What To Expect 


Why choose the Episcopal Church and why Saint Mary’s?

“The Episcopal Church has common ground with so many Christian denominations, with a good blend of traditions and customs that help people feel comfortable, no matter what your background is. St. Mary’s is a great place to share faith together, worship and grow as Christians. St. Mary’s is the most welcoming congregation I have ever encountered. Dress code ranges from blue jeans and athletic shoes to Sunday best dresses or suits and ties. This might seem superficial – but this is indicative of the fact that St. Mary’s embraces and celebrates the diversity of its members and welcomes people from many different paths.”


What is the preaching like?

“Sermons at St. Mary’s are different – they’re dynamic, short and to the point. They are thought provoking, and speak to us individually. They are applicable and appeal to all listeners, from youth to seniors – we all can benefit from them. Referenced with scriptures from the Bible, there is always something we can take home with us.”

 

What kind of fellowship do you have?

“St. Mary’s is an active and vibrant congregation, with many opportunities during the year to get together as a group for fun things. Easter is a joyous time. Our Pentecost picnic is for the entire family with games for kids and many different kinds of food from our diverse congregation. In October, we have a Halloween festival with lots of community involvement. We celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ with Christmas celebrations and parties for kids and adults. On Sunday mornings after the service, we welcome you to join us for coffee hour with refreshments. St. Mary’s is a great place to be, and it’s a great time to join us!”


What is your Sunday school like?

“The thing I like about Christian formation at St. Mary’s is that it’s centered on the Bible, and it helps us to understand that the Bible isn’t just a story about people living thousands of years ago, but it’s a story about each of us, and how God speaks to us, and the relationship that God wants to have with us, and the relationships that he wants us to have with one another. Learning those things and seeing how to apply them in my life every day, that’s the thing I like the most about Christian formation here.”

“Sunday school at St. Mary’s is a lot more fun than most people think. I always enjoy it when I go – we laugh and we learn a lot about the Bible, how it applies to our lives. I really wish more people my age would come to Sunday school, because I honestly think they’re missing out when they don’t.”


What is it like to raise your child(ren) at Saint Mary’s?

 “It is great to raise a family at St. Mary’s. There is so much to offer. When you have babies we have a wonderful nursery with professional nannies, we have a children’s experience for ages zero through elementary school age kids (during the gospel portion of the service). We have first communion classes, confirmation classes for older kids, and we also have a youth group . . . The kids really connect, and the kids that come through St. Mary’s really do become great disciples of Christ – it’s been a great experience for us as parents.” “The youth group has changed my life – going through high school and middle school with people going through the exact same things as you changes your life, you make lifelong friendships with people you can always count on. New people are always welcome from middle school to high school, so please come!”


What is the Youth Program like?

“One of my favorite things about St. Mary’s is all the friends I have at youth group and the time that we get to spend together.” “One of my favorite things is how nice and friendly people are.” “I like this church because it’s family to me and I can do almost anything; I just love going to youth group one Sunday a month and I wish we could do more.” “I just like hanging out with all my friends here and seeing everybody every week.” “I love this church because I’ve made so many good friends and even the adults here, it’s just a big family for me. I love coming to youth group to see all my friends, and it’s a great atmosphere to worship God in.”

“The youth group at St. Mary’s is phenomenal. You can start in sixth grade and go all the way up to twelfth grade. We have a junior high and a senior high youth group, and we do a lot of cool things to serve God and have fun at the same time. We’ve done two mission trips so far. We went to Washington, D.C. and to Sautee, GA. It’s fun, we see God, and we get to help people – it’s really cool. We also do fun things – every summer we go to Saluda, NC, we do service projects with a lot of cool people – it’s really fun!”


How does Saint Mary’s impact the Community?

“Saint Mary’s impact on the community is continually growing. Our Outreach ministries support many large initiatives.

  • Leaphart Elementary, our neighborhood school, has identified many children who go without food on the weekends. So, we are feeding 34 children every week through our Snack Pack Program.

  • Resurrections is a Saturday feeding ministry which nourishes the homeless folks in Columbia. Each Saturday tents and tables are set up in downtown Columbia to feed and support the homeless population.

  • Education Equals Hope is a Haiti ministry we support by an Island Party that raises funds to support a school in Les Cayes, Haiti. The funds raised are used to pay the teacher’s salary and scholarships for students.

  • Family Promise of the Midlands is strengthening the community. This interfaith ministry is designed to help families who have lost their housing. Our job is to house, feed and support families until they are able to obtain transitional housing. This usually takes from 30 to 90 days.


Saint Mary’s provides support to numerous local ministries throughout the Midlands and far beyond. So you see, as God has provided for us, we too are we trying to provide for others in our community. Won’t you join us in making a difference for Christ?”


Who attends Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church? 

YOU do!  We hope to see you soon!