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Newcomer Information

Welcome to St. David's!

We would like to give you some information about who we are.  This page contains a number of links and resources we feel would be useful to those new to our Parish or those who would like to join us!

Our Vision

Who we are

Contact information

Rising from the Ashes

A guide to an Episcopal Service

Our Vision:
With God’s help,
we strive to be servants of Jesus Christ.
We seek joyful worship,
faithful teaching and continued learning.
We create an accepting and loving fellowship
where there is a place at the table for every person.

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Who We Are

St. David’s Parish is a faith community committed to liturgical worship based on the Book of Common Prayer and the Anglican Tradition. Our worship services are Eucharist-centered. We are close-knit, with many talented members eager to share those talents with others. We are a mid-sized congregation which has together faced and overcome challenges, including an arson fire which destroyed our original nave, now replaced with an all-new worship space and other facilities. We are a community that loves fellowship and caring for one another with shared ministries, shared meals, coffee hours, and encouraging and supporting our children and youth.

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Contact Information

Office Number:  785-272-5144
Office Hours:  10am - 2pm Monday-Friday
office [at] stdavidschurch [dot] com (Email our office)
rector [at] stdavidschurch [dot] com (Email our Rector Mother Vicki Smith)

We are located at the intersection of Gage Boulevard and 17th street (3916 SW 17 Street, Topeka KS  66614)

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Rising from the Ashes

On November 10, 2006 the building of St. David’s Church was destroyed by a fire caused by a teenage arsonist.  The structure was found to be unsound, and the only remaining sound part of the building, the original 1952 church, had to be gutted. 

The result was a 5.2 million dollar project which added 10,000 square feet with a new large parish hall, a youth center, new nave, new offices, new commercial level kitchen and new classrooms.

The pictures below tell the story.

The Sanctuary of the "old" St. David's built in 1961.
Removing the heavily damaged Christus Rex from the wall of the old sanctuary.
Outside of the new Nave
View of the new Nave
View of the new Nave
Outside on a fall day

We have come a long way.  Fourteen months after the dedication of the new building we announced that we were debt free.  The parish raised the funds necessary to build the additional square feet beyond the insurance payments and we have a new maintenance fund for future expenses.

The church met for a while at the Topeka Masonic Center and for 11 months at Temple Beth Sholom.  Our relationship with the temple is one that continues to this day as we delight in working with them on many community projects and issues.  Our Saturday afternoon service was re-located to Grace Cathedral and we thank our sister parish for their assistance in providing us with space for weddings and funerals during our days without a building of our own.

A picture book has been developed and is available through the parish Servant Shoppe.

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Get Acquainted with St. David’s

A Visitor's Guide to the Episcopal Service

We have developed this section of the web site to answer some of your questions you might have.  But more than anything, we just want to offer a place to rest and worship.

Always remember...

  • When you’re worshiping God, you can’t get it wrong!
  • If you need help, ask the person next to you. We want you to feel comfortable here at St. David's.

Here are answers to some basic questions...

Am I allowed to receive communion here?  The answer is not only YES, but also WE HOPE YOU WILL.  Anyone who is a baptized Christian is welcome to receive communion.


What about Communion?  How do I participate? Communion is received at the circular communion rail around the Holy Table and occasionally at other stations in the nave (although there is a slight difference, the word "nave" is what most other non-Episcopalians call the "sanctuary"). Ushers dismiss pews (when they get to your pew, it’s your turn to go to the communion rail). You may kneel or stand to receive communion. Just put your right hand, palm up, in your left hand and a priest or deacon will put a wafer or a piece of bread in your hand, saying either, “The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ keep you in everlasting life,” or “The Body of Christ, the bread of heaven.” Simply raise your hands to your mouth and eat the bread or wafer. Next the wine will be brought to you. We use real wine, and a common cup. When the chalice bearer comes to you, help guide the cup to your lips and take a sip. If you do not wish to consume wine, just cross your arms over your chest as the chalice bearer approaches you. If you want wine, but don’t want to drink from the cup, leave the bread in your palm–the chalice bearer will dip the bread in the wine and put it in your mouth. As the chalice bearer gives you wine, he or she will say, “The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ keep you in everlasting life,” or “The Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.” If you have a child who you do not wish to receive communion, just have your child cross his or her arms across his or her chest. The priest will say a blessing. (This is true for adults too.) Please remember that all who love God, most especially children, are welcome at the Lord’s table.

