New or Visiting?


No matter what your faith background is, we'd love to have you with us.
Visiting any church can be intimidating, so the most important thing to know about St. M’s is that we hope you will come as you are, participate to the extent that you choose to, and ask questions whenever you like. No one will ask you to introduce yourself publicly or profess your faith – but if you do visit, we hope you’ll introduce yourself. A great way to meet members of the congregation is to stay for coffee, tea and refreshments immediately following each service.

Children of all ages are most welcome in worship & 
are considered members of the community. If you would like, we also have a nursery with professional childcare providers open from 8:45am – 12:45pm for your infant – 4 year old. Please ask an usher to show you where the nursery is located. Sunday School for children ages 4-18 is between the services from 10:15 – 11:00am. For more information on our Sunday School program, check out the Kids page on the website.


If you’re considering a visit, here are a few things to expect:

Worship – Gathering as Community

Our main worship services are on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am & 11:15 am and generally run an hour and fifteen minutes. Both services are celebrations of the Holy Eucharist (Greek for thanksgiving), also called Holy Communion. We print a bulletin every week that includes everything you’ll need to participate, from hymns to prayers to readings and announcements. The ushers will hand you one when you arrive. They can also answer any questions you might have about the service.

Much of the service follows the traditional flow of worship found in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. We often use the Eucharistic prayers (prayers at the altar over the bread and wine) that speak to the centrality of our focus on the practice of following Jesus as a way to fullness of life, peace, justice and love.  In our services, you’ll hear the poetry of ancient texts and the cadence of contemporary prayers. We are also committed to the use of inclusive language and so to the extent possible we refer to God in a gender neutral way. There are some texts we leave in the original language, like the 4th century Nicene Creed, and the original lyrics of hymns as they were written.

The first part of the service includes passages read from the bible, a psalm, a sermon, prayers for our community and the world, and a time to exchange a greeting of peace. The second part of the service focuses on the blessing and distribution of the sacrament, the bread and the wine. On second and fourth Sundays, we also offer a time in the service to pray for yourself or loved ones with a priest or lay minister.

All are welcome to receive communion, without exception.
 
We offer bread and wine, and gluten-free wafers should you need them. You can drink the wine from the chalice or if you’d rather “instinct” the bread, simply hold the bread up and the chalicist will know you would like to dip it in the wine. Finally, if you’d rather receive a blessing from one of the priests, cross your arms over your chest and they will offer a blessing instead.

At the 9:00am service, the congregation stands in concentric circles around the altar for communion. Typically there are more families with young children at the early service and they love joining the community close to the altar! 
At the 11:15am service, from September to June, the St. Margaret’s Chancel Choir leads the congregation in song and sings an anthem. The Handbell Choir rings monthly and on feast days. Communion is distributed at the altar rail, where you can kneel or stand as you wish. 

Every 2nd & 4th Wednesday, there is a service of Contemplative Prayer at 6:30pm in the small Chapel inside the church. It's an informal service with a time of silence, reflection and prayer. 

The accessible entrance to the church is off Bancroft Place.
(Going South on Connecticut Ave, take a right on Bancroft just past the church. You’ll see the ramp at the corner of Bancroft and the alley behind the church.) Please ring the bell and someone will open the door for you. 
We regret that it is not a perfect system, so if you plan to come visit, call the office during the week prior and we will be sure to have someone listening for the door. If you need any particular kind of assistance, please ask an usher, a volunteer or clergy person.

Who are we?

Our congregation is made up of people of many different religious backgrounds. Only about half of the congregation grew up Episcopalian, the rest of us have come to the Episcopal Church from other traditions: Roman Catholic to Agnostic, Baptist to Unitarian, and everything in between. Others had no former association with a religious tradition. While we say the Creed most Sundays, and we include many of the ancient Christian prayers, we are very much Anglican in that we value intellectual engagement and the mystery of faith that is beyond complete understanding. Thus we have different interpretations of the scriptures, faith, and what it means to be a follower of Jesus. And yet we gather to worship together, to sing, to pray, knowing that the challenge and beauty of community is essential to our spiritual journey.

If you’d like to know more about the Episcopal Church as a denomination, we invite you to check out the website “Peek Through the Window of The Episcopal Church” - http://pttw.info/. Or look at the websites of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington www.edow.org or the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. at www.episcopalchurch.org .

We invite you to bring your questions, 
your yearnings for the holy, for meaning and purpose in life, 
and join us, whether online or in person, 
in our search to be people of God and followers of Jesus.