Your First Sunday Visit

If you are thinking about visiting St, Paul’s for the first time — or you have recently visited and simply want to learn more about your experience — we’ve put together this guide to help. St. Paul’s expectation is that God is experienced as people gather in worship and study, no matter what the age. We are committed to providing an environment that encourages and celebrates that reality. If you haven’t already done so, please also take a look at 10 Reasons Why You Might Like It Here.

Sunday Worship Schedule

Regular Schedule (Program Year: September – May):  Three(and sometimes four!) services on Sunday during the regular, program year:

  • at 9:00 am, Holy Eucharist with choral quartet and organ. Children’s worship is offered during the lessons and sermon. Children rejoin the congregation at The Passing of the Peace
  • 11am , a festival celebration of the Holy Eucharist with choir and organ that fills the church with beautiful music.  Children’s worship is offered during the lessons and sermon. Children rejoin the congregation at The Passing of the Peace
  • at 5:00pm – (several times throughout the year) Evensong
  • and at 9:00 pm. a service of  Compline (the Night Prayer of the Church) featuring soothing, soaring Gregorian Chant in a church lit only by candles. This service lasts for about 20 minutes and is sung entirely by members of the choir. Men’s and women’s voices alternate from week to week.

Summer (June, July & August):  Three services on Sunday during the summer months:

  • at 9:00 am, a celebration of the Holy Eucharist with choir and organ that fills the church with beautiful music
  • at 11:00 am, a Holy Eucharist with music and congregational singing, with most of the trappings of our liturgy slightly abbreviated for the heat
  • and at 9:00 pm. a service of Compline (the Night Prayer of the Church) featuring soothing, soaring Gregorian Chant in a church lit only by candles. This service lasts for about 20 minutes and is sung entirely by members of of the choir. Men’s and women’s voices alternate from week to week.

During the summer, you are invited to stay for refreshing cool drinks, refreshments and conversation. On the last Sunday each month during the summer, refreshments are served on the lawn, right outside the church (weather permitting) after the 9:00am and 11:00am services.

Parking:

Parking and handicap parking is available at St. Paul’s, but occasionally the parking lots are full. You may park curbside on St. Paul’s Place, East Avenue, and Park Street on Sundays. Additional parking is also available in the lot at 53 East Avenue that is just opposite the church or in the lot on the corner of Park Hill Ave and 57-59 East Ave, behind the Attorney’s offices. So don’t worry, there is always a place for you!  Download a parking map here.

Greeting:

When you arrive, you will be greeted by members of the clergy and lay ministers of hospitality who await your arrival outside the front entrance and welcome you to worship. Name tag ministers will make you a name tag (and when you return again—help you find it!) The clergy want to welcome you at God’s Table by greeting you by name when you come to receive the Holy Eucharist and the name tag will help them do that! If you avail yourself of our Healing Ministry, praying over you by name is also an important component.  Additionally, wearing name tags helps all participate in the common ministry of greeting and welcoming each other.

Children:

Children are an important part of life in community: St. Paul’s values the presence and participation of  children in worship. The information below may help you and your children enjoy their experience with here:

  • The Chapel of the Angels: For parents with infants, there is a small side chapelwith rocking chairs immediately off of the main sanctuary available for those who need it.
  • Nursery Care: For parents who wish, a bright, cheery nursery is staffed with two trained sitters who provide a safe and fun environment for young children during the worship service.
  • Children’s Worship Activity: During the lessons & sermon, children ages 4-7 are invited to the Children’s Worship program in the Guild Room where they engage in worship and theological reflection tailored to their needs. Children return to the sanctuary after the sermon during the passing of The Peace to rejoin their parents and congregation so that all can participate in the Eucharistic Celebration together.
  • Children’s Education: A variety of approaches to Children’s Education exist at St. Paul’s.  Learn more here.
  • Chorister Program: Music and the liturgical arts play an important role at St. Paul’s and are highly valued. A quality Chorister program for girls and boys in grades 3 -12 introduces children and youth to sacred music and involves them as worship leaders on Sunday mornings.

Worship:

The entire worship service is based on the Book of Common Prayer and is printed in a weekly service bulletin so that you don’t have to juggle hymnals and prayer books. Ushers make sure that you receive a service leaflet upon entering the church. Worship stays fresh by the use of a variety of authorized and trial texts. At St. Paul’s, we believe that worship occurs through all five senses; sight, sound, smell, taste, and movement. While you are never obliged, you are always invited to participate in all aspects of any worship service, whether it is singing out, partaking of the Eucharist, or following the movement of worship. And don’t worry, this is a community of very diverse religious backgrounds and practices, so participate only as much as feels comfortable and authentic for you.

Music:

Music is an integral part of the 9:00 am and 11am Celebrations of Holy Eucharist, 5 pm Choral Evensong (as announced) and 9 pm Sung Compline. St. Paul’s has a large choral program for boys, girls and adults. Choral anthems are sung to enhance the worship experience but our corporate singing of hymns and service music is even more important! Please check the Music page for more details about the choir, special services, concerts or how to get involved.

The Eucharist:

Here at St. Paul’s, we believe firmly that all people are welcome at God’s table. Period. No exceptions. If mobility is difficult for you, then please tell one of our ushers and we will bring the Eucharist to you. Freshly baked bread is used at the 9:00 am & 11:00 am services. Gluten-free wafers are available as well.  Consecrated Grape Juice (in glass chalices) is offered for those who prefer not to have wine (in silver chalices).

Coffee Hour:

After worship is over, we invite you down into the parish hall located immediately underneath the church for coffee, refreshments, and an opportunity to meet your fellow worshipers and our clergy.

Adult Forums:

We offer opportunities for deepening your religious and spiritual knowledge throughout the year. These forums cover a variety of topics and are led by interested and knowledgeable members of our church. Listen for announcements about upcoming forums, check our service bulletin for an adult forum schedule, or check here to see the full calendar of this season’s opportunities.

Getting to know us better:

We hope that your first visit to St. Paul’s on the Green is wonderful. Take a moment before you leave to fill out a Welcome Card and give it to one of greeters or place it in the offering collection. You may also email usor call the parish office at 203 847-2806 for more information.  A staff member or parish volunteer will follow up with you to answer any questions that you may have about St. Paul’s. If you need to speak with a priest, or have a pastoral emergency, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 203 847-2806 and you will be put in touch with one of St. Paul’s clergy.