Looking for a church - How do I begin?
I’m interested in going to church but don’t know where to start.
Getting started with anything new is never easy. Anticipation of the unknown can be
- You could… go to church with someone you know who does attend. Sit with them, ask questions, and maybe let them introduce you to some others in the congregation. You will find that people don’t bite. (Well, most of them.)
- You could… go on your own. We recommend to not arrive too early, five minutes before the starting time is ok and make sure you sit near the back or on a side. Quick getaways are always a good plan!
- We recommend…stop by the church during the week to walk around to become comfortable with the space, learn the worship schedule and find the bathrooms. St. James’ is open 9-3pm Monday-Thursday for anyone to walk in and look around.
- We recommend… if you are comfortable, introduce yourself and let other’s know you are visiting. Ask questions. You will find people love to help and chat because they were where you are right now.
- OR you could…. Join St. James’ worship online at facebook.com/StJamesSkaneateles
to get a feel in the safety of your own home. St. James’ is committed to bringing worship to all who want to participate and many times, online is the best option.
Are children allowed in church?
YES. Children of all ages are such a blessing. St. James’ welcomes children at ALL worship services. We love crying, laughing, playing, sleeping, whatever makes them happy. There is a kid’s corner in the rear of the church with toys, books, and coloring sheets. Many families use this during worship and children form their own fellowship. Children can also participate in communion. It is completely your choice as the parent. There is an expanding Children’s Ministry launching in September. Be sure to visit https://www.stjamesskan.
What is worship?
Churches are places where people of all walks of life gather. Some have a strong
belief in God, some are working at it, and some people simply need a loving
community join. Churches and worship show us that we are never alone and that our
lives are part of something greater than we can imagine. Many people feel they are
unworthy of love because of choices they have made in their life. The best part of
church is the belief is that God can forgive us what we’ve done wrong and help us
start out again on a new path in life.
For that reason people pray to God, give thanks to God and ask God to hear their
prayers and so on. Singing hymns and listening to a sermon or talk is part of this. All
of this is worship. At St. James’, there are four weekly worship services with 3 of them
live-streamed on Facebook to participate anywhere you have internet connection.
Wednesday at 6pm is an evening prayer brief service focused on prayers of healing
for us and our neighbor. Each Sunday, St. James’ offers 3 worship services. 7:30am
offers a spoken word service with a more formal old English style. 9:00am offers a
traditional worship with organ and choir music. And the 10:45am Sunday worship has a traditional liturgy with contemporary music from the Praise Band. Each worship will
have some form of reflection or sermon that hopefully makes you think as you go
about your normal life.
In fact worship doesn’t just end when we leave church. The hope is that every
moment of our lives becomes an act of worship as we live – or try to live – in the way
that Christians believe God wants us to. St. James’ offers many programs and
ministries to supplement the standard worship schedule. The purpose is for this
church to provide as many opportunities for people to enrich and deepen their faith
journey. For more information about worship, ministries, and programs, please tour
this website or contact the Parish Office.
Will people speak to me/welcome me even if I don’t know anyone?
They most definitely should or we should not be called the friendly church by the lake! There are greeters at each Sunday service who want to make your visit to St. James’ a positive one. The time of peace during each service, people greet each other whether you know the person or not with the peace of the Lord. This time can sometimes become quite a moment of fellowship. It is important to note however, the goal is not to bombard a new person. People join churches for all sorts of reasons including during a time of grief or loss. St. James’ parishioners will most certainly provide anyone space when they need it.
If I want to join a church how do I do this?
By finding one where you get a good welcome that isn’t smothering on the one hand
or cold on the other; where the worship feels sincere and appropriate; and where you
sense there is a good atmosphere.
Many people who want to join a church go to several first of all to ‘test’ each one. That
is especially useful if you’ve recently moved house or flat and are living in a new area.
At St. James’, it’s pretty simple. No entry fee, huge form or baptismal certificate required. There is a blue welcome card in each pew. To begin, we recommend you fill that out with your contact information and place in the offering plate or deliver it to the parish office. One of our staff or welcome team will make contact with you to see how we can help you feel more connected. Often we have small welcome coffees where new people can join clergy to learn more about each other and learn more about St. James’ and what it offers. For more information on joining St. James’, please contact the Parish Office.