in The Book of Common Prayer or the supplement Enriching our Worship. The service begins with a word of welcome; then everyone stands. What follows is a series of prayers and Scripture readings. You’ll notice that throughout many parts of the service, the congregation participates by saying the prayers and responses together, all of which are printed in the leaflet in bold. After some singing (in the 10:00 a.m. service) and Scripture readings, our priest or seminarian will present a sermon which usually lasts about 10 minutes. During the 10:00 a.m. family service in the chapel, there is a Bible story or lesson especially prepared with children in mind.
Towards the middle of the service 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 noisy time of everyone saying hello to each other, with the phrase, “Peace be with you!” Folks get out of their seats, shake hands, hug, and say hello.
Next, the ushers collect the offering. We want you to feel welcome as our guest with no pressure to give, so don’t feel as though you must put money in the plate. Our regular attendees will put their financial contributions in the offering plates to pay for our expenses and fund our outreach giving. We hope you will return to St. Andrew’s and that you’ll drop your information card in the plate, so we can send you any information you request. If you want to stay anonymous, that’s okay too!
The Holy Eucharist is the final part of the service, at which time we come together to receive sustenance for our spiritual journey by receiving the sacraments of bread and wine. You will be invited to come forward to the altar, receive the bread in your hand, drink from the cup as it is passed or dip your bread into the cup, or you may just receive the bread. If you would like a priestly blessing, simply fold your arms across your chest as a sign to the priest to pronounce God’s blessing upon you.
The worship service usually lasts about an hour. We hope you enjoy it!
After the Service
After services, please join us as we gather in what is affectionately known as “The Lounge”, located just to the right of the sanctuary. At this time we enjoy coffee and refreshments.
Adult forums are occasionally offered during the 9:00 hour, with alternative children’s programming available for those who attend. There is also the option at 9:00 a.m. to rehearse with the Adult Choir. The Children’s Choir rehearses immediately after the 10:00 Choral Eucharist, and all are welcome. Every four to six weeks, families with school-aged children gather in the Undercroft after the 10:00 a.m. service for Sunday FISHing, a potluck lunch and Christian Education.
We hope you’ll come and see what is happening at St. Andrew’s! To schedule an appointment with our Rector, the Rev. Jenny Montgomery, call 703-522-1600, or e-mail her at email@example.com. Office hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Messages may be left after hours, and your call will be returned in a timely manner.