Have you been thinking you’d like to go back to church?
Or, have you never been to church and would like to try it out?
Maybe you’ve just wondered what takes place during a service in an Episcopal Church.
If so, mark September 18th – Back to Church Sunday -- on your calendar and plan to attend a service – 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. -- at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 105 State Street, just a block south of The Heathman Hotel.
On Back to Church Sunday, St. John’s will be among more than 10,000 churches across the nation participating in this community outreach event, says Father Scot Wright, St. John’s Rector.
Wright says the important thing about September 18th is that church services will be ‘conducted as usual’ with the 8 a.m. service being Holy Eucharist, Rite I, a more traditional service, and the 10 a.m. being a family-oriented Holy Eucharist, Rite II. However, members of the congregation and staff will be on hand before and after services to answer questions and provide information on a one-to-one basis about the many opportunities St. John’s has to offer. Childcare is provided during the 10 a.m. service.
“Guests need not worry about being fussed over,” Wright says, “There will be no special ceremonies or introductions during the services. Newcomers will be invited to join us for coffee in Marsh Hall after each of the two services; there they can visit with members of the congregation individually if they choose to stay and do so.”
Since the initiative began in 2009, National Back to Church Sunday has seen increased success with church members inviting more than 1.4 million family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers to special services last year. Some 3,800 churches participated in 2010, reporting an average 26 percent increase in weekly attendance.
If Sunday morning, Sept. 18th, doesn’t work for you, then consider attending the first session of St. John’s 10-week ALPHA course, between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. that same day. This is course is a free practical introduction to the Christian faith where people consider questions such a:What is the meaning of life? What happens when we die? What relevance does Jesus have for our lives? How do we deal with guilt? It is open to all members of the community; you need not be a member of St. John’s, to attend, says Wright, who teaches the course. “It is a good place to join others who have found answers to their questions about life and God and how they relate,” he says.
Each weekly session begins with an informal dinner, followed by a large group presentation, and ends with a small group discussion and interaction. ALPHA began in an Anglican church in London and is now held in thousands of churches throughout the world.
ALPHA is for people investigating Christianity, for newcomers to the church, new Christians, and for those Christians who want to brush up on the basics. A free children’s program and childcare will be provided during the St. John's ALPHA Courses.
St. John's, since it’s founding in January, 1922, has offered worship, study, and fellowship opportunities to all in the greater Kirkland area. Rooted in the Anglican tradition, St. John's is a member of the Diocese of Olympia, which includes all of Western Washington.
Persons with questions about Back to Church Sunday or the Alpha Course can call the church office at 425-827-3077 (Tuesday – Friday) or visit the church’s website, www.stjohnskirkland.org.