I’m new FAQ

Or…what happens on Sunday mornings?

What is the atmosphere at St. Thomas?

St. Thomas is welcoming, affirming, and generous.

I have children. Are they welcome in the service?

Yes! There are lots of children associated with St. Thomas. Some are here seasonally, and others are here more year-round. They may sit with their parents or caregivers during the service, or attend our children’s programming.

What other programs do you have for children and youth?

We have a Sunday School that meets during our Sunday 9:30 worship service. Children 5 and up meet the “shepherd” by the Sunday School banner. They head downstairs to the Sunday School rooms for most of the service for “Godly Play,” and return for communion.

Children 4 and younger are welcome to stay in our staff attended Nursery Room, at the back of the sanctuary.

A teen youth group meets on Sunday evenings.

We also have camps and events.

Is St. Thomas a welcoming and affirming church?

St. Thomas, and the wider Episcopal Church, welcomes and affirms all people. As our baptismal covenant states, “we respect the dignity of every human being.”

What do people wear to church?

Sun Valley is an informal place. As such, folks come to St. Thomas in all manner of dress, from blazers and dresses to slacks and ski clothes depending on the weather.

Where should I sit?

We have pews in the front and chairs toward the back. Please sit wherever you feel comfortable.

Why do the worship leaders wear robes?

In the Episcopal churches, worship leaders wear traditional clothes called vestments.

What is a Sunday morning service like?

As an Episcopal church, we follow the “Book of Common Prayer.” We have a traditional order of service that is followed by thousands of churches throughout the world known as “liturgy.”

The first half of the service centers around readings from the Bible and preaching. The second half is a celebration of the Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion, in which worshippers share in the presence of Christ through the bread and the wine.

Who may receive communion?

All baptized Christians may receive communion.

What is the music like?

The music is traditional, but living. We have an organist/choir director who trains our choirs and plays the organ or the piano each week. The music is divided between historic hymns of faith and newer hymns and anthems written by folks who are living now.

Am I expected to sing?

Some folks sing along with the hymns with gusto, and others pray the words quietly as they are being sung. Know that God receives your praise either way.

What happens after the service?

You may walk through the receiving line to say hi to one or both of our priests. You are also invited to “Coffee Hour,” which includes coffee and cookies, and sometimes hors d’oeuvres.

How to I address the clergy?

While the Episcopal Church recognizes the traditional clerical titles of “Father” and “Mother” at St. Thomas our clergy are known by their first names – Jonah and Kathleen.