FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
IS THERE A GOD?
Well, that is the question, isn't it? And in the end, there is no definitive answer, except that as we look around at people of faith in our community, we see that they live as if there is a God, and we come to want to inhabit the same world as they. Gradually, that curiosity and desire leads us to discover that the human face of God is in Jesus Christ, and therein lies our best and deepest response.
IF I COME TO ST. MICHAEL'S, WHAT WILL I SEE AND EXPERIENCE?
The building is modern, but has many traditional elements from New Mexico such as a carved wood and tin altar cross, and a santo of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Icons of Jesus and Mary also adorn the church, and a small chapel is reserved for quiet prayer. Seating in the church circles around the altar, as a sign of our common life in Christ. Both clergy and lay ministers lead the service, and musicians provide a variety of music and song to enliven our worship. St. Michael's is a place where many different kinds of people find a home, and where there is a wide diversity of belief and practice that is nevertheless grounded in Christ.
WHAT IS THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH?
The Episcopal Church is the American branch of the world-wide Anglican Communion, which represents a pattern of Christian living descended from the tradition of English-speaking Christianity in the British Isles. Compared to some churches, it is much more decentralized, focusing more strongly on the local church, ordaining women as clergy, and stressing the inclusion of all people. Yet compared to some other churches, it is also much more grounded in the ancient and global traditions of sacramental worship and spirituality that go back to the very earliest days of the Christian church.
WHAT IS WORSHIP LIKE AT ST. MICHAEL'S?
That depends! If you come to the early service at 7:30 am on Sunday morning, it is very quiet and contemplative. If you come at 9:00 am, you will find a lively and informal service with an acoustic ensemble. If you come at 11:15 am, you will find a more classical service with organ and choir.
Currently, the early service at 7:30 am on Sunday mornings is simple and spoken, it is very quiet and contemplative. The 10:00 am service, you will find a lively and informal service that is in-person and live-streamed on our Facebook page: facebook.com/smaaabq
There is a variety of musical styles that alternate - it may be acoustic with choir or use the organ choir. There may be some simple chant, use of soloists, or simple instrumental. If you come at 11:30 am, you will find a primarily spoken service with some music and singing.
WHAT ABOUT THE PREACHING?
Our clergy seek to offer sermons that are biblically based, and which also address contemporary issues and concerns while maintaining a spiritual focus. The teaching is theologically substantive, and at the same time relevant to daily life and the struggles we all face. The congregation sets a high bar in their expectations for the sermon, and the clergy work hard to respond.
CAN I RECEIVE COMMUNION?
St. Michael's welcomes everyone to participate in Holy Communion, inviting them to come forward to the altar either to receive the bread and wine as the sacramental presence of Christ in our midst, or to receive a blessing.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE COMMUNITY?
Our community is informal, made up of many different kinds of people, lively, and people enjoy being together both for the enjoyment of one another's company, and to get things done in the service of our neighborhood and city. The church includes many talented people, who readily offer their skills and abilities to the church, which makes for a rich and always interesting community life.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THE PARISH?
It's a mix of things, really. We are deeply grounded in prayer. We try hard to make a difference. We are willing to venture rather broadly across the Christian worship tradition. We embrace our New Mexican setting. We wear our denominational identity lightly. We ask questions. We value learning. We have a contemplative core. We try to keep the door open for whoever walks in. And we like each other.
ARE CHILDREN AND TEENS WELCOME?
Children are always welcome at worship. They may join their parents in the service, or make advantage of other opportunities such as nursery care for the youngest, or Children's Chapel during the 9:00 am service.
IS THE PRESCHOOL PART OF THE CHURCH?
All Angels Episcopal Day School is a ministry of the parish, committed to high quality, affordable early childhood education. It welcomes all children, age 2 to 5, regardless of their religious background.
WHAT IF I AM NOT SURE ABOUT WHAT I BELIEVE?
People at St. Michael's are at many different places in their faith journey. Some are deeply prayerful and contemplative, some are skeptical or agnostic, some are committed social activists, others are cradle Christians. In short, people are welcome regardless of their religious conviction, and encouraged to continue to explore their faith in a multitude of ways.
WHAT IF I WANT TO BE BAPTIZED OR MARRIED AT ST. MICHAEL'S?
Because we understand the sacraments of baptism and matrimony to be part of our community, we encourage anyone who is interested in being baptized or married to begin by becoming part of the worshiping life of the congregation. If you then feel a resonance with this parish, it would be appropriate to speak with one of the clergy about your intention.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
Fill out one of the Newcomers Cards in the pew book racks so that you can be added to the list for eNoticias (our weekly email newsletter), and so we can be in touch with you. Newcomers classes happen each fall and spring, and information is available on this website and in the church foyer about ministries and activities that might interest you.