Frequently Asked Questions
What do Episcopalians believe?
Like all other Christians, Episcopalians believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth, in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, who died on a Cross, who arose from death and ascended into heaven, and in the Holy Spirit. We also believe in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and in life everlasting. There are additional things that any Christian could say about what he or she believes. We believe that the fundamental statements of faith for all Christians can be found in the ancient Creeds of the Church: The Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. Our understandings about God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), the nature of humanity, the Bible, Sin and Redemption, the Church, Ministry, Prayer and Worship, the Sacraments, Last Things and our Christian Hope can all be found in “An Outline of the Faith”, commonly called the Catechism, on p. 845 of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP).
What is the Book of Common Prayer (BCP)?
The BCP provides the order for many different services in which we seek to worship God. This book also contains schedules for the various Bible verses we read throughout the church year. It also includes many prayers that are said together. We have a special word for the different worship services we use. We call these liturgies.
What types of worship services are currently offered at All Saints?
8:00 a.m. A traditional Sunday service, called Rite I, including Holy Eucharist. This is a spoken service, without hymns.
10:30 a.m. The Principal Sunday Service called Rite II, including Holy Eucharist. It includes a lot of participation by the congregation and choir. At various times of the year, the choir may offer sung services, such as the Advent Lessons & Carols service.
Do you have a Nursery?
Yes. We believe that infants who experience security are building the foundation to faith formation, which is Trust. The nursery is available from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon every Sunday, for infants and toddlers from birth to 3 years of age. The nursery is located downstairs from the Parish Hall, next to the Youth Room.
What measures are taken to keep my children safe during Sunday School and church events?
All Nursery workers, Sunday School and Children’s Church teachers, and any members who have contact with children at All Saints must take a workshop sponsored by The Episcopal Church called “Safeguarding God’s Children”. This mandatory workshop is offered twice a year by trained facilitators, and the certification must be renewed online every 4 years. In addition, we have a policy of having at least 2 adults present in each classroom.
Do children and youth participate in worship?
Yes. Elementary aged children may serve as presenters of the basket of food donations during the 10:30 a.m. Sunday service. They may also participate in the Children’s Choir. Middle and high school youth may serve as acolytes, crucifers, lay readers, ushers, or presenters. Once a year, the 10:30 a.m. Sunday service is designated as Youth Sunday, with youth serving in many capacities.
Does music accompany the services?
Our early Sunday morning is a spoken service. At the later service, we have a wonderful choir, accompanied by organ and sometimes additional instruments. The music we sing is generally considered to be traditional liturgical music, but we sometimes venture into other musical genres, such as African or Irish folk songs, church camp songs, or Negro spirituals. The Parish Choir practices every Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m., and anyone who wants to sing is invited to join. We also have a Youth Choir for children in K-8th grade, which sings 2-3 times a year. They rehearse every Sunday at 9:15 a.m. in Room 109 (choir room) and take a break during the summer months.
I see people bowing and making gestures. Do I have to do that?
No. You don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. Some Episcopalians bow (aka genuflect) when the Cross passes their pew; some make the sign of the Cross as a way of affirming what is being said in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Other Episcopalians do not do this. Likewise, you may see some people standing during prayers, while others kneel or sit. We take great pride in the freedom of expression allowed in the Episcopal Church, so please do not feel you must do any of these things.
What are Sacraments?
Sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace given to us by Jesus Christ. The two great sacraments given by Christ to His church are Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist. The latter is sometimes called Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper. Episcopalians also consider Confirmation, Ordination, Holy Matrimony, Reconciliation and Unction as five lesser sacraments.
What does the word “Eucharist” mean?
“Eucharist” is a Greek word that means, “making thanks”. It is another name for Holy Communion, a part of the service when we offer back to God the bread and wine He has given to us. Episcopalians believe that the bread and wine we consume during Communion are very real ways in which Christ nourishes us with His very own life. So we make thanks not only for ordinary bread, but also for the presence of Christ and the promise and gift of new life in Him, today and for all eternity.
May I receive Holy Communion in the Episcopal Church?
Anyone of any age who has been baptized in a Christian church is welcome to receive the bread and/or wine that has been blessed at the Lord’s Table. If for any reason you do not choose to receive, we invite you to come to the altar with everyone else anyway, to receive a blessing. Simply cross your arms in front of your chest to indicate to the priest and Eucharistic minister that you choose not to receive the bread and wine.
What are some Episcopal terms I might hear?
During the procession, the person carrying the Cross is called a Crucifer. The two people carrying candles are called Torchbearers. All three of these people are Acolytes. During High Holy Day services such as Christmas Eve or Easter, where incense may be burned, a Thurifer carries the smoking incense in a Thurible. The people reading the Scripture readings are called Lectors, and the Eucharistic Ministers are called Chalice Bearers.
If I choose to receive Eucharist, how is it done?
To receive the consecrated (blessed) wafer, come to the altar rail and stand or kneel. Place your right hand on top of your left hand, palms up. The wafer is placed on your palm. You may take the wafer and place it reverently in your mouth and chew it. Or if you prefer, you may leave the wafer on your open palm, and the Eucharistic Minister will dip it into the wine and place it on your tongue. You may receive the wine from the common cup (chalice) by grasping the base lightly between your thumb and forefinger and guiding the cup to your lips.
How do I become a Member of All Saints?
Membership in the Episcopal Church is through Baptism, Confirmation, Letter of Transfer from another Episcopal church, or Reception from another Christian denomination. The Rector (senior pastor) would be pleased to discuss this in more detail with you. Just call the office at 423-586-6201 to make an appointment with him.
