Frequently Asked Questions

If the question you have about St. Mark’s is not listed below, please contact us and we will do our best to answer!

- Q: What should I expect when I visit?
When you arrive for worship a St. Mark's greeter will warmly welcome you. He or she will invite you to wear a nametag so we can get to know you by name. An usher will then give you a bulletin and help you find a place to sit if assistance is desired. After the church service please join us in the hospitality area for something to drink and eat.

If you would like to make use of our nursery for your young child or would like your children to participate in Hands On Bible classes, just ask any usher or greeter for assistance.

- Q: What does St. Mark's believe?
Please click here to read our mission and values statements.

- Q: Do I need to be a member of St. Mark's to participate in worship and other activities?
Everyone is invited and welcome to participate in St. Mark’s worship and activities. Membership is not required. That said, we encourage you to think and pray about becoming a member and perhaps at some point begin to live a deeper life of faith and discipleship within the context of this community of faith.

- Q: What are the worship services like? How do they differ?
St. Mark’s provides a multitude of weekday and weekend opportunities to comfortably worship our Lord in a beautiful and sacred setting. The Wednesday 10 a.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. services offer more traditional worship, without music. Our Wednesday service also offers, for those desiring such, prayers of healing. Saturday’s 5:30 p.m. and Sunday’s 10 a.m. services attract families as well as people of all ages and interests. Music is a part of our Sunday 10 a.m. service with the participation of the St. Mark’s Choir. Many people find our Tuesday 7 p.m. service to be a midweek respite from the busy world we live in. Holy Communion is celebrated at all of the above mentioned services.

St. Mark’s also provides:

Evening Prayer, Mondays at 5 p.m.,
Noonday Prayer, Tuesdays at 12:45 p.m.,
Prayers for Peace at noon on Friday's. 
Please also note that our Peace Chapel is open 24/7 for individual prayers.

Please click here for our worship schedule.

 - Q: What should I wear?

Some people like to dress up a little for Saturday and Sunday services, but you'll also see people in casual clothes, especially during our warmer months. What you choose to wear when you visit is not important, what matters is having you with us at St. Mark’s.

- Q: How do I get to St. Mark's?
Click here for directions.

- Q: Where do I park?
There are parking lots on the east and west sides of our campus, as well as a large lot on the west side of Gardens East Drive by Robb Field and our new Youth Center/Gymnasium. Please utilize the crosswalks for your safety.

- Q: Is the church accessible for the handicapped?
Yes. All of our church facilities are on the ground level and there is handicapped parking adjacent to the entrances.

- Q: Are children welcome in church?
Absolutely! Be sure to pick up a KidsWord bulletin, and crayons, for your children as you enter the church. KidsWord offers activities that correspond with the scripture being shared in the church each Sunday. Our nursery is also available during Sunday morning services for infants and toddlers as well as Hands On Bible classes for children ages 3 through grade 5. Greeters and ushers can direct you to classroom locations.

- Q: How will I know what to do in the service?
In the Episcopal Church, our worship is taken from The Book of Common Prayer (BCP). While our church bulletins are intended to make your worship experience as comfortable and ”user friendly” as possible, there may be times when you will be directed to a page in the BCP or The Hymnal. There are BCP’s and copies of The Hymnal in every pew in the church and chapel. If you get confused about any portion of the service, please do not hesitate to ask someone sitting near you for assistance!

- Q: How will I know when to sit, stand or kneel during a service?
Typically we stand to sing and hear the Gospel; kneel to pray; and sit to hear scripture read along with the sermon. It’s probably easiest to watch and follow what other church members and the clergy do. Keep in mind that, if it is physically more comfortable for you, sitting or standing is always an acceptable alternative to kneeling in our church.

- Q: Am I required to give money at worship?
There is no monetary requirement to worship at St. Mark's, although an offering plate is passed at most services. Most people find, however, that as they move into a deeper relationship with God and become more involved in ministry and community, giving becomes a very natural next step in their Christian lives.

- Q: Can I take Communion? How does it work?
All baptized Christians of any denomination or tradition are welcome to receive Holy Communion at St. Mark's. We have an open table and all are welcome. When your pew is released by the usher, walk forward toward the altar. Another usher will direct you to a portion of the altar rail where you may kneel or stand to receive. To receive the bread, place one hand over the other, palms up, so that the priest may put a wafer on your palm. If you are going to drink from the chalice, you may consume the wafer immediately. When the chalice comes to you, you can help the chalice bearer guide it to your lips by placing your hand on the bottom of the chalice and tilting it or by gently taking it in your hands and guiding it. If you choose to intinct - or dip - the wafer in the wine, hold the wafer until the chalice comes to you. At that time, dip the wafer partway into the wine and then consume.

- Q: What if I am unable to come forward for communion, or to receive bread or wine?
St. Mark’s is more than happy to accommodate persons with special needs. If you are physically unable to come forward for communion, let the usher that comes to your pew know that you would like to receive. Communion will be brought to you after all persons at the altar railing are served.

If you are unable to take communion, you may still come forward to the altar railing to receive a blessing. Simply cross your chest with your arms to indicate your desire. To receive the bread but not the wine, cross your chest with your arms after receiving the bread. Please also note that St. Mark’s offers gluten free communion wafers for those who are allergic to products containing gluten. Speak with a member of the clergy prior to the service to alert us to this particular need.

- Q: What else happens on Sunday?
Sundays are always busy and exciting at St. Mark's. In addition to two worship services, children may attend Sunday School at 10 a.m. For adults, St. Mark's has many parish and volunteer ministries and organizations that hold meetings on Sundays. Sometimes we'll have training or a luncheon for a particular ministry area; other times we'll have a reception for a special occasion; and, from time to time we’ll have special events like our annual fall kick-off (this year “Welcome to the Homestretch”, October 4). There are often tables inviting registration for a class or dinner, and every Sunday there is coffee, juice and sweets following services in our hospitality area.

The announcement page within your Sunday bulletin provides information about St. Mark’s many ministry, education and fellowship activities. We encourage you to read the announcements and, wherever your interest lies, join in!

- Q: How should I address the clergy at St. Mark's?
At St. Mark's, many people address the priests as "Father Cook" or "Father Groff." The best way to address them is to ask them how they like to be addressed. Chances are it will be their first name (Jim and Sanford).

- Q: How do I find out about being baptized, confirmed or getting married?
Our St. Mark’s clergy will be happy to speak with you about your desire to be baptized, confirmed or married at our church. Contact the church office for additional information.

- Q: Can I meet with a priest?
Of course! All the clergy are listed under the "About Us" tab at the top of all pages of our website. Or you may click on this Clergy link to find their email addresses.  The clergy at St. Mark's would feel privileged to meet with you.