Common Worship Questions

The narthex from canopy entrance. The chapel at left, sanctuary entrance at far right.

Where do I go?

If you enter the church through the canopy entrance, you'll enter a large gathering space called the narthex. (If you enter another door, you'll find a map near each entrance.) The narthex connects to the sanctuary in one corner and the chapel in the opposite corner. The sanctuary is generally used for larger services and the chapel for smaller gatherings.


The chapel

When should I arrive for worship?

Services start at the times listed on the worship services page, but most people arrive a few minutes before the service to listen to the prelude music and greet those around them. If you're running late for worship, don't worry — just find a seat and join in with the service.


The sanctuary

What should I expect when I get there?

As you enter the sanctuary or chapel, an usher may hand you a bulletin with details about the service. If you let them know you're visiting, they can help you with any questions you may have.


What should I wear?

You'll find a wide variety of clothing choices at St. Paul's, ranging from casual to formal. Saturday and Rejoice services tend to be less formal than early Sunday services. If in doubt, you should feel comfortable wearing business-casual attire at any service.


The nursery

Is there a nursery?

The nursery is outside the sanctuary, by the elevator. You may use with nursery with your child during worship. Live video from the sanctuary is available on a TV in the nursery.


Can I share in Holy Communion?

We trust that Jesus Christ is truly present in the meal of Holy Communion (also called The Lord's Supper or Eucharist). All baptized Christians who share that trust, whether or not they are members of this congregation, are welcome at Christ's table.

St. Paul's is a part of the ELCA, which partners with several other denominations in a relationship called full communion. One of the characteristics of full communion is mutual recognition of Baptisms and sharing of The Lord's Supper.

During distribution, an usher directs worshipers forward by row. As you approach the communion station, extend your hands (one on top of the other, with palms up) so the communion minister can place the wafer or bread into your hands. At most services you will receive the wine (or grape juice) by dipping the bread into the wine. If a different method will be used, the pastor will provide instructions before communion.

If you do not receive in Holy Communion, you are welcome to come forward for a blessing during distribution. When you come forward, cross your arms across your chest to let the communion minister know you would like a blessing.

Dietary notes: Regular wafers are made with wheat flour, water, and unrefined wheat germ oil. We also provide an alternative wafer, which contains no gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, corn, or nuts. (Ingredients: filtered water, sweet rice flour, potato flour, organic palm fruit oil, potato starch, modified cellulose, sunflower lecithin.)

To avoid contamination, we provide individual cups of wine and grape juice with the gluten-free wafers.