1. Where is St. Thomas Episcopal Church?
St. Thomas is at 2 St. Thomas Avenue in Isle of Hope, just outside of Savannah, Georgia. Isle of Hope is accessible from Savannah via either Skidaway Road or LaRoche Avenue.
2. Who is St. Thomas, anyway?
Thomas the Apostle (called Didymus which means "the twin" or Mar Thoma in Syriac) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, according to the New Testament. He is informally called doubting Thomas because he doubted Jesus' resurrection when first told (in the Gospel of John account only), followed later by his confession of faith, "My Lord and my God", on seeing Jesus' wounded body. Traditionally, he is said to have traveled outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, traveling as far as Tamilakam which are the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in present-day India. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)
3. What time are the services at St. Thomas?
We have a Saturday night service at 5:00 pm on the first and third Saturdays of the month in the chapel and two services on Sunday morning at 8:00 am and 10:00 am in the church.
4. Will parking be an issue?
We have two parking areas on either side of the church building and additional space behind our buildings. You may also park on St. Thomas Avenue.
5. What should I wear?
People wear all sorts of things to St. Thomas. Our Saturday night service is very casual (our priest often wears jeans and her cowboy boots!). Most people wear what would be considered Coastal “dressy casual” on Sunday mornings. Ladies wear slacks or a skirt; men wear slacks and a collared shirt. But some are more casual. There is no dress code!
6. Are there programs for children and youth?
Yes! We have a nursery available for infants to 4 year olds in the Christian Education building (right beside the main church) from 9:15 to noon on Sunday mornings. We also have Sunday School offerings for children in preschool through 5th grade and youth in 6th grade through 12th on Sundays September through May from 11:00 to 11:45, and our Sunday School of Rock meets on the first Sunday of the month during the Sunday School hour (from 11:00-11:45), and they have jam sessions on Wednesdays from 6:30- 7:00 pm. This is open to children and youth of all ages. We partner with St. Peter's Episcopal Church on Skidaway Island to have a join youth group for youth in grades 6th-12th.
7. I’ve never been to an Episcopal service. How will I know what to do?
When you enter the doors of the church, our ushers will greet you and give you a bulletin that contains the full order of service. This bulletin includes the words you will say and when you can expect to stand, sit, or kneel. In services where we have music, the hymns can be found in the blue book in the pew marked Hymnal 1982 or in our St. Thomas songbook (also in the pew). The prayers can be followed in the red Book of Common Prayer in every pew rack. The priest will also invite you to stand at the appropriate times, and all you have to do is follow the service in the bulletin.
8. Do I have to be an Episcopalian to take communion?
In the Episcopal Church, all baptized people, regardless of denomination or age, are encouraged to partake of communion or Eucharist. If you are not baptized and are interested in learning more about it, our clergy are happy to try to answer any questions you have.
9. Will I be singled out as a visitor?
Absolutely not! Because we are a growing parish, you are encouraged to introduce yourself to the clergy on the way out and to fill out a visitor’s card, so that our welcome committee may drop off a gift at your house. But we want you to do what is most comfortable to you as a guest.
10. How do I join?
There are various ways to join an Episcopal church. If you are already an Episcopalian, then you call our church office and ask us to request your letter from your previous church and provide us with that information. If you have not been baptized, then baptism will make you a member of St. Thomas. If you have already been baptized, then you can make a mature faith commitment when our bishop is present and be confirmed or received, and this will also make you a member. St. Thomas offers “inquirer’s classes” for people to learn more about the Episcopal Church and to prepare people for membership. Call the church office if you would like to know more about this.