Frequently Asked Questions

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I’ve never been to your church before. How will I know where to park, where to go in?

St. John’s Episcopal Church is located at 610 Young Street, Melbourne, Florida 32935, just 3 blocks south and 2 blocks east of the intersection of Rtes. 1 and 518 (Eau Gallie Blvd). (Click here for a map). Look for our for “Visitor Parking” signs immediately at the front of the center parking lot entrance directly across the street from the church. If those spots are already taken, park anywhere on that side of the street, including on the grass, using any one of the three parking lot entrances. Or, drive west past the parish hall and park anywhere on the grass. To enter: walk up the ramp or climb the few stairs to the double red doors; Greeters there will be pleased to show you in and help you find your way.   Click here for a map of the campus.

What do members of the Episcopal Church believe?

Episcopalians express our faith in our liturgy (the pattern we use for worship) more than in statements of doctrine. The beliefs of the Episcopal Church are outlined in the Catechism (or a summary of principles), which is found in The Book of Common Prayer (BCP). The entire book and Catechism can be viewed online (click here).

What happens on Sunday?

This is a brief summary; for much more extensive detail, please click here for “What’s on Sunday”.
Our congregation meets in a very beautiful and historic worship space with pews, stained glass windows and a high ceiling. The pulpit and altar are located at the front of the church in the area called the chancel – the congregation sits in pews in an area called the nave. The style is Florida Gothic and many newcomers find the whole interior especially warm and inviting. We hope that you will feel welcome and at ease, and please sit wherever you would like!
Schedule:
7:45 a.m. A quiet, contemplative service of Holy Communion, Rite I, usually with no music.
9:00 a.m. Adult Christian Education, in the parish hall.
9:00 a.m. King’s Kids: K – 6th grade meet in St. Nick’s House. They return to the service at the “Peace” (about half way through the service).
10:00 a.m. A service of Holy Communion, Rite II designed for multi-generational families, with children’s programs, music and choir.
10:00 a.m. Nursery is available for infants through Kindergarten during the 10 a.m. service; it is located off the outside courtyard accessible from the west exit of the parish hall.
10:00 a.m. Children’s Chapel is available for preschool and kindergarten. They are excused from church during the “Gloria” and return at the “Peace.”
6:00 p.m. Bible Studies for middle school and high school students; meets at James’ House with Deacon Elizabeth 321-777-0168; yarrumea@gmail.com.

How do Episcopalians worship?

If you are unfamiliar with the Episcopal Church, the format of our worship services may seem a little bit daunting.  The Sunday worship bulletin provides complete details of the service making it an easy guide for all of us to follow and participate.  At all services we follow the Book of Common Prayer, with an emphasis on thoughtful prayer, and interesting, biblically based sermons with relevance for modern life.  At the 10 a.m. service, we also use the Hymnal 1982, as well as other sources for music.  Our 7:45 service is usually about 55 minutes; the 10:00 runs about one hour and 20 minutes.We stand to sing praises to God and greet one another.  We sit for instruction and kneel to confess our sins and for personal devotion.  Many Episcopalians make the sign of the cross, bow, and observe other reverences, but they are not required of anyone. If you have any questions about the different reverences, please ask a member of our clergy!

What about Communion?  When is it celebrated?  Is it okay if I take part?

Holy Communion, also called the Great Thanksgiving or the Eucharist, is celebrated at every service (with very occasional exceptions when the rector is away and the Deacon leads a service of Morning Prayer). The Holy Eucharist is Christ’s eternal banquet, to which all adults and children are invited. If you are a baptized Christian of any tradition (and regardless of your current status in any other church) we welcome you to receive communion with this community of God’s people.At the time of communion, the ushers will indicate when your row should come forward. Please come to the altar rail; you may stand or kneel. The bread will be placed in your outstretched hands; the appropriate response is “Amen.” When the chalice (cup) of wine comes, you may drink from it directly, hold out your bread for the minister to dip it in the wine for you, or decline it by crossing your arms over your chest. If for any reason you prefer not to receive the bread and wine, or if you have not been Baptized, you may come forward and cross your arms over your chest for a blessing.  If for any reason you prefer not to receive the bread and wine, or if you have not been Baptized, you may either: come forward and cross your arms over your chest for a blessing; or, remain in the pew, pray as you might wish, and enjoy the music.

Is there a Youth Group?

