Frequently Asked Questions
Some questions clergy are asked are listed below. If you have questions for which you cannot find an answer, please contact Fr. Brad Toebben.
We are in the process of listening to what people actually want to know so that question/response can be posted for you.
For more complete information on Episcopal Church, please see:
The Episcopal Church: information about the denomination, our roots in the Church of England, and our connection with the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The Online Book of Common Prayer: the source of prayers and liturgies used in our church. Toward the back of the book is An Outline of Faith, questions and answers about major topics of interest in the church, and how we speak to these:
Q: What is an Episcopalian?
A: An Episcopalian is one who has been baptized with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and chooses to be registered on the roll of an Episcopal congregation. An Episcopalian worships in the Episcopal tradition. St. Paul’s Church, in the Episcopal tradition, is part of the one, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Q: How Do I Join St. Paul’s?
A: Our church is a welcoming community and invites you to attend worship or other activities. We encourage you to get to know us as an Episcopal parish and opportunities that might help you serve God through your gifts and passions. If you would like to become a member, please contact Fr. Brad Toebben. We offer the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, if you have not been baptized (for infants, children and adults). Confirmation or Reception (for those who have been confirmed by a bishop in another denomination) is offered after a series of classes that will acquaint you more fully with the Episcopal Church and St. Paul’s in particular. If you decide to join formally or participate with us, we like to register your participation/membership in the Church Register, have you on the parish mailing lists, and honor special moments in your life on anniversary dates
Q: Can I Receive Communion at St. Paul’s Church?
A: All Christians of any denominational background are welcomed to receive. If you have questions, talk with Fr. Brad. St. Paul’s offers a Chalice for those who choose to drink the wine, or an Intinction Chalice for those who prefer to dip their bread into the wine. Receiving just the bread constitutes fully receiving communion. If you are not yet baptized, you are still welcomed at the rail. Just cross your arms over your chest. The priest will offer a special Blessing for you.
Q: What is St. Paul’s Church?
A: We are a community of faith that welcomes all who come. Sometimes people visit us and do not yet know why they have come, or think they have an idea that changes over time. The church is the people – people who meet to worship God in our building. We also have fellowship, share our lives, and grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. From our worship we are sent into the world to serve God as ministers.
Q: Wait – I am a Minister?
A: In the Episcopal Church and at St. Paul’s, the first and most important order of ministry is you – the laity. The Deacon, Priest and Bishop nurture and equip you for God’s work of reconciliation in the world. You are the frontline presence to embody Christ’s love to all and God’s purposes for all – wherever you are.
Q: What Does St. Paul’s Believe?
A: Simply put – the Christian faith. None of our teachings are peculiar. We read the Bible in worship – three or four times. We believe in the full expression of God’s love, life and mission are experienced and expressed as the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Our doctrine conforms to three criteria: scripture, tradition, and reason – with scripture at the center (we don’t always agree on interpretation). Our unity is in Christ, not agreeing with one another. The faith is summarized for us in the two ancient creeds: The Apostles’ and The Nicene Creeds. And we believe that the world we glimpse in scripture, and in Jesus’ ministry, is the world God will one day bring to completion. We are joyful people because we trust the end that God will bring – a reign of love and peace in all creation – and because we know that, we want to share this good news, inviting others to live in God’s hope.