What is required for Baptism?
It is required that we renounce Satan, repent of our sins, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. For infants being baptized, these promises are made by the parents and godparents on behalf of the child. We baptize infants so that they can share citizenship in the Covenant, membership in Christ, and redemption by God. We baptize people of any age who are ready to make these promises for themselves. To schedule a baptism for yourself or your child, contact the Rector.
What is Confirmation?
Confirmation is the service in which a person who was baptized as an infant, publicly expresses his or her mature commitment to Christ. At All Saints, we confirm young people who are at least 14 years of age, or in 9th grade, and adults. Those being confirmed (confirmands) must attend a series of classes with the Rector, during which the Outline of the Faith (aka the Catechism) is explored and discussed. Confirmation is done by the Bishop of the Diocese of East Tennessee, by the laying on of hands, during his annual visit to our parish.
What are some other Episcopal Church terms that I might hear?
Our historic roots are in the Church of England, and we have retained some historic words to describe our architecture. The Undercroft is the lower level of the church. The Sanctuary is the area around the altar. The Narthex is the entrance hall or foyer. The Nave is the area where the congregation sits. The Chapel is the small area to the right side of the nave. We call our local church the Parish. Each parish is led by a priest whose title is Rector. All the Episcopal churches in East Tennessee are members of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee. Each diocese is led by a Bishop, and all Bishops are led by a Presiding Bishop. Our Rector (chief pastor) is the Rev. J. Mark Holland. Our Bishop is The Very Rev. George Young (“Bishop Young”), and our diocese is based in Knoxville. Our Presiding Bishop is The Most Rev. Michael Curry. The National Episcopal Church is based in New York City.
What about Outreach at All Saints?
There are many opportunities for Christian service at All Saints. We volunteer time and energy to the community-wide service network that provides food for the hungry, housing for the homeless, safety for youth at risk and those being abused. We no longer provide emergency funds for people needing help; instead, we support local agencies that have the resources and staff necessary to manage the large number of people in our area who need assistance. We do this not only by contributing money to these agencies, but also by taking on specific projects on their behalf. If there is an outreach project you’d like to get involved in, by all means tell us about it! The basket of donated food presented on Sunday mornings goes to support Central Services. We also support BSA Troop 197 by providing meeting space, and are hosting the re-organized Boy Scout Troop 197 which meets on Monday nights. We provide garden space for the local Hidden Treasures school for disabled students and provide a monthly Bingo luncheon for residents of the local housing projects, where the prizes are donated by parishioners.
What Lay Ministry opportunities are there at All Saints?
We have 80 different ministries, all of which utilize volunteers in leadership and service roles. Some require minimal training, especially those associated with worship. Others require nothing but showing up to help. Every year in September, we hold Rally Day, during which all the various ministries have information tables set up in the Parish Hall, and parishioners can select which ministries they want to be involved in during the coming year. If you have a heart for a ministry that is not currently in existence at All Saints, by all means talk to the clergy or a member of the Vestry about it! God works through all of us – even newcomers – and we welcome your ideas.
What Fellowship opportunities are there at All Saints?
We have many seasonal celebrations and parish events which provide frequent occasions to celebrate our life together. Coffee Hour in the Parish Hall before the 8:00 a.m. Sunday service and after the 10:30 service allows for casual conversation and greeting newcomers and visitors. We encourage everyone to volunteer or participate in any or all of the following fellowship events: Newcomer’s Dinners, Foyer Groups, Spring & Fall BBQ, Easter Brunch & Egg Hunt, Parish Potluck Picnic, Wednesday PM Suppers and Programs, Advent Lessons & Carols, Mardi Gras Pancake Supper, No-Talent-Required Talent Show, Gingerbread House Making, Children’s Christmas Creche Service, Advent Wreath Making, Wisemen (Men’s Group), Episcopal Churchwomen (ECW), Project Canterbury, Middle School Youth Group, High School Youth Group.
How do I meet other Newcomers?
The easiest way to meet other Newcomers in the parish is to attend a Newcomer’s Dinner and to accept an invitation from a Foyer Group to join that group for a casual dinner. Newcomer’s Dinners are held as needed in a parishioner’s home. Usually, 2-3 new families will be included, along with the host family and the clergy. Foyer Groups meet once per month in a parishioner’s home. Each group rotates the host position and decides whether the dinners will be potluck or provided entirely by the host. Once you have signed up to attend a Newcomer’s Dinner or Foyer’s Group dinner, you will be assigned a Newcomer Shepherd, a member of our congregation who will help you get a name tag ordered and introduce you and your family to other parishioners and direct you to the appropriate Sunday School classroom(s). That person will also answer any questions you might have about All Saints, or direct you to the person who can help you.
Can I receive parish mailings without being a member?
Yes. Simply fill out a pew card or sign our guest book and indicate that you would like to be on the mailing list. You may also contact the church office and ask to be added to the e-mail list for the newsletter. We are so glad you were here to worship with us! Please sign our guest book and come to coffee hour after the service! We want to get to know you! If you are just passing through, we wish you safe travels and God’s blessings. If you are looking for a permanent church home, we would love for you and your family to join our All Saints family! Please talk to a church member at coffee hour or contact Cindy Selby at 804-761-6802 or firstname.lastname@example.org about signing up for a Newcomer’s Dinner! If you are have been attending All Saints for a while and would like to be included in our online church directory, so that we can easily contact you and you can easily contact us, call Mary Ann Mills at 423-327-1172. You don’t have to be an “official” member to be listed in our directory. It’s just a great way to help us learn your face and name!