Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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What to Expect When You Visit St. Peter's

Newcomers and visitors are always welcome at St. Peter’s Parish Church!   Please join us on any Sunday for worship and fellowship. If you are visiting, please fill out a visitor card, available from any Sidesman (the person who’s handing you a leaflet at the church door).  Please be sure to give us your email address so that you can receive our Newsletter and other annoucements.  You can also add yourself to our email list by clicking on "Stay in Touch" on our home page. I want to make sure to greet you, so as you are exiting the church at the end of the service, be sure to shake my hand and let me know you are visiting. If you have immediate questions, let me know or ask the Vestry Greeter, who will be standing beside me. If after the service or during the week you'd like to know more, please call the church office.

Also, nursery available during both Sunday services.

If you’re worried about what to wear, don’t!  Some people wear business attire to Sunday services, but you'll also see people in “business casual,” sweaters and jeans, or casual clothing.

During the school year, there are usually two Sunday Services. The 9:00 am Service is a “quiet” Service, with neither organ nor choir. Twenty-five to forty-five people attend this Service. The 11 am Service includes an organist and choir and forty to seventy people attend.  Both include Eucharist, also known as “Holy Communion.”

We typically follow Rite I during Advent and Lent - occasionally in the summer - and Rite II during the rest of the year. Rite I is the “traditional” language, with the familiar “thee” and “thou” of the King James Bible, while Rite II is the “contemporary” version. We use THE HYMNAL 1982 for music, the red book in your pew, while THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER (the black book)  is used for the liturgy. Large print prayer books are also available.

All baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion in the Episcopal Church. St. Peter’s Parish Church uses both real wine and real bread, but on occasion, wafers are used instead of real bread. The Sidesmen (known in other churches as “ushers”) will assist in getting you to and from the communion rail. There are a variety of options when it comes to receiving Communion. First, you may stand or kneel to receive. When the priest comes by with the bread, hold out your crossed open hands and the bread will be placed there. You may consume the bread then or wait until the assistant comes by with the wine, touch the bread lightly to the wine, and then consume it. Receiving from the common cup is the usual practice, however. When the assistant reaches you, take the foot of the chalice lightly and assist in bringing the chalice to your lips. If you wish to receive a blessing instead, or receive only the bread, simply cross your arms over your chest. Those who are not baptized are always invited to come to the communion rail for a blessing, and again, indicate this by crossing your arms over your chest. If you have difficulty approaching the altar rail for communion, let a Sidesmen know and it will be our honor to bring the Sacrament to you in your pew.

A typical Sunday Service, whether Rite I or Rite II, has two halves: the Service of the Word, and the Service of Holy Communion. At the end of the Service of the Word, before our Communion service begins, we offer a sign of God's peace to one another by shaking hands with those near us.

The church is handicapped-accessible through the side door, as it is “on grade.” At the front door there are two steps to be negotiated. The Parish House is handicapped-accessible, and the ramp is on the side nearest the parking lot. It houses our fellowship hall, kitchen, classrooms, church offices, and restrooms.

Music is an important part of worship at St. Peter’s Parish Church, and you'll discover that our congregation enjoys singing.  Our choir is always open to new members. Let Joyce Molina, our organist and choirmaster, know of your interest. Guest musicians occasionally join us for special services to enrich the music program.

Christian education for children is offered during the school year between services at 10 am for pre-K through elementary school. We also have a very active Youth Group for middle schoolers and high schoolers that also meets at 10 am. Newcomers are welcome to join at any time.  Adult Christian Education is also held each Sunday at 10:00am.

During the summer there is only one Sunday Service at 10 am. Christian Education also does not meet during the summer. Our summer schedule usually begins in early June and will run through mid-September . 

 

A nursery is available in the Parish House for infants and young children through age five from about 9:45 am until church is over at about noon. Some children stay in the nursery for church, but it’s not unusual for some babies and children to stay with their parents in church for the entire service.

We have a “Coffee Hour” with light refreshments between Services on the second Sunday of most months, as well as informal get-togethers almost every Sunday during the ten o’clock hour. Newcomers are occasionally invited to be the guests of honor at the Coffee Hour so everyone gets a chance to meet one another.

For more information or if you have any questions, please call the church office at (804) 932-4846. I look forward to seeing you soon!

 Faithfully, 

 S. Paul Rowles, Rector