I’m New Here

I'm New Here

for your first trips to St. John’s

Your First Visit

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We are delighted that you are thinking about joining us for worship, and we want to make sure your time with us is fruitful. As a parish we are committed to welcoming all who enter our doors, especially you.

There are a few things we think it would be helpful for you to know as you plan your visit.

The very most important thing for you to know…

You are welcome here!

We know that each visitor to our church has walked a different path that has led to the doors of St. John’s. We’re here to invite you in and walk the next steps with you.

Tell us about yourself and take a moment to fill out our Connection Card.

If you’d like to ask any questions before your first visit, we invite you to contact The Rev. Melissa Wilcox, Associate Priest for Welcome. She will be happy to answer your questions, or find the person who can. St. John’s Episcopal Church is a LGBTQ+ welcoming community.

We hope to see you on Sunday!

Sunday Schedule

8 a.m. – Holy Eucharist, Rite I (Traditional Language)

9:30 a.m. – Holy Eucharist with Choir, Rite II (Contemporary Language)

9:45 a.m. – Children aged 3 through 5th grade leave service for Children’s Liturgy of the Word

10:45-11:30 a.m. – Christian formation for all ages (from September to May)

Learn more on our Worship, Children & Youth, and Ministries pages.

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About Our Services

Holy Eucharist is our communion rite, in which all baptized Christians are invited to receive bread and wine, and others are invited to come forward for a blessing.

8:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist, Rite I
Intimate and concise, this chapel service follows the traditional Rite I language and includes a sermon and Holy Eucharist with congregational hymnody.

9:30 am – Holy Eucharist, Rite II
This Rite II service (with formal but contemporary language) has something for all ages, including children’s chapel, music, sermon, and communion, and is finished in time for adult and children’s formation.

5:00 pm- Saturday Evening Eucharist, 1st and 3rd Saturday

This Rite II service is formal with contemporary language and has a sermon and communion.

Choral Evensong
On various feast days, we celebrate choral evensong sung by either our Parish Choir or our Men and Youth choir. Choral evensong is sung evening prayer and is a gem of the Anglican tradition. This is a wonderful service for contemplative worship and often draws students from the community.

We use the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer (BCP) and its supplement, Enriching Our Worship (EOW).

BCP Rite I uses Elizabethan English (e.g., thee, thy, thou) and hearkens back to the rich language of Thomas Cranmer, the original prayer book creator. BCP Rite II uses modern language but retains the beautiful imagery of Rite I with more prayer options. EOW uses inclusive and expansive language and builds upon the previous prayer forms.

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Local Colleges

Each year, the United States Army War College at Carlisle Barracks welcomes a large class of senior officers and government service executives for a ten-month residential senior training program. The class also includes officers from many foreign countries, and typically, we have the opportunity for fellowship with members of the class who are Episcopalians or Anglicans from Great Britain and Canada. At St. John’s, we welcome our War College Families and provide them with stability and a church home during a year of transition.

We especially welcome our Dickinson College students. Our associate rector, the Rev. Melissa Wilcox, works to incorporate our students into the life and ministry of the parish. Our Dickinson students are treasured for their presence at St. John’s, and we always are eager for their return in the fall.

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Family's First Visit

To the parents of our youngest visitors, may we suggest…

Relax. God put the wiggle in children! All are welcome to our join us for worship. Here are some helpful ideas to engage your little ones during worship:

(1) Children are welcome to participate in worship. It’s a ritual into which they can grow, and it will feed them through their whole life.

(2) We have available for children worship bags to enhance their experience. Worship bags are developmentally appropriate by age and have matching lessons to the liturgy of the day. Please ask an usher to direct you to the children’s cart.

(3) Sit up front and near the cloister doors! Yes, you read this correctly. Children are most engaged when they can see what is happening. After all, a liturgy is a drama that unfolds, and there is lots to notice for kids and adults. Sitting near the doors also makes it easy to step out for bathroom breaks and Children’s Chapel.

(4) Children ages 3 through 5th grade are invited to attend Children’s Chapel during the sermon and return at the Peace to share Holy Communion with their families.

(5) Children and youth programs are scheduled throughout the school year. Vacation Bible School is offered in the summer. Please contact Aimee Confer, our Director of Children and Youth, to sign your child up.

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Child Care

We encourage you to bring children of all ages into worship. We understand that sometime our youngest members need a quiet place to move to. We have a nursery available in our preschool area for you to take your child if needed. Ask another parishoner or usher to guide you there.

A private nursing station is available inside the Nursery for mothers and babies to use.

We welcome children to play while their older brothers and sisters and parents and grandparents are worshipping. Teens, parents, and grandparents are welcome to volunteer with the proper clearances and training. Please contact the church office for more information (admin@stjohnscarlisle.org or 717-243-4220).

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Directions & Parking

St. John’s Episcopal Church is located on the square in downtown Carlise, PA.

From Harrisburg’s west shore

Take US Rt. 11 south or PA Rt. 641 (Trindle Rd.) west to the square in Carlisle.

From Interstate 81

Exit onto Rt. 34 North. Drive 3/4 mile to the square.


Parking is along the streets or in the city lot behind the church along East Louther Street or the borough parking garage mid way along West Pomfret Street. Parking is free on Sundays.

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Becoming a Member

If you wish to become a member of St. John’s, we are pleased to have you join us. Thank you for choosing us as your church community.

Step One:
Decide that St. John’s is the parish you want to join and notify of us of your intention. A member of the staff and the New Member Committee will respond to your inquiry. If you wish to receive a visit from the clergy, please alert the person from the New Member Committee who makes a connection with you.

Step Two:
Attend our Sunday or weekday worship services and get to know the parish and let us get to know you. We are a friendly faith community, and we want to help you come to know us so we can come to know you.

You will be invited to attend St. John’s New Member Welcome. Please join us for a group of short gatherings which help explain the Episcopal Church and our church in particular. At the culmination of our New Member Welcome, our Parish Council Chair will connect you with the diverse array of ministries we have in this parish.

Step Three:
Complete the New Member Form available on-line and at the parish office. This sheet gives us the information we need to serve you, include you and your family in our communications and parish directory, and enables us to pray for your family members on birthdays and anniversaries.

Step Four:
All our members make a financial contribution to the life and vitality of the parish mission and program. The commitment of our parishioners is what makes the parish thrive.

Generous giving, both in time and financial resources, is a hallmark of St. John’s parishioners. We simply ask that everyone do the best they can to honor God and help our life flourish.

Your gift is always gratefully received.

Step Five:
We welcome you into the household of God! All new members are welcomed formally at our Pentecost liturgy and we have a festive reception afterwards to introduce you to the broader parish.

Our New Member Committee will continue to assist you as you integrate into the full life of the parish.

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New Member Class

St. John’s Explore, Connect, and Go Forth:

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about Saint John’s and more, these informative sessions include topics such as the social and political dynamics that led to the formation of the Episcopal Church, the people that were martyred in the process, and how, why and when The Book of Common Prayer was written, the Scriptures, and the Sacraments.

This six-week course is held frequently and can culminate in Bishop Scanlan’s visit to confirm and receive people into membership in the Episcopal Church and Saint John’s.

If you cannot attend the sessions but are interested in becoming a member of St. John’s, please email the associate rector for more information.