It is our privilege to welcome you to St. Matthews. Whether you are here as a visitor or searching for a church home, please know you are welcome. In fact, if you're a first time visitor, we have two parking spaces marked with Reserved For Visitors signs in front of the main entrance.
During your visit to St. Matthews, there are several groups of parishioners available to help you; the ushers, greeters, and ambassadors. The ushers and greeters are easy to spot when you arrive at the churches main entrance. The ambassadors are a group of parishioners who are available to answer any questions, introduce you to our minister, connect you to the church school if you have children in that age range, and introduce you to anyone else in church you would like to meet. The ushers and greeters can point them out to you.
We have provided some information below to help you make the most of your visit:
Guide to the Service
There are two Sunday morning services: 8:00AM Rite I, and 10:00AM Rite II with choir. The weekly bulletin handed to you by the ushers when you enter the church is your basic guide. In the pews, you will find the red Book of Common Prayer (BCP) and the blue Hymnal 1982. Service music has an S before the page number and is found in front of the Hymnal. When in doubt, feel free to ask a neighbor or look over someone else’s shoulder!
May I receive Communion?
This is an Episcopal Church, but it is God’s table that we gather around, and anyone seeking a closer relationship with Jesus is welcome to receive the bread and wine. The ushers will guide you when it is your turn to go to Communion. Children are welcome but they may need their parents’ assistance.
If you choose not to receive bread, simply cross your hands over your chest to receive a blessing once you are at the rail. When the chalice with wine is offered, you may sip from it, dip your communion wafer into it, or cross your hands over your chest if you chose not to partake. If you have trouble getting to the altar rail, let the ushers know and a priest will bring the sacrament to you.
When do I sit, stand, or kneel?
Physical worship practices are like languages, and sometimes foreign languages are confusing. We understand and encourage you to do what you are comfortable with.
As a help, you’ll find these practices fairly common here:
- Sitting for the lessons and the sermon
- Standing to sing the hymns and to listen to the Gospel
- Kneeling for the Confession of Sin, for the Eucharistic Prayer (after “Holy, Holy, Holy”), at the communion rail, and some parishioners kneel back in the pews before the post-communion prayer.
For one reason or another, you will also see a few people standing or sitting at these times too. We encourage people to sit if they have difficulty kneeling.
Children of all ages are always welcome to participate in all services. Church school (KAIROS) for children ages 3 ½ to Grade 8 begins at 9:45AM. Those in 1st grade and above join the service for Communion. A nursery is also available downstairs during the 10AM service. Worship bags with quiet activities for kids are available from the ushers when church school is not in session.
There is a coffee hour after the 10AM service and you are most welcome to join us in fellowship. If you would like, the ambassadors can take you to the Parish Hall and introduce you to a few fellow parishioners.
Where are the restrooms and changing stations?
Restrooms and diaper changing station area located back toward the Parish Hall through the two sets of doors, down the hallway to the left.
Parking is available on both sides of South Main Street, Curlis Avenue, and in the Tollgate Grammar School loop. Please do not park in our good neighbor’s Sourland Coffee parking spaces.
How do I find out more?
Our website has a wealth of information about St. Matthews, and we encourage you to browse through it. Contact information is available at the bottom of every page as well as on our Contact Us page. We encourage you to reach out to us in the way that is most convenient.