Here’s a general guide to “what to expect when you go to Good Shepherd.” But never, ever fear about what to do, however!
Since our renovation, our main doors face opposite Route 250 (Webster Road), so you don’t enter through the red doors facing the street, but rather follow the parking lot around to the opposite side. You will enter into the Narthex (jokingly referred to by Father Lance as the “lobby”)—there you will find a host of bulletin boards a guest book, and more that highlight all that our church offers. To your right is the Sanctuary. Ushers will greet you and offer you a bulletin. Sit anywhere (if it is crowded, the ushers can help you find a seat). In your pew you will find two books, the Book of Common Prayer or BCP (red cover) and the Hymnal (in blue). Between these books and your bulletin, you have all you need! Nothing to memorize. We utilize the BCP to follow along throughout the entire service. Father Lance will also announce page numbers when we are resuming the participatory parts of the service. Do not fret about when to sit, stand, or kneel—it’s all in there, plus the only important part is that you are here! The bulletin will also indicate congregational hymns found in the hymnal (you can also find their numbers on the boards on each side of the Altar) if you would like to join in singing or just read along…
The 8:00 service is Rite I in the BCP (quiet, no music);
The 10:15 service is Rite II (with music).
NOTE: In the summer (Late June-LaborDay) the service schedule is as follows:
9 :00am- St. Andrews Chapel on the Lake ; 11:00am–Good Shepherd
The Sunday readings from Scripture are printed on an insert in the bulletin for you to follow along as desired: First reading is Old Testament; Psalms (also available in the BCP); Epistle (New Testament); then the Gospel. Following the homily (sermon) is the recitation together of the Nicene Creed, the Prayers of the People, and confession of sin (all in the BCP). Then we exchange the Peace (greeting one another in the name of the Lord).
Next is the Offertory where our gifts are brought to the Altar, then Holy Communion. Ushers will guide congregants row-by-row to come up.
COMMUNION: Everyone is welcome and has a place at God’s Table. But if you prefer not to receive Communion, you can either remain in your seat, or feel free to join others at the Altar—just cross your arms criss-cross over your chest if you prefer not to receive bread and/or wine. If you have mobility concerns, please let an Usher know before the service, and Communion will be brought to you.
The service is concluded with a short prayer (also in the BCP) and dismissal, where we respond, “Thanks be to God!”
Afterwards, (from mid-September through Father’s Day), we invite you to join us upstairs in the Fellowship Hall for Coffee Hour (see Fellowship page for more). There is an elevator lift available should you need it –let an usher know before the service.
Here are some great sites to explore for more info:
http://www.episcopalrochester.org : The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester website, full of useful info and links.
http://www.episcopalchurch.org –all about the Episcopal Church—what we believe, what we do, what we are, and more…
http://www.bcponline.org–online version of the Book of Common Prayer for you to review. The Book of Common Prayer is not a Bible, it is a vital component to how we worship. It contains a vast array of important stuff that helps us as individuals and as a church community—including “directions” for Holy Eucharist and special services like baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Also included are historical documents, the Lectionary (with Bible references for daily or Sunday worship)
http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu: on this site, you can read ahead the lessons that folks all over will be hearing each Sunday