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New to Good Shepherd? Welcome!
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The Basics - Where and When

 
What time do you have services? (need directions to Good Shepherd? click here)‚Äč
Sunday 8:30 am &10:30 am, Wednesday 11:30 am.
In August there is one Sunday service only at 9:30 am.
 
What should I wear?
Some people wear suits and dresses, some people wear jeans or khakis. Wear what you are comfortable in.
 
Where do I park?
The parking lot is behind the church. The entry drive is next to the Good Shepherd sign on University Blvd. The sign is just past the church if you are headed east on University Blvd. If you are headed west, there is a break in the median on University Blvd opposite the entry drive.
 
Where do I enter the church?
From the parking lot, walk up the wide ramp next to the playground and enter through the double glass doors. You will enter the church lobby (often called the Narthex). The church itself is straight ahead of you through the
 second set of doors.
 
What will happen when I walk into the 
church?
Ushers will greet you next to the inner doors and hand you a bulletin. Go into the church and select a place to sit. There are no assigned or reserved seats in church.  
 
What about my kids?
They are welcome to be in the church during the service or they can join the Children's Chapel & Sunday School.  Kids are noisy sometimes and that is okay.  There is a soft space in the back of the church for quiet, supervised play.  We’ve found that kids often do better when they sit up front because they can see and feel more engaged. If there is a baptism, kids will be invited to gather around the baptismal font so they can see better.
 
No really, my kid is being too noisy.  What do I do?
You can go out to the church lobby (Narthex). The inner doors to the church are closed during the service, but the doors and wall are glass so you and your kids can still see what is going on. There are tables and benches there and a long hallway to the left. The bathrooms are at the end of that hallway. Additionally, there is a quiet room (Nursery) midway down the same hallway, second door on the left. The room is not staffed so kids should not be left unattended in the room.
 
Where are the bathrooms?
Go back to the church lobby (Narthex) and take the long hallway to the left. The bathrooms are at the end of the hall. There 
are also bathrooms downstairs.
 
What are the office hours?
Monday through Friday, 10 am – 3 pm.
Please call or email to schedule an appointment if you would like to meet with someone at the church.  

 

Service Descriptions – at all services the complete text of the service will be in your bulletin.

What is the 8:30 am Sunday service like?
This early service is in what many call ‘traditional’ language – think of the language used in the Lord’s Prayer – “Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.” There is organ music before, during, and after the service. The congregation sings a hymn when the service starts and when it ends. The service includes readings from the Bible, a sermon, and sharing of bread and wine that has been blessed.
 
What is the 10:30 am Sunday service like?
This mid-morning service is in modern language and includes readings from the Bible, a sermon, and sharing of bread and wine that has been blessed. A variety of music of different styles may be heard during the service. The congregation sings hymns and songs throughout the service. Additionally, music is performed by the Good Shepherd Choir, the Chimes Choir, and instrumental soloists and ensembles.
 
What is the Wednesday 11:30 am service like?
This service is casual and includes healing prayers for all.
 

What happens at a service?


What is the general format of the service?
Scripture reading, sermon, prayers, communion (the sharing of bread and wine that has been blessed).

What am I expected to do during the service?
We want you to feel included and comfortable during the service. You may notice some people kneeling and some making the sign of the cross. These are not 'required' acts. Other people may only stand or sit at various times during the service. It is customary to stand during prayers, the reading from the Gospel, and during hymns and songs. If it is uncomfortable for you to stand, please remain seated. 
 
Who can receive communion
Anyone.  The altar at Good Shepherd is God’s table.  The meal we share is God’s gift to us – it is for everyone.
 
How do I receive the bread and wine at communion?

Ushers will let you know when it is time for your pew to go up for communion. If you are in the center pews, go down the center aisle to the front of the church and kneel or stand at the altar rail. If you are in the side pews go to the back of the church and walk down the center aisle to kneel or stand at the altar rail. The ministers distribute bread and wine.  When you have received communion, return to your pew via the outer aisles. If it is difficult for you to come to the altar rail, please let an usher know. The priest will be happy to bring communion to you.
 
How do I get the bread and wine? 
A minister will come by and place a wafer in your hand. You may eat the wafer and then drink from the cup. Alternatively, you may dip the wafer into the cup and then eat it. You do not have to receive the wine if that is your preference. You may receive the wafer only.
 

Does everyone drink from the same cup?
Yes, the alcohol in the wine takes care of germs.
 
What if I don’t want to receive communion?
You may come up with the group and cross your arms over your chest to indicate you’d like to receive a blessing instead of communion. Or you may stay in your pew.
 