What are the different books beneath the chair in front of me?  There should be two different books.  One is the Book of Common Prayer. It has a cross on the cover. The entire service, as well as many other ceremonies and material, is contained in it.  It is referred to as "BCP" in the Order of Service (OOS) you received when you came in. 

The other book is the Hymnal 1982. The hymns we sing are indicated in the bulletin. The first 287 hymns in the front part of the book are called "Service Music" and have an "S" before the hymn number. If the hymn has an "H" and not an "S" before the number, it will be found toward the back of the book. The hymnal is generally used only at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Service. There is no music at the 5:00 p.m. Saturday Service or the 8:00 a.m. Sunday Service.

What is all the printed material that I was handed?  The OOS shows the order we follow. If you want to follow the service word for word, this sheet directs you to the page numbers in the Book of Common Prayer. It also shows hymn numbers, and lists the members of the ministry teams (people who serve in specific ways in today’s service).

The other sheet, the ATT ("Around the Table") contains various announcements, the calendar for the coming week and other items of interest. One of the most important announcements is that we serve breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. most Sundays.  Please join us for breakfast either before or after the service you attend.

Why do some people bow and some kneel before entering the pews, and others don’t do anything at all?  What you are noticing is called “reverencing” and people have different ways of doing it. Some bow in the direction of the cross, some “genuflect” (touch their knee to the floor), others reverence silently or without gesture.  Do whatever helps you to offer worship; don’t do whatever hinders that.

Why do some people touch themselves on the forehead, the chest and shoulders?  Again, this is a personal worship style. It is called making the sign of the cross. Some people do it out of habit, others because it reminds them of the price Jesus paid to enable us to respond to God’s love; still others because it’s their way of “taking up their own cross” and following Him. You will see them doing this at times during the service, too. But you don’t have to cross yourself just because others do.

This looks very Roman Catholic to me. Is this a Roman Catholic Church?  That is difficult to answer in a booklet like this. Like the Roman Catholic Church, worship in the Episcopal Church is liturgical and sacramental in the ancient catholic tradition. Although our worship is similar, organization and authority in the Anglican Church is different. The important thing, however, is our worship of God.

Is anyone going to make me stand up and give my name or anything like that?  No. Not because we don’t care, in fact, you will find we care very much. We just don’t want to embarrass you or make you uncomfortable. But we hope you will fill out one of the “Guest” cards at the end of each row of seats–just put it in the offertory plate–and introduce yourself to one of the clergy after the service.  An invitation may be given for visitors to introduce themselves, but you can choose not to.

What is going to happen next?  As you wait for the service to start, the first thing you’ll probably hear will be the Prelude, usually an organ solo. You may see Altar Guild volunteers placing linens and arranging things around the Holy Table and the lecterns. Sometimes acolytes (usually wearing white robes) will light candles. One thing you can do before the actual service begins is to familiarize yourself with the OOS and the hymnal. Whatever we will be singing first is listed in the OOS as the Processional Hymn. If you know the hymn, sing out, whether you’re in tune or not. If you don’t know the hymn or don’t want to sing, you can just read the words to yourself.

Who are the people in the procession?  Depending on the service you’re attending, the procession may be led by a verger. The verger carries a staff with a small cross at the top and sets the pace for the procession. Next, you will see acolytes wearing white and carrying a cross (watch people bow as it passes them) and candles; sometimes acolytes also carry banners. If the choir is part of the procession, they come next. Then come the clergy. Their vestments are the most festive and sometimes very elaborate–the colors of their stoles reflect the colors of the season in the church calendar. If the bishop is present, he’ll be last in the procession. You’ll know it’s the bishop because he wears a pointed hat (called a mitre) and carries a staff (called a crosier).

Remember, if you have questions, ask someone near you. Most important, we want you to be able to engage with us in meaningful worship.  If you have questions, please call the church office at 785-272-5144. You can visit our website: www.stdavidschurch.com or email our office at office [at] stdavidschurch [dot] com Our clergy will be happy to visit with you, and provide more information at your request. In addition, we are on Facebook.  We would love to have you join us at St. David’s.


God bless you.

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