Newcomer’s Guide & FAQs

Who are your clergy?
Rector: Reverend Megan Holding
Assistant Rector: Reverend Emily J. García

When is our Sunday service?
We celebrate the Holy Eucharist (also called Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper, or Mass) at 9:30AM on Sunday mornings. You can join us in person or online on our website or Facebook.

Is the Church of Our Redeemer accessible?
Yes, our church is fully accessible. The elevator entrance is on the side of the church, accessed by a ramp to the lower level door. It goes to all floors, including the lower level (Great Hall/social area) and the main level (Sanctuary/worship space.) There are handicapped parking spaces next to this entrance. There are handicapped accessible bathrooms on both levels. In the Sanctuary, approximately 5 pews from the front on both sides there is space for wheelchairs. Additionally, hearing devices are located on the table in the Narthex. These hearing implements are checked regularly and provide direct audio from the clergy microphones. We also have a section of the Sanctuary where masks and distancing are required, to be accessible to those who are high risk. In our worship, our invitations to stand or kneel are to do so in body or in spirit. Lastly, an abridged version of the Book of Common Prayer in large print and large print bulletins are located on the table in the Narthex to the right of the door entering the church. If there is an accommodation that you need that we have not specified or provided, we want to know! Reach out to the Rev. Emily at

What do you believe about LGBTQ+ people in the church?
We believe in the goodness and diversity of all God’s creation, which includes all gender identities and all sexual orientations, no exceptions. We celebrate the faith and ministry of LGBTQ+ people, have been delighted to have LGBTQ+ people in all levels of leadership (including clergy), and our clergy are honored to officiate at the weddings of LGBTQ+ couples. For more on this, see what the Episcopal church at the national level says here.

Are children welcome in worship?
Yes, we enthusiastically welcome children of all ages and abilities! There is a children’s corner in the back of the church with coloring books, crayons, space to move around, and a rocking chair for nursing mothers. We enjoy the liveliness that children add to our Sunday worship.

What is there for children?
All children of all ages and abilities are encouraged to worship with the whole community when we celebrate Holy Eucharist. We also have thoughtful, age-appropriate programs for different groups, including:

  • For ages 3 to 5th grade we have the Catechesis of the Good Shephard, a Montessori-based approach to the religious formation of children.  The children are divided into three learning groups: 3 through kindergarten, 1st through 3rd grade and 4th & 5th grade.
  • For 6th and 7th graders we have Rite 13, which focuses on forming and nurturing a Christian community, and helping youth explore and affirm their gifts and creative powers.
  • For 8th and 9th graders we have J2A, Journey to Adulthood, to help young people learn skills for faithful living. At the end of the 2nd year of this program the kids go on a pilgrimage.
  • For 10th-12th graders, we offer Confirmation Class, a yearlong class taught by clergy, which prepares students (if they wish) to receive the sacrament of confirmation in the spring.

Is there a choir for children?
Yes, the Atrium Singers rehearse many Sunday mornings from 11:10-11:30 AM, September through May.

How old do my children have to be to receive Communion?
You make that decision as a parent as you observe your child and their desires. Some parents want their children to receive Communion as soon as they are able to come to the altar rail and receive. Others prefer to wait until their children have received Communion instruction, which is offered in our Christian Formation classes. Children who are not yet receiving Communion may come to the altar to receive a blessing. If you are unsure about your own preferences in the matter, or would like to explore baptism for your child, Mtr. Emily would love to hear your thoughts and talk it out (

Is there a Youth Group?
Yes, the youth group for 9th-12th graders meets Sunday nights in the Great Hall to make dinner and for fellowship.  Please join us!

What programs do you have for adults?
Our celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays is often followed by Adult Forum, where we learn and discuss a variety of topics related to our faith, our tradition, and our world. We have two weekly Bible Studies led by clergy that meet on Wednesday morning on Zoom and Thursday evening in person. (Contact Rev. Megan or Mtr. Emily to be put on the list.) We also have a four-year academic and reflective program called Education for Ministry.

