Frequently Asked Questions

I’m not Episcopalian. Can I come to your church?
All are welcome, regardless of faith, creed, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age. Not to put too fine a point on it: all are welcome.

How are you different from a Roman Catholic church?
There are theological differences between the two churches – some subtle, some not-so-subtle. There are several key differences, though: The Pope is not the head of the Episcopal Church, although we recognize him as the head bishop of another branch of the Christian Church. In the Episcopal Church, women, as well as men, can be priests and bishops, and priests can also be married. Clergy and laity make decisions together. Also, all Christians are welcome to take communion in Episcopal churches, not just Episcopalians.

I have small children. Can we attend services?
Absolutely, yes! St. Paul’s is family-friendly, and your children may either remain with you during services or you may take advantage of either our Church School or Sunday nursery care.

Can Episcopalians believe whatever they want?
When the Church of England (which is the mother church of the Episcopal Church) was established in the 16th century by Queen Elizabeth, it was conceived as the “middle way” between Catholicism and the Protestant Reformation that was sweeping Europe. And so, the Episcopal Church traditionally has been a place where many points of view – and many questions – are welcomed as part of the life of faith. That faith is based on what we call the “three-legged stool”: Scripture, tradition, and reason. Belief is found using the three-legged stool, guided by prayer and discernment within community.

Do I need to be baptized to take Communion?
While this is not true at all Episcopal Churches, at St. Paul’s we believe one must have been baptized to receive communion. Communion is an affirmation of what was begun at baptism. However, all baptized Christians, regardless of denomination, may receive communion at St. Paul’s. In addition, all are welcome to be baptized. Baptism is open to all. If you have questions or wish to know more about either baptism or communion, please speak with the rector.

Can I or my child get baptized in your church?
All people of any age are welcome to be baptized. It is expected that individuals interested in baptism demonstrate a current, active, parish relationship or anticipate a future relationship to this parish in which their Christian life can be nurtured and supported. Baptism is about entering into the Body of Christ, which is the church. It is not about getting into heaven when you die (although a relationship with God, of which baptism is a part, ensures that heaven begins in this life). We have specific holy Sundays during the year when we do baptisms, but exceptions can be made for urgent pastoral reasons. Please speak to the Rector.

Can I get married in your church?
It is expected that couples interested in Christian marriage demonstrate a current, active, parish relationship or anticipate a future relationship to this parish in which their Christian family life and relationship can be nurtured and supported. One of the parties must be baptized. We require four months’ notice prior to a wedding. Premarital counseling is required by the canons of the Episcopal Church. In the case of a divorced person who wishes to remarry, permission from the bishop is required. Both straight and same-gendered couples may be married at St. Paul’s. Learn more about getting married at St. Paul’s by speaking with the Rector.

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