We know that visiting a church for the first time can be an anxious experience, so we want to put you at ease.
What can I expect?
Please know that we don't want you to feel pressured or overwhelmed. We won't ask you to give money or sign up for a committee. We don't care if you know when to sit, stand, or kneel. You don’t have to dress up for church, hide your tattoos, or be discreet about your sexuality or gender identity. Your presence itself is a gift to us.
We will do our best to make you feel welcome; but we will also try to respect your personal space and let you participate in whatever way is comfortable for you. If you get lost at any point in the service, simply ask one of us for help, and we will happily assist you. It takes time to feel at home in a new place.
If you have small children, feel free to sit with them on the rug in the children’s area at the front of the church and let them play and color. We find that children feel welcome and more engaged when they are encouraged to be themselves up where all the action is. If you have an infant and would like more privacy, we encourage you to sit with your baby in the rocking chair at the back of the church. And if your baby needs changing, the upstairs bathroom near the entrance contains a diaper changing station.
What happens next?
Our priest, Fr. Ethan, and others will greet you during your visit and invite you for coffee and a snack after the service. If you’re feeling up to it, feel free to participate in our Christian formation program for children and adults. Our most recent program, Hogwarts Academy, is based on the magical world of Harry Potter.
Fr. Ethan or one of our deacons would also be delighted to meet with you another time over coffee or lunch to get to know you and learn more about what brought you to St. Helena's/Santa Elena. If a neutral space feels less intimidating, Fr. Ethan keeps office hours every week (posted on the Website’s home page) at the Starbucks at 6001 S. Lagrange Road in Countryside.
If you are interested in learning more about our church, then please be sure to fill out one of the information cards in your pew and give it to one of us before you leave. Or you can fill out the online form. We hope you enjoy your visit!