Yes. We share our youth ministry with two other Episcopal Churches in the area, Holy Apostles in Satellite Beach and St. David’s, Cocoa Beach.  The ministry is called Converge and usually gathers on Sundays at 6 p.m. at the Schecter Center, 1089 S. Patrick Dr., Satellite Beach (corner of S. Patrick and Jackson).

To learn more, visit the website: cbey.weebly.com and the Facebook page (search “Converge Brevard Episcopal Youth”).

With a two year-old and an infant, I’d like to know if there a staffed nursery?  Or, can I keep my kids with me instead?

We provide a fully staffed nursery and Children’s Sunday School during the 10 a.m. service. An usher or greeter will be pleased to direct or escort you to the Nursery located off the inner courtyard accessible from the west exit of the parish hall. But if you prefer, you are more than welcome to keep your children with you during worship; consider sitting near the front so your child can see what’s ‘going on’; or, at the back if you might wish to slip out to give your child a ‘break’. And whatever your choice, please ask for a coloring kit for your child – we have plenty!

I have a five year-old. He’s a good boy, but I’m not sure he will be able to sit quietly for an hour plus.

Immediately after the 10 a.m. service begins, our Children in 1st through 5th grade go to St. Nick House (just east of the Sanctuary) at 10:00, as the service begins. Children 3 years old through kindergarten are dismissed shortly after the service begins and will be escorted with our Children’s Director to Sunday School to Children’s Chapel by the chapel leaders; they remain there in class until the end of announcements in church. They are then brought into church and up to the front where they gather with Fr. Eric for a brief special Children’s Time Moment with him. This ‘split’ allows our young ones to learn about our faith in programs geared for them, and also ensures that they feel a part of the larger congregation as we gather for communion.

What if I or my child have never been baptized?

Baptism is the sacrament signifying that one has become an “official” member of the Body of Christ, known as the Church. You are most welcome to continue to participate in worship for as long as you wish without having been baptized, but baptism is required prior to receiving Holy Communion. Baptisms always take place on specified Sundays, with the full participation of the entire congregation who, while expressing their explicit support for the newly baptized, also reaffirm their own baptismal vows. To learn more, we encourage you to talk to Fr. Eric or Dcn. Elizabeth and to review, in print and / or online, the entire Baptismal Service which begins on page 299 of the Book of Common Prayer (click here for the Baptism service online).

What about Christian Education for children, youth and adults?

We have provided extensive information on these programs / opportunities on separate pages; please click here for children, click here for youth, and click here for adults.

How can I get to know some of the people who attend St. John’s?

We gather immediately following the 10 a.m. service for refreshments served in the parish hall immediately to the west of the church. Clergy, members of the vestry (our church board) and other parish members are all present for visiting and/or questions. Please plan to stay for this gathering! We also have Sunday School classes and fellowship groups for both younger and older adults, as well as children of all ages.

How can I find out more about St. John’s Episcopal Church?  I have been attending for several weeks now, and I think I might like to become a member be baptized, be received or confirmed, or request a transfer letter.  What should I do next?

When you first come into the entrance of the church, please help yourself to one of the gift Welcome bags on the Visitor’s Table, or you will be given one later. These bags contain materials with information about the church, and a simple gift. And Fr. Eric, or our shepherds and greeters will be pleased to respond to your inquiries after worship. You may also call the church office: 321-254-3365 and Fr. Eric, or the appropriate person, will get back to you asap.

How do I get involved at St. John’s?

St. John’s Newcomer Ministry Team members will be pleased to respond to you and shepherd you into whatever areas of interest you have listed.  Once you have filled out a pew card during church, a member of the Newcomer Ministry Team will contact you and take you under his/her wing.  The Team member will be available to answer any questions you might have and help you find your way.Also: newcomers dinners and orientations occur every few months, and we invite all new members and visitors to participate.  You also will note that most parish members wear name tags (when we don’t forget them at home!); a tag request form is available in the parish hall; fill it out and we’ll make your very own name tag asap!

How do I become a member at St. John’s? How do I transfer my records?

If you currently are a member of an Episcopal parish elsewhere, you can call the office to arrange for us to contact them to transfer your membership.  If you come from a Catholic or Orthodox tradition, we invite you to consider being ‘received’ formally into the Episcopal Church when our bishop makes his annual regular visit. If you were baptized in any other tradition, we request that you attend our Confirmation classes and be confirmed when our bishop makes his annual visit.  Whatever the case may be, you will be asked to complete a Membership Request Form.  Click here to download the form.  Click here for more information on reception and adult confirmation.