Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you're a seasoned Episcopalian or a first-time church goer, questions always come up! Check out this list to see if your question is covered. If not, please reach out to us at 570-524-2061. We can't wait to hear from you!
Episcopal: From the Greek "episcopoi" meaning bishop. The Episcopal Church is a church where each diocese is guided and led by a bishop who is elected and ordained to lead by the diocese he or she serves.
Eucharist: Eucharist is our shared time of worship. The word comes from the Greek word "eucharistia" which means thanksgiving. In worship we give thanks and praise to God for all God has done for us.
Congregation: Those who gather together for worship in a given time and place.
Parish: A particular church in a particular town.
Diocese of Central Pennsylvania: St Andrew’s is part of a regional gathering of churches found in the center of Pennsylvania bordered by New York at the top and Maryland at the bottom. The Bishop of the diocese is the Rt. Rev. Audrey Cady Scanlan. [link to DioCPA here]
Susquehanna Convocation: a smaller cluster of churches in the Diocese form our local Convocation, including St Paul’s, Bloomsburg; Christ Memorial, Danville; Christ Church, Milton; The Resurrection Mission, Mt Carmel; St Mark’s, Northumberland; All Saints, Selinsgrove; Christ Church, Berwick; and St Matthew’s, Sunbury.
Hymnal: Some of our music comes out of the Hymnal, a collection of psalm tunes and hymns. It's blue with "Hymnal 1987" written on the front.
Prayer Book: We follow along our service in the Prayer Book. They are red with a gold cross on the front. We'll give you page numbers when you get here!
Rector: The priest who has been elected to lead a parish by the parish.
Vestry: The governing board of the parish whose members are elected by the congregation at large. They handle the day to day decisions of how the parish is run handling the "temporal" business of the church.
For terms or definitions please click here.
What should I wear?
There is no dress code. Perhaps wear whatever you'd feel comfortable going out to dinner in. We want you to feel comfortable, so wear what you like.
Where do I park?
We have two parking lots. One is located in the front of the church right off Rt. 15 and the other is behind the church off of Hood Alley. Both entrances are handicapped accessible. The ramp at the back of the church is shorter and leads straight into the sanctuary.
Where should I sit?
With anyone or anywhere you like. Sometimes it's helpful to sit near other people if it's your first time so that we can help you through the service. It also gives us a chance to greet you and to welcome you to the parish.
Are my kids welcome in church?
More than welcome! We love kids in the church and are happy to have them as a part of our parish family. On the first Sunday every month there is no Sunday School so all of our children are in church on that Sunday. Our Sunday School runs at the same time as our Sunday Service and your kids are welcome to attend there also. There is a nursery downstairs if your youngest would prefer to play there until time for communion. If they'd prefer to stay in church, we have a rack of bags in the back of the church with paper, crayons, and coloring books your children are welcome to make use of.
What happens during the service?
Our service follows a form laid out in The Book of Common Prayer. Each service includes the reading of scripture, reflecting on that scripture (most often through a sermon) then responding to God in prayers. Halfway through the service we greet one another in a time called "The Peace" and then service continues with communion.
Who can receive communion?
All baptized Christians are encouraged to come forward to receive communion. If you'd like more information on Baptism, please speak to Mother Sarah.
Do I have to put money in the offering/collection plate?
No, but your contributions are very appreciated and help us continue our ministry in this community. We feel it's a privilege to share our resources with God.
How do I receive communion?
Ushers will let you know when it is time to go up for communion. Some people kneel and others stand to receive communion; do what feels right to you. To receive the bread simply extend your hands. Some people like to rest one hand on top of the other so that the priest can place the wafer in your hand. This is a matter of preference. Also if you require a gluten-free wafer please let Mother Sarah know as she comes to you. We have those on hand and are happy to offer it as an alternative.
You may eat the bread right away or you may dip it (intinct) into the smaller second chalice as it is brought around to where you are standing. Many drink from the chalice, which is completely safe. The alcohol content of the wine along with the silver of the chalice act as disinfectants, the chalice bearer also wipes the cup after each person drinks. Again, do what feels right to you.
If you cannot come up to the altar for any reason and would like to receive communion, please alert an usher and it will be brought to your seat. It is no trouble at all and we are glad to do it.
If you prefer to not take communion, you may come up and instead cross your arms over your chest to indicate you wish to receive a blessing. Or stay in your pew! Do what feels good.
What if I do something "wrong", or "incorrectly"?
Please don’t worry about doing everything "right", because we don't worry about it. We understand that a person's first time in The Episcopal Church can feel overwhelming. We hope that you'll feel free to participate in as much or as little of the service as you feel comfortable. Please feel free to sit back and simply listen and observe for your first time visiting us; you won't hurt our feelings and no one is going to single you out.
We want you to feel welcome, comfortable, and at peace in our worship space. So don't worry about getting it right. If you have questions feel free to ask them to any member of our parish and we'd be glad to help you.