Frequently asked questions
Most people wear What is the worship service like at St. Paul’s?
Worship at St. Paul’s, as in all Episcopal churches, is based on The Book of Common Prayer, which was compiled by Thomas Cranmer (the English Archbishop of Canterbury) in 1549. The Episcopal Church here in America has had its own prayer book since 1790. It was revised in 1928 and again in 1979, which is the version we still use.
Our music also reflects what is typical in the Episcopal Church, based on the Hymnal 1982 and a more contemporary supplement to the Hymnal: Wonder, Love and Praise. We have a small but enthusiastic choir and a talented music director! We always welcome new singers to our choir.
What should I wear to church?
You are welcome dressed as you are! Most people wear what they wear to work, to school, or wherever they spend time during the week. Some people like to dress up, others like to dress more casually. We’re more interested in welcoming you into our community than prescribing what you should wear.
Can I receive Holy Communion?
Anyone who desires to receive the blessed Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is welcome to receive the bread and wine in the Episcopal Church, including young children. Everyone is invited to the altar rail for a blessing during Communion.
Will you ask me for money?
You are our guest; you are not expected to contribute. We take an offering during the middle part of the service. The ushers will pass plates along the pews at that time and all are, of course, welcome to contribute to the ministry and mission of the church.
How do I join the St. Paul’s community?
You can become a part of our parish community by worshiping with us. Worship is the central thing we do in the Episcopal Church. We hope you will give us your contact information, so that we can follow up with you about other opportunities we offer — education, social activities, outreach to the community, etc. You can include your contact information in our guest book (near the entrance) or by contacting the church office at 785-632-3200.
Becoming a member of St. Paul’s makes you a full participant in the life of our church, including voting privileges at our Annual Parish Meeting. Once you become a member, we expect you to help us carry out our mission here in Clay Center. That involves being with us regularly for worship, remaining faithful in prayer, and offering a portion of your time, talent and treasure for building up the Kingdom of God. We invite — and encourage — all members to make a formal financial pledge each year as a way to commit yourself to Christ, and to help our leaders plan a budget for the coming year.
Do you accept gay people, divorced people, or people who aren't sure about this whole "Christianity" thing?
Yes. We accept all people as equal at St. Paul’s. It is more important that you love than whom you love. There are no restrictions on guests or members.
What do I do if I have a pastoral emergency?
Please let us know if you have pastoral needs. The best way is by calling the church office at 785-632-3200. You also may call our priest, Rev. Kay Dagg, 785-235-5328. Mother Kay lives in Topeka, but is in Clay Center on Wednesday and Sunday.
What if I was raised in a different denomination?
You might be surprised to learn that many Episcopalians originally worshiped in another denomination. Everyone is welcome at St. Paul’s.
Can I receive Communion at worship?
In the Episcopal Church, everyone, no matter their religious background, is welcome to receive both the bread and the wine.
How do I receive communion?
You may stand or kneel at the altar to receive communion. To receive the bread, simply put your hands out one on top of the other, palms up, and the priest will place a piece of bread in your hands. Another communion minister will offer you the wine in a chalice. You may take a sip of the wine or dip the bread into the chalice (we call that “intinction”).
If you are not interested in receiving communion, you may come forward and cross your arms over your chest; the priest will give you a blessing. Small children and babies are often blessed as well.
How do I become a Christian?
We become Christians through Baptism. In the water of baptism we are lovingly adopted by God into God’s family, which we call the Church, and given God’s own life to share and reminded that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ. We conduct public baptisms during worship services from time to time throughout the year. If you want to be baptized or to have a child baptized, please contact the church office at 785-632-3200.
Will I have an opportunity to meet people at St. Paul’s?
One of the legendary characteristics of Episcopal Churches is the “coffee hour” that follows worship on Sunday morning, and we are no exception at St. Paul’s! Join us in the Parish Hall (near the north entrance of the church) immediately following worship for snacks, drinks and conversation.
Where do I park?
We have a small parking lot on the north side of the church, next to Wendy’s, and a larger lot on the east side of the building. You also may park on Clarke Street.
Do you have child care?
We welcome children of all ages in worship. Don’t worry if you have a baby that cries or a young child who has trouble sitting still. They are all God’s children and we love them at St. Paul’s. Come and worship!
If we haven’t answered your question in this list or you just want to learn more about our community or the Episcopal Church, contact Mother Kay by calling the church office at 785-632-3200 or sending her an email message.