Frequently Asked Questions about St. Philip's
Q) What will the service be like?
A) If you’re new to the Episcopal church, you might be surprised to discover how much we read from the Bible. Attend a Sunday service and you’ll hear as many as three Scripture readings and a Psalm. The sermon (also known as a homily) interprets the biblical text and emphasizes its relevance to world events and our everyday struggles as human beings.
At the heart of all Episcopal worship is The Book of Common Prayer, and every aspect of the service builds toward Holy Communion (Eucharist). Periodically, we have a special “instructed Eucharist” to explain the different elements of the service and what it all means.
Please join us in exploring and celebrating our faith!
Q) How should I dress when I attend a service?
A) You’re invited to come as you are! Please know that you will be welcomed and will feel comfortable whether you’re dressed in your go-to-meetin’ finery or jeans and a t-shirt. Really.
Q) Where can I park?
A) There’s ample parking available in the Comporium / St. Philip's lot at the corner of Main Street and Rice Street, right beside the church.
Q) How do I formally become a member of St. Philip's?
A) Episcopal church membership comes through baptism and confirmation, whether in this church, another Episcopal church, or in some cases even another denomination. However, you don't need any prior church affiliation to become a member of our church. The most important thing to know is that being a member reflects your outward commitment to be joined formally with this congregation in a deeper and more meaningful way.
And of course, you do NOT need to become a member in order to visit the church, or join us for worship, fellowship, or community activities!
Q) Is child care available during services?
A) Yes! For parents who want to worship without distractions, our carefully screened and highly trained child care providers are ready to welcome your little ones, age five and younger, each Sunday from 8:45 to 12:30.
Please know, too, that children of any age are happily embraced at all services.
Q) I'm afraid I won't know what to do during the service, like when to stand, sit, or kneel. Will I feel out of place?
A) Absolutely not! Although it can be a little confusing for newcomers or even for Episcopalians who are visiting from another church, you'll quickly get the hang of it. Just think of it as pew aerobics!
A general guideline is that we stand to sing, to speak the affirmation of our faith, and for the reading of the gospel in the Holy Eucharist.
The basic form of our service remains the same from one Sunday to the next, and the rituals and rhythms through which we commune with God are highly comforting to many who worship with us.
Q) I'm considering a visit. Is there someone from the church that I could talk with first?
A) Sure! Please feel free to email our friendly newcomer liaison, Mrs. Marty Wainwright, or by phone (828) 884-5798. Or just call or stop by the church office to get more information. Please know that at St. Philip's you will be welcomed by folks who are happy to see you. We hope you will discover our warm and friendly community for yourself!
Q) I want to be part of the community that this church offers, but I wonder whether I'll fit in, because I'm not only NOT an Episcopalian; I'm an atheist. Is there a place for me here?
A) Guess what? Yes, you WILL fit in at St. Philip's! It might surprise you to learn that we truly do accept a wide range of world views and faith (or non-faith) backgrounds in our church. You are welcome to come to our services simply to feel uplifted by communal joy. And of course you may participate in the many social and intellectually enriching activities you'll find here.