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How Do I Get to St. Francis?
How's the Parking?
St. Francis has a parking lot in the front of the church to the left, as well as behind the church near the Children's Ministry Entrance. Handicapped Parking is available in the parking lot as well as along the sidewalk at the front entrance. A Wheelchair Ramp and Entrance is located in the front of the church, to the left of the main entry doors.
How will I be greeted?
You will be welcomed warmly by our greeters who will shake your hand at the front door. Our welcome area is located in the Narthex, inside the double sets of doors in the front of the church. It is staffed to welcome and support all visitors and they will be pleased to answer any questions and direct you to the Sanctuary or childcare. Feel free to take any of the handouts or other informational materials.
How will I know where to go?
Once you enter the front doors, the sanctuary is straight ahead through the Narthex. Just past the greeters stand the Ushers who will hand you a copy of the Sunday leaflet or bulletin. You can sit anywhere in the Sanctuary. If you arrive late, the Ushers may direct you to enter through the sides. If you have any questions (such as the locations of the restrooms or the nursery) the greeters and ushers will be happy to help.
How do people dress for church?
Most folks at St. Francis generally dress up for worship during the 8:00, 9:00, 11:15 services (and for the 10:00 in the summer), but you'll see people in all kinds of clothing. We welcome you to come however you feel comfortable.
When and how long are the services?
Regular Sunday services are typically an hour and ten minutes long (except for the 8am, which usually lasts around 45 minutes) and each service offers Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion). Our service hours are as follows:
8:00 am: A service with no music and are held in the Sanctuary.
9:00 am: Contemporary language services are held in the Sanctuary with our choir and organ performing. We also offer our Children's Church for our younger members. For those interested, the Nursery Ministry opens at 8:45 a.m. and remains open until the end of all services.
11:15 am: Traditional language services are held in the Sanctuary with our choir and organ performing. This service also offers our Children's Church for our younger members. The Nursery Ministry remains open during this service.
During the summer (watch the website and announcements for specific dates each year), the 9:00 and 11:15 services are combined, and meet at 10:00am. This service includes Children's Church, and features choir, organ, and contemporary language.
We also offer a 10:15 a.m. Education Hour including Youth Group, Confirmation class and Children's Sunday School. There is always a Rector's Forum at 10:15am in Graves Hall for adults, and there are occasional additional Adult Education offerings as well. During the summer months, there is no Sunday School, and the Rector's Forum meets at 9am.
What can my kids do during worship?
By all means, bring your family! If you have children from infants through 4 years of age, the greeters can guide you to the nursery in the Children's Ministry Area on the Lower Level. If you'd prefer, your children can accompany you into the sanctuary. The Williamson Room is a "Cry Room" and is located to the left as you come outside the sanctuary and down the steps. The sermon is piped in through a speaker and there is a private bathroom with a changing table.
If your children are ages 4 through 12, they can attend Children's Church, which begins just about 10 minutes into the service. The priest will make an announcement when it is time -- just before the Gospel reading and sermon -- and children can follow the Children's Ministry Team to the Davenport Chapel, which is through the set of doors in the left trancept. Children's Church ends just before communion.
There are also coloring pages and crayons available in the back of the sanctuary for any children that would like them.
What kinds of disability assistance is available?
In addition to Handicapped Parking, there is a Wheelchair Ramp entrance in the front of the church, to the left of the main entry doors. A ramp is also available outside of the Davenport Chapel and the Lower Level Entrance is accessible with an Elevator to the Main Level. Just outside the Sanctuary, there is a table with Hearing Assistance Devices. If you require any other assistance, just ask a Greeter or Usher.
How will I know how to follow the service?
The Ushers will provide you with a Service Leaflet as you enter the Sanctuary. This leaflet will direct you in the use of the two books we use in our services. Our services follow The Book of Common Prayer and The Hymnal 1982, both of which are provided for you in the pew racks. The clergy leading the service will announce the appropriate page numbers for the sections of the service in which you are invited to participate.
What kinds of music will I hear?
The church has a strong commitment to traditional hymns and classical music. St. Francis is in the relatively rare position of having the resources to offer world-class, traditionally approached, classically based repertoire. The 8am service is a quiet service; no music is played. Visit our Music Ministry page to find out more.
What kinds of sermons will I hear?
Sermons are scripture-based, and focus on proclaiming the Good News about Jesus Christ; that is, that God sent his son to save sinners. No message could be more practically applicable to daily life! Our sermons usually run between 14 and 20 minutes in length. Go to our Sermons page to access recent recordings.
What version of the Bible is used?
While many versions may be heard, in general we use the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
How many people will be attending with me?
The sanctuary seats about 600, and during most Sundays we average about 400 in attendance. During special services, (e.g. Christmas and Easter) we often have standing room only. The 8:00 service usually has between 40 and 80 worshipers, while the 9:00 and 11:15 services have between 150 and 300 each.
When, and how, is Communion celebrated?
We celebrate Communion every Sunday. Communion is open to all who have been baptized and is celebrated with wafers and wine. The ushers will direct each row to the altar rail. If you are not baptized or do not wish to receive communion, you are invited to come for a blessing; you may indicate you are not receiving communion by crossing your arms across your chest. Those desiring baptism are encouraged to speak to one of our priests.
Do folks raise their hands during worship?
Worshipers at St. Francis come from many different traditions. While varying expressions of faith are celebrated and encouraged, most attendees of our services at St. Francis do not raise their hands during worship. However, we encourage all our worshipers to worship as the Holy Spirit leads them.
After the Service
How do services end?
At the end of the service there is usually a recessional hymn and the priests, choir and worship team members will exit to the Narthex. Many people stay to enjoy the informal conversation and refreshments. During the school year adults move over to Graves Hall for the adult education hour at 10:15 while children and youth attend Sunday School at 10:15 a.m.
Can I meet with the priests and staff?
The priests and some of the staff are available in the Narthex after the service, so feel free to come up and say hello.
Can I just be a "quiet visitor"?
Sure! When you visit St. Francis, you can initiate as much, or as little, contact with others according to your own comfort level. We do not require visitors to identify themselves; however, we do want to encourage you to make yourself known when the time is right for you. You may do so by filling out one of our welcome cards in the pew racks, or by introuducing yourself to an usher, greeter, or member of the clergy.
Do I have to become a member to attend regularly?
No, membership is not required to attend St. Francis. If you eventually wish to explore membership, there are different small groups and classes scheduled several times throughout the year. The Exporation Class and Confirmation Class are some of the classes to which newcomers are drawn.
For further information, please ask an usher, greeter, or member of the clergy or contact the parish office at 502-228-1176.