FAQs About Good Shepherd


What time do you have services?

Sunday 9 am on-line (Zoom) & 10:30 am in-person (masks are optional - You are, of course, still welcome to wear your mask at any and all times. Additionally, if you know that you have had a recent COVID exposure, we trust that you will mask up and take precautions for everyone's safety).

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 children?
Children are noisy sometimes and that is okay.  We’ve found that children often do better when they sit up front because they can see and feel more engaged. If there is a baptism, children will be invited to gather around the baptismal font so they can see better. Children are more than welcome to walk around. If they are curious about what is going on, bring them to the altar rail so they can see.
No really, my child 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 children 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 children 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 Thursday, 10 am – 3 pm. Closed on Federal holidays.
Please call or email to schedule an appointment if you would like to meet with someone at the church. 


What is the 9 am Sunday Zoom service like?
This on-line service is a joint worship service with Transfiguration Episcopal Church and includes readings from the Bible, a sermon, and a service of Holy Communion.
What is the 10:30 am Sunday service like?
This mid-morning service 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 may be  performed by the Good Shepherd Choir, the Chimes Choir, and instrumental soloists and ensembles.
What is the Wednesday 11:30 am Bible Study like?
One or more of the readings from the next Sunday are read and discussed.


What is the general format of the service?
Scripture reading, sermon, prayers, communion (the sharing of bread 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 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.

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? 
A minister will come by and place a wafer in your hand. They may say, "The Body of Christ", to which you may respond, "Amen".
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”.

Shaking hands, hugs, and other close and hand contact is discouraged. This is a precaution being taken to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Feel free to nod, wave, or bow in greeting one another.
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 announcements, ushers will come around with the offering plates to receive the collection for Good Shepherd. Toward the end of the collection, 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.
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. Classes are on-line. Topics and dates are listed in the service bulletin and on the Good Shepherd calendar.

On Wednesday's


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.

Episcopal 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. Anna Olson is Good Shepherd’s interim 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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