FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the Episcopalians?
The Episcopal Church (TEC) is the United States-based member church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It is a Christian church divided into nine provinces and has dioceses in the United States, and several other countries around the world.. The current Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is Michael Bruce Curry, the first African American bishop to serve in that position. The church was organized after the American Revolution, when it became separate from the Church of England. The Episcopal Church describes itself as “Protestant, yet Catholic”. The Episcopal Church is an apostolic church, tracing its bishops back to the apostles via holy orders. The Book of Common Prayer (BCP), a collection of traditional rites, blessings, liturgies, and prayers used throughout the Anglican Communion, is central to Episcopal worship.
What time is your Sunday worship service?
Worship is offered in Spanish and English, online and in person. The times change seasonally, and additional special services are sometimes offered. The current service times can always be found on the home page.
Can a visitor take communion?
All visitors are welcome to take communion, no matter what their faith background is.. Those who prefer not to receive the elements are welcome to cross their arms and receive a blessing.
What if I am LGBTQ?
iIf you are looking for a church that welcomes you as a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning person, St. Athanasius Episcopal Church invites you to check us out. We are conveniently located in Echo Park, just off the 101 freeway near downtown LA.
As is true in many businesses, there are “gay” and “gay friendly” churches. Saint A is a gay friendly church in the sense that we don’t make a big deal about being gay. LGBTQ people are simply welcomed as they are, and are invited to participate fully in the life of the church. In the congregation some are single, and others are married. Some are younger and some are older. Some are gay and others are straight. Some are economically comfortable and others struggle to make ends meet. All of us are on a path to understand life and God better, and everyone is welcome, wherever they are on that journey. We invite you to journey with us.
In the Episcopal Church there is no exclusion from any office or privilege due to gender or sexual orientation. There are bishops, priests and deacons who are male and female, gay and straight. We have been on the forefront of the struggle for justice and equality, even as we acknowledge that we have not always been a unified voice. It is still a challenge to be part of a sexual minority in the U.S. St. Athanasius offers support in the midst of the challenge.
Check out the rest of this website to learn about our life together, and the opportunities here for worship, education, outreach and socializing. We are available for weddings, funerals, counseling and advocacy. We look forward to meeting you and serving you, as you join us in serving others. Again, welcome!
What kind of adult education/spiritual growth opportunities do you offer?
On two Sundays each month following the English Eucharist, there is a sermon roundtable, accessible in person when we are worshipping in the church, and always on Zoom . During the discussions, we go deeper into the texts from the morning, and discuss implications of the sermon. We also have on congregation-wide retreat called Encounter each year (when not in pandemic), and other smaller, spiritual retreats and trainings for specific ministries throughout the year. Check the What’s Happening section on this website for current offerings.
What kind of outreach is the church involved in?
Outreach is important at St. A. We provide food for about 200 families each Friday at our food bank. We offer free laundry once a month through our Laundry Love program, and serve food to seniors once a month as well. We also work with the Sacred Resistance Task Force of the diocese, and participate with CLUE in local social justice efforts.
Where is guest parking?
There is secure, covered parking underneath the church. There are instructions on the keypad outside each gate. There are entrances on Echo Park Ave. and Laguna Ave.
How do I join a group?
Talk with the contact person listed on this website for any group you want to join. If you have doubts, speak with the priest.
What do you offer for children on Sunday morning?
Children are always welcome at St. Athanasius. While there is currently no Sunday school during the English service, children are welcome in worship. There is a youth group that meets during the Spanish service, starting about 9:15 each Sunday.