“It is in the process of being worshipped that God
communicates his presence to men.”
– C. S. Lewis
We are delighted to have guests join us to worship God together. Many first time visitors have questions about what to expect, where to go, and what to do on a Sunday. Please review the following, and if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact the parish office to inquire, or even arrange to meet with the Rector prior to coming on a Sunday!
The Mass is our principal Sunday worship service, and time to gather. It combines both Word and Sacrament. We begin gathering in worship of God, then we hear the Word of God proclaimed. Readings from the Old Testament and New Testament are read (a total of four including one reading from the Gospels), and then a brief homily is preached, explaining and applying the Biblical teachings to our lives. The service continues with a time of prayer before an offering for the work of the Church is collected, and the Altar is prepared to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. After Communion, we ask God’s blessing and are dismissed, being sent into the world to proclaim the Gospel we have heard.
You are encouraged to arrive about 10 minutes before the Mass is scheduled to begin to give yourself time to prepare. We encourage everyone to pray silently beforehand in order to orient their hearts towards God. A suggested prayer is provided in the Order of Service if one is needed as a starting point.
There is a grass lot on the north side of E. Lemon Ave with ample parking. In addition, street parking on E. Lemon Ave next to the Church is reserved for those with mobility issues.
The main doors to the Church are on the corner of E. Lemon Ave and S. Mary St. You will be greeted by a parishioner to welcome you to the Church and who can offer to direct you around and help you to get your bearings. If you need an accessible entrance, one is available from the Breezeway Entrance, between Wisdom Hall and the Church further east on E. Lemon Ave. Again once inside the doors you will be greeted and welcomed to the Church.
On weekdays, services are held in the chapel. There is an entrance from Lemon Ave or an accessible entrance on the breezeway. Bathrooms for the chapel are available just inside the E. Lemon Ave doors at the back of the chapel.
On Sundays you will see men in ties and sports coats as well at-shirts and shorts. A similar range of fashion is on display from women. It is never wrong to wear your ‘Sunday best,’ whatever that might be, but the question most appropriate to ask yourself is what you feel best to enter God’s house of worship to honor God.
St. Thomas is fully air-conditioned, and with a Canadian rector, the Nave is kept generally cool. If you find yourself chilly if the thermostat is down towards 70 F, you may wish to bring a warmer jacket that could be worn if needed.
The Sacraments belong to Christ, and not to any particular Church tradition. All Baptized Christians who have examined their conscience and who desire to receive the Body and Blood of Christ are welcome to come to the Communion Rail to receive.
If for any reason you are not able to receive, you are still welcome to come to the rail, kneel if you are able, and cross your arms to indicate the desire to receive a blessing rather than the Sacrament.