Church Of Our Saviour
200 NW 3rd Street
Okeechobee, Florida
What To Expect
You may have already read the About page and know a bit about our community of faith. If you haven’t, be sure to look there. Here is more information to help you gain a deeper understanding of us and to know what to expect when you visit.

More About Us
  • As a sacramental community, we believe that God’s love is not meant just for some, it’s for everyone. Jesus opened his arms to those who were excluded, who didn’t “fit in”, who others turned their back on. We are called to look beyond exclusion to inclusion and to welcome all. Our membership is comprised of people from different faith backgrounds, including Roman Catholic, Baptist, and Lutherans, as well as lifelong Episcopalians. We extend our community to you to worship and fellowship with us.
  • There is no dress code at our church, so please dress comfortably. We welcome YOU, not your clothes. You may see an occasional suit and tie, but most people dress in the same attire they would wear if they were visiting friends or a local restaurant.

  • Children are important in the life of our church family and we enjoy and welcome them at worship. We recognize noisy children and crying babies for what they are – gifts from God and signs of new life for which we give thanks. Parents are encouraged to have even very young children participate, and if they are baptized Christians they also have a right to be fed at the Lord’s Table. We also have a children’s nursery near the sanctuary where you can sit with your child or leave him/her with a nursery volunteer.

  • Between our 8:00am and 10:30 services we offer Christian Adult and Youth Education around 9:30am. After each service we have Fellowship Time with coffee and donuts in our Parish Hall. We hope you will join us.

  • During our worship, as is the case in most liturgical churches, there are three readings from the Bible with the last being the Gospel of our Lord. Our priest, Fr. Jim Shevlin, draws on those lessons for the core of his sermon to help us apply the Word of God to our daily lives.

How To Look Like You’ve Been Here Before

Here are some things you can expect when you visit our church to worship:

  • When you enter the church, a greeter/usher will welcome you to our church and hand you a bulletin - the Order of Service. We also invite you to sign our guest register. You may sit where you wish, but feel free to ask the usher to guide you. Also be assured that you can turn to any of our members who will be glad to help you with any questions you may have during the service.

We use the time before the service starts for personal devotion and meditation in order to prepare ourselves for the worship service.

  • The Order of Service is in the bulletin you received when you enter church. It contains the complete service; the words of the Celebrant and the responses of the People. The hymns we sing during the service are also in it, along with an insert that has the Lessons that are read by the Lay Readers, and the Psalm and the Gospel that are read by the Deacon.

If you prefer, you can find the Worship Service in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) on page 323 for Rite One and page 355 for Rite Two. You can also find the hymns in the 1982 Hymnal (the smaller blue one) and the Celebration Hymnal (the larger red or blue one). If the hymn number is preceded by a "C", then that refers to the Celebration hymnal, and other hymns with the letter “H” refer to the 1982 Hymnal. The prayer book and two different hymnals are located in the pews.

  • During the service you may notice at different times our parishioners sit, stand, or keel. In general, we stand to sing, when the Gospel is read or to recite the Nicene Creed; we sit to listen to  the readings, psalm, and sermon; and we kneel, stand or sit to pray, as able. You might also notice that some parishioners bow or “genuflect” (dip or kneel on one knee momentarily) as they enter or leave the pew, which is to honor the presence of God. Feel free to do this as you feel comfortable.

  • Our congregation is a warm and loving community, which is expressed during the service by sharing of the peace. We exchange the Peace with a smile, handshake, or hug, depending on your level of comfort. This is the time to greet each other in the name of our Lord, in gratitude for the divine peace that is our heritage as children of God in Christ.

  • After the peace has been shared among the parishioners, announcements made, and birthdays and anniversaries celebrated in prayer, an Offering follows. The ushers proceed up the aisle passing the offering plate at each pew. If you choose, you may leave an offering in the plate, which supports the work of our church. However, regardless if you give or not, remember the offering ritual symbolizes that we offer ourselves to God’s work in the world.

On the second Sunday of the month, the “open plate” income is given to Big Lake Mission to serve lunch to the needy Monday through Friday in the backyard at the Methodist Church across the street. There are also a large baskets at the back of the church which are used to collect food donations for the Presbyterian Food Pantry which, on the second Sunday, are brought forward to be blessed by Fr. Shevlin along with the other offerings.     

On the third Sunday of the month the “open plate” income is used for Fr. Shevlin’s Discretionary Fund.

  • All baptized Christians are encouraged to come forward to the altar to receive Holy Communion, the Body (bread) and Blood (wine) of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. When communion begins the usher will direct you to the communion rail. Some parishioners kneel at the rail and others will stand, it is your option. Fr. Shevlin will distribute the bread and the Eucharistic Minister will offer you the wine. You may either drink from the cup or dip (intinct) your wafer. People who prefer not to take communion are still invited to come forward to the altar for a blessing. Simply cross your arms over your chest at the communion rail to receive a blessing.

  • At different times throughout the worship service, you’ll see some parishioners using the kneeler in front of the pew and others will elect to stand. Please select whatever option makes you feel comfortable. Also at various times during the worship service some parishioners will make the sign of the cross. They are symbolically reminding themselves and the rest of us of their baptism and it is a quiet way to mark on our very person the sacrifice our Lord made for us. If you are comfortable, please feel free to do it yourself.

  • The Prayers of the People list: This list of names read during the Sunday services is for the parishioners, their family members, friends, or those who are in need. If you wish to have someone’s name put on our prayer list, please contact our Prayer Coordinator, Jeanie Shevlin at 607-759-6560. She will include your request for one month. Please keep her updated on the condition of the person being prayed for, and whether or not they should remain on the prayer list.