Welcome to All Saints' Episcopal Church in South Hadley!
Not only is that sentence intended to bid you welcome, but it might also give some insight into who we are:
We are All Saints, where all truly means ALL. All are welcome here, regardless of who you are, your experience or lack thereof with church, what questions you have. We believe in God who welcomes unconditionally, and who calls all Christians to be welcoming in Christ’s name. We enjoy the diversity inherent in God’s people and understand that to be truly welcoming is to be open to being changed by others. We commit to sustaining a spirit of openness that makes All Saints’ Church a place to belong, whoever you are, just as you are. We truly look forward to your visit.
We are Episcopal, part of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and the worldwide Episcopal Church. Or, as Presiding Bishop Michael Curry says, we are the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, following Jesus into loving, liberating, and life-giving relationship with God, with each other, and with the Earth. We worship using the Book of Common Prayer, supplemented by other resources approved for use which are both steeped in tradition and vitally relevant to life today.
We are a church, which might seem obvious, but the definition of church these days needs a bit of explanation, since so often it is laden with assumptions, expectations, and even pain. We strive to be church in the best sense of the word, which is not about being a building, but about being a people of God who are loving, faithful, intentional, and beloved of God, and who have a common mission to welcome, engage and serve. We welcome all to gather at the church building for worship and to be forgiven, healed, and fed; we engage with God and with each other as we commit ourselves to God's mission in and through this place; we go back into the community in peace, to love and serve as the hands and heart of Jesus in the world.
We are in South Hadley, though not of South Hadley. Which means that we welcome people from all over, and indeed gather at least half of our parishioners from Granby, Chicopee, Belchertown, Holyoke, and as far away as Amherst, Palmer, and Florence.
The best way to get to know us is to visit for a service, at 8:00 or 10:30 during the academic year or at 9:00 in the summer. When you arrive, you will be greeted by an usher and handed a bulletin with the content of the service. You are then welcome to sit wherever you'd like, and to participate fully in the service or simply to let it happen around you as you see what it's like. We hope that you will fill out a newcomers' card and let us know who you are, so that we can welcome you formally and connect again. And we invite you to join us for refreshments and conversation following the service.
Blessings on your journey.