Is there anything I might find different about Good Shepherd’s service?
About half way through the service, the priest will say “The Peace of Christ be always with you” and the congregation will respond “And also with you”.  And then everybody walks around and shakes hands, and sometimes hugs each other.  You don’t have to hug. This is listed as The Peace and is it is customary to exchange a greeting such as "Peace be with you" or simply "Peace" when shaking hands.
 
Do I have to put money in the offering/collection plate?

No, but your contributions are appreciated and the ministries of Good Shepherd depend on them. They are our sole source of funds. After the announcement, a lay minister will stand in front of the altar holding an open globe of the world. You will see people coming forward to put money into the globe. This is our outreach offering. The money received is distributed during the year to local, national, and world charities. Following the outreach offering, ushers will come around with the offering plates to receive the collection for Good Shepherd.
 
What are Healing Prayers? 
During the Intercessions (Prayers of the People) you will be invited to come to the altar rail to receive healing prayers offered by the priest. During the Healing Prayer, a priest will make the sign of the cross on your forehead with some holy oil, place hands on your head, and pray quietly and briefly.  You may receive healing prayers for yourself, or on behalf of someone.

How do I ask for a Healing Prayer?
So if I come forward to the altar rail, what do I say when the priest stands in front of me? Simply tell the priest your prayer need. There are no special words or prayers that you need to use. You may respond with "Amen" at the end of the prayer. 

Do you have education classes?
We have opportunities to study and grow in your faith.  These are opportunities to learn, and to bless and embrace your doubt.  Adult education classes are offered several times during the year and are held on Thursday evenings at 7 pm. Courses generally run 3-5 weeks. Topics and dates are listed in the service bulletin and on the Good Shepherd calendar. Children's Chapel & Sunday School begins at 10:15 am ahead of the 10:30 am service and is offered September to June. Sunday School is a way for children Pre-kindergarten through the 5th grade to learn about God, Jesus, the Bible, and our faith and traditions. Children join the 10:30 am worship service during The Peace.

What happens after the service?
On many Sundays, you will find refreshments being served in the church lobby (Narthex). Sometimes there will be a potluck downstairs or a picnic outside. Everyone is invited to remain and enjoy the opportunities for food and fellowship.
 

Terms you will hear at Good Shepherd 

Congregation: The people in the pew, active participants in the service, not spectators.  

Columbarium: A consecrated place that holds the cremated remains of the deceased. Good Shepherd's Columbarium is in the St. Francis Room.
 

Episcopal:  This is the denomination of which Good Shepherd is a part.  The Episcopal Church approaches faith in Jesus through reading the Bible, being mindful of our tradition, and letting reason inform our understanding of what God might be doing in the world around us in this moment, at this time.

E
piscopal Diocese of Washington / EDOW: Good Shepherd is part of a regional grouping of Episcopal Churches that includes the District of Columbia and Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties. The Diocese is led by a Bishop. Our bishop is Bishop Mariann Budde.
 
Eucharist:  This term is used in two ways. The Eucharist refers to Communion, receiving bread and wine that has been blessed. It may also be used as the name of a church service, for
example, “the 8:30 Eucharist” refers to the 8:30 am Sunday service.

Lay Eucharistic Minister (LEM): A lay person who assists the priest at the altar.
 
Narthex:  This is the church lobby or foyer. It is the area just inside the double entry doors opposite the parking lot.
 
Parish Hall:  This is the hall downstairs. Either go down the stairs or take the elevator down and through the Pre-School classrooms. Both the stairs and the elevator are at the end of the long hallway to your right as you enter the church or your left as you leave the church. There is also an entrance directly into the parish hall from the parking lot near the entry driveway. An easy alternative is to follow the crowd.
  
Rector: An 
Episcopal term for the senior pastor. The Rev. David C. Wacaster is Good Shepherd’s Rector
 
St. Francis Room:  This is a meeting room at the rear of the Parish Hall. The Columbarium is also located in the St. Francis Room.
 
Vestry: The governing board of the parish made up of the rector, senior warden, junior warden and lay members elected at the annual meeting.  The Vestry serves as an advisory council to the rector who is the parish’s chief liturgical and pastoral officer.
 
Wardens:  Serve as the
lay partners of the rector in articulating the mission and vision of the parish, managing its day-to-day operations, identifying and nurturing leaders, and empowering members of the congregation to live out the Gospel in their daily lives.
 
 
 
 
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Updated: Feb 4, 2017