FIRST TIME AT ST. JOHN'S FAQ

WHAT CAN I EXPECT AT A MASS?

You can expect communion, scripture, and prayers. Music added if you come to Sung Mass, incense during Solemn Mass. You can expect some pew aerobics - at different parts of the mass, we would stand up or kneel. You can expect people to acknowledge that you’re there. Most importantly, you can expect the opportunity to connect.

WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME?

We ask you to be respectful of the mass and others and take advantage of the atmosphere. Please place your phones in silent mode during mass to avoid distractions. Most importantly, we expect you to be you.

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO?

You don't have to do anything that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable. Can’t sing? That’s fine, just focus on the lyrics. Don’t want to kneel? That’s also fine, you can stay seated. Nobody’s here to tell you what to do. Do what you do to have your spiritual moment.

HOW SHOULD I DRESS?

You should dress in a way that's comfortable for you and that best expresses who you are. Some of our parishioners come in their Sunday Bests, national costumes, pajamas, while others wear just a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. As long as what you wear is you and you’re not ashamed to wear it at church, we welcome you to wear whatever you’d like.

WHO CAN COME TO ST. JOHN'S?

We think it’s silliest question of all, but thought it was still important to ask. Anybody and everybody can come to St. John's. And by that, we mean anybody, regardless of who you are or what you are. We believe that our diverse congregation is one of our core definition of a church.

I’M NOT CHRISTIAN AND/OR I DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD. CAN I STILL COME TO YOUR CHURCH?

Of course. Whether you want to come to church to find out more about the existence of God or want to come because you want to be part of a vibrant community, please know that you're welcome.

WHERE DO I SIT?

There is no reserved seating. Some of our parishioners like to sit at the same pew every Sunday while others like to sit wherever. If you see an open pew, you’re welcome to sit there. If you’re unsure, ask an usher and they will guide you.

DO I HAVE TO TAKE COMMUNION?

We celebrate the Eucharist every week at St. John’s. That means communion is offered at every mass. All baptised members are invited to take communion. You don't have to take communion if you don't want to. If you are not baptised, you can still come up to the alter for a blessing or you can choose to remain seated.

HOW MUCH DO I HAVE TO GIVE?

You can give a much or as little as you'd like. We don’t judge on how much you contribute to our church. And the truth is, nobody knows how much or little you give. Your contribution is nobody’s business except between you and God.

ISN'T IT AWKWARD GOING TO CHURCH FOR THE FIRST TIME?

Of course, it is. Do you remember your first day at school or your job when everything was new? And how many people did you end up being friends with? If you can overcome the awkwardness, we promise we'll make it worth it.

CAN I BRING PETS TO CHURCH?

Short answer, not really... But! We have a special Sunday dedicated to pets! On St. Francis’ Sunday every year, all are welcomed to bring pets (or pictures) to mass for a special blessing. Pets should be properly leashed and/or caged and we expect owners to be responsible. Service animals are always welcomed.

WHERE ARE THE RESTROOMS?

It’s located next to the main entrance of the church. Please ask an usher if you have trouble locating the restrooms.

I WANT TO CONNECT WITH CHURCH PEOPLE!

Come to Coffee Hour after mass! Say hi to people during the exchange of peace! Exchange phone numbers! St. John's will most likely reach out to you before you reach out to us.

©2020 by St. John's Episcopal Church, Staten Island, NY