Below you will find answers to some questions you may have about our parish community. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact us.
Do you have a denominational affiliation?
Yes, Harcourt Parish is affiliated with The Episcopal Church. You can check out the website for the national church and the Diocese of Ohio to find out more about who Episcopalians are and what we believe.
But you don’t need to be a confirmed Episcopalian to attend our services or to become a part of our community. Many active members of our parish had never attended an Episcopal service before coming to Harcourt. We welcome people from any (or no) religious background to walk with us on their spiritual journey.
Are you open and affirming of people who identify as LGBTQ+?
Harcourt Parish welcomes and affirms people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Those who identify as LGBTQ+ are invited to receive communion, serve in leadership, discern calls to Holy Orders, and be married. Our priest Rachel Kessler has twice been awarded Kenyon College’s faculty/staff LGBTQ+ advocate award (2017 and 2020) for her work to build spaces intentionally affirming of all gender identities and sexual orientations.
May I receive communion?
At the time of Holy Communion, everyone is invited to the altar, some choose to receive the bread and wine. Those who do not identify as Christian may choose to receive a blessing from the priest (which you can indicate by crossing you arms over you chest). If you are more comfortable remaining in your seat during communion, that is also fine.
How will I follow the service?
When you arrive, you will receive a leaflet which contains the entire order of service, making it easy for you to follow the various parts of the service. Prayer books are also available for those who prefer to follow the service as it is presented in the Book of Common Prayer. The Hymns are found in the blue Hymnbook found in the pews or in the alternative hymnal Lift Every Voice and Sing. Hymn numbers are listed in the bulletin and on the boards at the front of the church. During prayers, some people prefer to stand, others kneel or simply sit with their heads bowed. Please do whichever you find most comfortable.
Where may I sit?
You are welcome to sit wherever you are most comfortable! If you have very very young children, you may wish to sit on the west side of the church, where we have a comfortable infant/toddler area. If you have older children, you may wish to sit in the long pews closer to the north entrance, which allows easy access to the Sunday School room and nursery.
Do I have to dress a certain way?
Absolutely not! People worship with us wearing anything from “Sunday best” to casual t-shirts and jeans. God invites us to come as we are.
What will my children do while I’m at church?
People of all ages are welcome at Harcourt Parish. We have a comfortable area by the West entrance for parents who would prefer to keep infants and small children with them during worship. Infants and toddlers may also be taken to the nursery where we have a paid childcare worker. Sunday School is available for school age children during our 10:30am Sunday service. It’s a great opportunity for your children to meet other kids, share in some fun activities and of course, learn.
Where can I park and how do I enter?
If space is available, you can part in the circle off of College-Park Street. Many people park in Gambier village. The Church of the Holy Spirit is unique in that we have three equally used main entrances to the church — one faces north toward Gambier village, one faces east and is adjacent to the parking circle, and the other faces west toward Kenyon College’s “Middle Path.” An usher will be present to welcome you at any of those entrances. If you choose to come in through the north-facing door, you may notice the priest and altar servers gathering in the moments immediately before our 10:30am Sunday worship begins. Please feel free to come in anyway!
How can I enter the church if I use a wheelchair?
Our most accessible entrance is located on the west side of the church, facing the Kenyon College campus. If you are unable to ascend the stairs leading to the altar, one of the ushers will ensure the priest brings you communion.