Worship is at the heart of our community, and all are welcome to join us and participate as you feel comfortable. Each Sunday we turn to God as the source and center of our lives.
We call our weekly Sunday worship "The Holy Eucharist," which comes from a Greek word meaning thanksgiving. Our 9:00 and 10:45 am liturgies are virtually identical, so people simply pick the best time for their schedule that day. Lasting about 70 minutes, we sing hymns, hear the Word of God in Scripture and preaching, pray for our concerns, collect an offering, and receive Holy Communion. A full text bulletin guides participation. Each service concludes with light refreshments and conversation in our Parish Hall. We especially invite our guests to join us so we can meet and extend a welcome.
Episcopal worship is guided by our Book of Common Prayer, and weekly Scripture readings are drawn from the Revised Common Lectionary, a three year rotation of biblical texts shared by many churches as a sign of Christian unity. Each week we hear four readings: from the Old and New Testaments, a psalm and a gospel. Our music varies, from ancient hymns accompanied by a pipe organ to original compositions set to acoustic guitar. We are blessed with an array of gifted musicians, and our music program is one of Holy Comforter's greatest strengths.
The sacrament of Holy Communion is open to all baptized Christians, not only Episcopalians. We reserve Communion for the baptized because we believe Christ's body and blood have real transforming power, and in our baptismal vows we provide our lifetime consent to that transformation. During the service, ushers will assist in guiding the congregation forward, row by row, to the altar. Those who choose not to receive Communion simply cross their arms over their chest and the priest will offer a blessing instead.
Children are a gift, and we welcome their giggles and wiggles among us. Some families worship together, and others take advantage of our professionally staffed nursery or Sunday school offerings. For children ages 0-4, we offer professionally staffed childcare between 8:15 - 11:45 am, including God's Play Place (Biblical story time/activities) for Pre-K. A greeter would be happy to show you to our nursery and introduce you to our staff. For children K-5th grade, we offer Godly Play (our Sunday School program) from 10:30 - 11:15, and then the teachers accompany the children into worship to join their families for Holy Communion.
We delight when children and youth want to participate in leading our worship. Any who would like to read or serve as an acolyte (they get to carry fire!) are gladly trained and will grow in their understanding of the beauty and symbolism of Episcopal worship.
Adults are also invited to participate. Clergy provide very limited functions in Episcopal worship, so active lay leadership is essential in our worship: from speaking roles like proclaiming Holy Scripture, to silent but visible service as a Eucharistic minister or usher, to behind the scenes ministry as a soundboard volunteer or altar guild member. There is an opportunity for every personality to assist in creating beautiful worship that turns our hearts and minds to God.
If you have questions, or are interested in serving, please contact our Rector, The Reverend Kim Seidman.
Baptism marks a significant and official moment in our spiritual journey. Someone seeks baptism when they can begin to accept God's love as expressed in Jesus Christ, and feel drawn to respond to that love by making vows of lifelong commitment.
Some are baptized as infants, others as youth or adults. Those too young to make their own promises are presented by parents and godparents who make vows on their behalf. Those baptized join a vast community of saints, living and dead - past, present, and future - who are the body of Christ in this world. We live no longer for ourselves, but for Christ who died and rose for us.
We celebrate the sacrament of baptism on major feast days in our church calendar: All Saints in the fall, the Great Vigil of Easter in the spring, and Pentecost in early summer.
Confirmation is another sacrament in our church, when adults (16+) go before the Bishop to confirm their baptismal vows and receive prayer for the strengthening of their faith. Confirmation is a symbol of Christian unity: no matter where or by whom we were baptized, in this service we all come together, renew our baptismal covenant, and receive the same laying on of hands by our Bishop.
This annual service, scheduled for June 9, 2018, is an opportunity for those baptized as young children, adults recently baptized, or Christians baptized in other traditions to officially join the Episcopal Church. Those already confirmed by Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or Lutheran Bishops are received at the same service.
The celebration and blessing of a marriage join together two people in lifelong covenant. In this sacrament, we catch a glimpse of God's love and devotion for us in the promises exchanged.
Preparation for this service is unique to each couple. Whether a first marriage, a remarriage, or the blessing of a civil marriage, we would be honored to celebrate with you.
The death of someone we love is painful, and Holy Comforter strives to live into its namesake when people suffer loss. Our burial service is an Easter liturgy: it finds all its meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised; however, our faith in the resurrection does not make human grief unchristian. The love we feel for each other brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. So, while we celebrate someone entering into the nearer presence of God, we sorrow with those who mourn.
It takes some preparation to say good-bye well. Some may wish to pre-plan their funeral, and for some death comes without warning. Whatever the circumstances of loss, we will walk with you through the valley of the shadow of death.