Newcomers Guide

Welcome to St. John’s Church

St_John_Eagle_JPEGLocated in Savannah’s historic center, St. John’s is a warm and welcoming community of Anglican Christians within the Episcopal Church, together seeking deeper faith and friendship in Christ. Anchored by the historic Prayer Book (1928) in the teaching of the Bible and the Church’s tradition, St. John’s is a spiritual home for those seeking dignity and reverence in worship together with fidelity to the Scriptures, warmth of fellowship, and a place to raise their families in the Christian religion.

A first time visitor’s guide to the 10:30 a.m.  Sunday service

What do I need to know:

  • Our main Sunday service takes place at 10:30 a.m.
  • Dress: Most of the congregation dresses up for church (jackets and ties for men, dresses or skirts for women).
  • Parking is conveniently available in the lot on the west side of Whitaker Street (A on the map).
  • Nursery (newborn – age 3) may be left with trained staff and volunteers in the first floor Nursery at Cranmer Hall (B). The staff will ask you to fill out a simple questionnaire about their care, and will take your cell phone number to alert you about any problems that may arise.
  • Younger Children (potty-trained age 3 – Kindergarten) may be taken to Sunday School class located on the 2nd floor of Cranmer Hall. At this time they will have music, lesson, fellowship playtime and a snack.
  • 1st – 5th Graders begin in church with their parents and may leave church during the hymn before the sermon (will be noted in bulletin) to attend a Children’s Church program on the 2nd Floor of Cranmer Hall. Contact sevangelista@stjohnssav.org with any questions.
  • Restrooms may be found in Cranmer Hall (B), and there are smaller facilities in the church itself (ask an usher at the door for directions).
  • When arriving at church – At the door to the church (C), the usher will give you a Parish Paper. On its back page is an order of service, with page numbers and hymn numbers. (Hymn Numbers are also on hymn boards at the sides and front of the church). Once seated in a pew, you will find a Prayer Book and slightly larger Hymn Book in a rack in front of you. If the service is Morning Prayer, it begins on p. 6, p. 67 if it is Holy Communion).
  • Before the service is a quiet time to focus your thoughts and calm your soul in preparation for worship. You may wish to look over the Parish Paper’s order of service so you can follow the service more easily. At bell will ring at 10:30 a.m., and the congregation kneels for a brief opening prayer. Then the organ starts playing and the congregation stands to sing the opening hymn. As a general rule, the congregation kneels to pray, sits for instruction, and stands to praise.
  • At Holy Communion, visitors from other churches who are baptized, and who have been admitted to communion in their own churches, are welcome to receive the Sacrament at St. John’s. Others are welcome to receive a blessing instead. Worshippers who wish to receive the sacrament will be ushered by acolytes to the altar rails. Please kneel with head upright (unless prevented by disability), and cross right hand over left to receive the wafer; and when the cup is offered, feel free to assist the minister with your hand in guiding the cup to your mouth. To receive a blessing cross your arms over your breast.
  • After service, the clergy would love to meet you at the door; and you are invited to an elegant Coffee Hour in the historic Green-Meldrim House (D) to the north of the church. If you have children in Cranmer Hall, please pick them up at the conclusion of the service and take them to coffee hour with you. There is a special room set up just for children and often the children enjoy a friendly game of tag in the mall lawn.

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Membership

If you are interested in becoming a member of St. John’s, please speak to the rector or other clergy. Membership involves:

  • Faith, repentance, and baptism, or readiness to be baptized
  • Confirmation by a bishop in historic succession, or willingness to be confirmed in due course
  • Commitment to regular attendance in public worship unless prevented by illness or distance
  • Commitment to regular receiving of Holy Communion on Christmas and Easter, and as further opportunity permits
  • Contributing financially according to your means

If you have been baptized elsewhere, the church office will write to the church of your previous membership for a “letter of transfer”. Adults who are not baptized, or not confirmed, are prepared for these ceremonies by instruction in the faith, usually in the nine weeks before Easter. Adults who have been baptized and confirmed already but in another tradition (e.g. Roman Catholic) are formally received when Confirmation is administered (usually after Easter).

Weddings

Weddings are normally reserved to members of St. John’s, and their dependents. For further information, speak to the rector or other clergy. All weddings are conducted by the clergy of St. John’s in accordance with the rites and ceremonies of the Prayer Book, and the customs of the parish. The building is not available for rent or loan.

St. John's Church Building Map