Is there a choir for adults I can join?
Absolutely!  Our adult choir rehearses Sundays from 12:00-1:30 PM.  Anyone is welcome! Contact our Music Director, Dr. Bernadette Colley at with any questions.

Do you have an active mission program?
Yes, we support several ministries:

  • St. Christopher’s Mission in the Diocese of Navajoland (mission trips)
  • Esperanza Academy in Lawrence (support annual Science Fair)
  • Grow Clinic of Boston Medical Center (provide “Anything but the baby” supplies)
  • Bristol Lodge (Provide meals once or twice a month)
  • Lex Eats Together (a weekly meal for people who need food or fellowship hosted at Redeemer’s Great Hall)
  • Lexington Food Pantry: hosted on Saturday mornings in Redeemer’s Great Hall

The Social Action Committee meets once a month.  To join call or email our office and they will give you the details.

How can I participate in the activities at the Church of our Redeemer?
Everyone is welcome to attend all services, events and classes. There are many ways to become involved, either one-time only or on-going volunteer opportunities. A one-time only opportunity may involve participating in Spring Clean-up, helping prepare a meal for Bristol Lodge, or helping with a fundraiser for our mission to the Diocese of Navajoland. An on-going opportunity may be joining the Choir to share your musical gifts with the congregation, or joining the Mission Team to help plan how the Redeemer community can make a difference in the lives of others. Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to learn about opportunities. If you would like additional information call or email the office, or ask the clergy on Sunday.

What is the difference between the Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church? The Episcopal service seems very similar to the Roman Catholic Mass.
They are similar. Some parts, in fact, are identical.  However, we are part of the worldwide Anglican Communion – the group of churches whose traditions and history descend from the Church of England and are in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. We have some big doctrinal differences with the Roman Church. But in many ways our basic structure, order, liturgy and spiritual life are indeed very similar to the Roman Catholic Church. You can learn more at this link or pick up the brochure “The Episcopal Church for Roman Catholics” at Redeemer.

Then, is the Episcopal Church Protestant or Catholic?
The Episcopal Church is, in a sense, both Protestant and Catholic. Our history sets us apart from the Roman Church in that we are the result of a thorough-going reform movement that spread across Europe, beginning in the 16th century. Our traditions and liturgy, however, are mostly more ancient than those of most Protestant churches. An excellent way to put a label on the Episcopal Church is to think of us as the bridge church between the two great traditions, practicing what we believe to be the best of both.

How is the Church of Our Redeemer governed?
Redeemer is incorporated as part of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, which consists of 200 parishes in eastern Massachusetts. The members of each Episcopal parish elect a group of lay persons to the Vestry, which is like a Board of Directors. The Vestry (not the clergy or Bishop) controls the operation and finances of the parish and makes the day-to-day decisions needed to carry on the mission of the congregation. The Rector is elected by the Vestry and, as the pastor and priest, has authority over the worship and spiritual life of the congregation. Each January, an annual meeting is held to elect the Vestry and hear reports on the operation of the church in the past year. Occasionally, major decisions that go beyond the scope of the Vestry’s responsibility are also made at this meeting. It is open to all members, 16 years of age or older, who are worshipers and contributors of record. The Annual Meeting also elects lay representatives to our Diocesan Convention who in turn elect our Bishops and are part of the governance of our Diocese.

Is pledging required?
All Christians are called, but none are required to contribute a portion of their time, talent and treasure toward the work of the church.  The easiest way to give is to become involved with one of our specific ministries and make a financial pledge.  Pledging enables the congregation to plan its ministries in advance; it provides a stable financial base for the support of our programs, and it reflects our prayerful response to God’s call to be good stewards of our material resources. The size of the pledge is less important than your willingness to commit a definite amount towards the support of God’s work through this congregation.  Some parishioners are not comfortable with pledging and yet are regular supporters of our ministry.