Frequently Asked Questions
So What are Episcopalians? Catholic or Protestant?
We are both. Historically, Episcopalians (also called Anglicans), have tried to steer a middle-course between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, acknowledging that each have much to offer. We may be best known for the comprehensiveness of our denomination, which encourages and treasures a variety of viewpoints. Famous Anglicans include Franklin Roosevelt, George Washington, CS Lewis, Jane Austin, Madeline L’Engle and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Why Do You Have Female Priests?
Like many Christian denominations, the Episcopal Church has been ordaining women since the 1970’s. It is our belief that Christ is reflected in all people, regardless of gender, class, sexual orientation, or race, and that extends to the ministry of the priesthood.
Why Do You Worship the Way You Do?
Our order of service, called the “liturgy,” dates back to the earliest centuries of the church, where people and clergy alike have important roles. Like the early Christians, our worship focuses on two main components 1) The Word of God, as expressed through Scripture readings and a sermon; and 2) Communion, also called "the Lord's Supper," "the Mass," or "the Eucharist," where we encounter Jesus' presence in the ordinary elements of bread and wine.
What About My Children?
We have a nursery (ages 0-3) and Sunday school (ages 4-12) for children during the 10am worship service, but all babies and children are welcome to attend all our services. School age children who attend Sunday school return to the worship service after the sermon for a Children's Moment with the clergy and sit with their family for Communion.
Why Do Young Children Take Communion Here?
We believe in the full participation of children in the life of the church. Children are invited to receive Communion at the discretion of their parents. We also like babies and children to worship with us during the service (noises included!).
How Old is St. John’s?
Founded in 1851, St. John’s is among the oldest Episcopal churches in Oregon. The original church building, known as the “Pioneer Church,” was built in 1851 and was later moved to its current location in Oaks Park. The Pioneer Church is the oldest church in continuous use in the state of Oregon. Our current church building was built in 1948 with the west wing addition added in 2005.
For more in-depth history, click on the church.
How Do I Become a Member?
Participating through regular attendance and giving is all that is needed to become an informal member. Formal membership involves making a commitment to the parish and to the Episcopal Church as a whole. If you are interested in formal membership, please speak with the parish priest.
What About Baptism?
If you are new to the Episcopal Church and have never been baptized, baptism is your first step, and you are invited to meet with the priest to prepare for the sacrament of Baptism. If you have been baptized, but have never been confirmed or received as an Episcopalian or Anglican, you are invited to a course of study that covers the following areas: Church history, the Bible, spirituality, ministry, and theology, all from an Anglican perspective. Following your studies you will be eligible to be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church. If you are already an Episcopalian with membership elsewhere, you can always request that your membership be transferred to St. John’s.
You are welcome at St. John’s wherever you are on your journey!