What kinds of worship and activities does St. Marks on the Campus offer for students?
St Marks on the Campus (SMOC) offers a full range of worship services and student activities. In addition to traditional services (Sundays at 8:30 and 10:30, and Tuesdays at noon), we also offer a student-focused service called SPACE every Wednesday evening (at 7:00) while UNL is in session. You are invited to make SMOC your spiritual home away from home.
How can I find time, in my busy schedule, for my own spiritual growth?
It is tempting to think that there just isn’t time to reconnect with God, but even an hour a week makes a huge difference. That one hour helps remind us that, even in the middle of papers, exams, and a busy social life, God is present and wants to be in relationship with us.
What if I’m not sure about my own faith?
You are welcome at St. Marks no matter which faith tradition you come from (or don’t come from), or where you are in your spiritual journey. You are free to participate as much or as little as you like. The Episcopal Church considers reason to be an essential part of a vital relationship with God–healthy skepticism is encouraged. (We are not the kind of church that asks you to “shut off your brain!”) If you have specific questions or concerns about your own faith journey, feel free to contact Father Jerry (contact info).
What is the Episcopal Church?
The Episcopal Church is a Protestant church in the US that is a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and so traces its roots to the Church of England. Although Protestant, its worship liturgy (what happens in the service) shares many similarities with the Roman Catholic Church. However, the Episcopal Church is generally more progressive and less dogmatic in its views (a wider variety of views are accepted, even on central matters of faith). The Episcopal Church USA is an independent entity; so we don’t consider the Archbishop of Canterbury (the head of the Anglican Communion) to be an absolute authority figure in the way that the Pope is viewed in the Roman Catholic Church.
What is worship like at SMOC?
Our services come from the Book of Common Prayer, the original service-book in the English language. Prayers such as the Nicene Creed are read at most services in their full versions (many other Protestant denominations use shortened versions), and bible readings are long enough to present an entire story (not just a couple of sentences without context). If you are new to the Episcopal Church, some of these prayers and readings may seem longer than what you are used to, but most people are drawn to the beauty of these time-honored prayers. Our tradition is rich with music, and our services have lots of it! Most services also have Communion (which is called the Eucharist). You do not need to take communion if you are not comfortable, but any baptized Christian is welcome to receive. And anyone (baptized or not) can come up to the rail for a blessing (you just cross your arms to show you don’t want bread and wine).
How can I get more involved?
Come to a service or student activity! You can find more info at our calendar
Where can I learn more?
Check out the rest of our website. If you want to volunteer, click here.
For more information about the Epsicopal Church:
Episcopal Church USA
Mission St. Claire (Daily prayers online)
Society of St. John the Evangelist (a great website on contemplative practice)