Welcome to St. Andrew’s by the Sea Episcopal Church, a friendly community of faith for the young, old, and for the young at heart; a warm and caring church serving both our local community and also our many Winter Texans and summer vacation visitors.
Inspired by our patron saint, Andrew, a fisherman by profession, who became a “fisher of men”, we continue to bring the Gospel to the people of Port Isabel, South Padre Island and the surrounding communities in addition to our multitude of visitors.
St. Andrew’s, located at the point of Yturria Street and North Shore Drive, is an Episcopal Church in the Diocese of West Texas, situated on the shore of the Laguna Madre, with a breathtaking view of the water directly across from the church.
Please browse through the various areas of our website to learn more about our church. We hope you find your time spent here a blessing.
All Are Welcome ~ ~ ~ No Exceptions.
In-Person Worship continues at both 8am and 10am
Expect things to be different. Your usual seat may not be available due to our need to space out. Communion will be different. The service will be somewhat revised. However, God’s Word will be proclaimed and His Eucharist celebrated. Please be prayerful about your return, and, if you are returning, come with a spirit of charity and flexibility. Whether we stay home or come to church, we are all in this together.
Is it safe to re-open?
No one can guarantee 100 percent safety. Our objective is not to eliminate all risk, but to minimize the risk as best we can.
Your role is to assess your own risk level, and decide if you are comfortable, based on age, health, underlying conditions, and other risk factors.
What if I am not ready to return?
We will continue to provide the services online, either by recording them and sending them out that evening, or by live-streaming. We will also offer you an opportunity either to pick up communion from your car or to have someone drop it off. More details will follow.
How will the church be sanitized?
Our weekly cleaning crew is sanitizing all surfaces. Hymnals, prayer books, and Bibles are removed from the pews. All people who serve have been trained to wash and sanitize themselves beforehand, and are asked to take their temperatures on the day of service.
There will be separate pews assigned for 8:00 and 10:00.
We will not have any coffee, food or social time before or after the service. However, there will be a coffee hour over Zoom on Sunday afternoon.
What are my responsibilities if I choose to return to worship?
1. Assess your personal health: Do you have underlying conditions that make you particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 infection? If you are over 65, be particularly cautious.If you are not comfortable going to work, restaurants, volunteer settings, you should probably not come to church either.
2. Assess your health that day: Take your temperature. If you have fever, coughing, sore throat, or any other symptoms, or if you believe you have been exposed, please stay home. 3. Wear a face mask. These will be required by all who enter the building in order to protect one another. What can I expect when I come to church? 1. You may park in the parking lot but should enter through the Columbarium doors. 2. A greeter will direct you to a table, where you will be asked to sanitize your hands, read our protocols, and pick up a worship bulletin. The bulletin will contain the hymns and all readings.
3. The parish hall will be closed. In case of emergency, you may use the rest rooms. Please wash your hands thoroughly and spray the surfaces after you have completed.
4. You will then be guided to a pew. We will be seating 2 people for every two pews, in order to maintain six feet of social distancing. Please allow yourself to be seated from the front to back, to avoid people having to cross in front of others. The pew will have been sanitized during the week.
5. The doors to the nave will be opened, including the emergency exits at the front, to assist in air circulation.
What will the service be like?
1. The service will be shorter than a typical Sunday – about 40 minutes, with less singing at 10, and fewer verses to the songs.
2. We will be masked. The preacher, celebrant, and LEMs will remove their masks as they read, and any soloists will remove their masks, though they will maintain a distance of 10 feet or more.
3. We will refrain from passing the peace or touching.
4. An offering will not be collected, but the trays will be left in the back. You may place your offering in them either on your way in or your way out.
5. There will be a camera up front at 10:00 to record or livestream the service for people who choose to participate from home.
6. After the service, the ushers will release people one family, or individual at a time, again remaining six feet apart as they leave.
7. Ushers will guide you out of the building, to ensure social distancing.
What will communion be like?
1. While celebrating communion, the celebrant will be unmasked, but the wafers will be covered.
2. The celebrant will sanitize her hands prior to communion.
3. Only the communion wafer will be received.
4. The wafer will be dropped into the communicant’s hand while standing at the rail, maintaining a six-foot distance.
Advent is a season of waiting. Yet, you may be asking: We certainly don’t need to practice waiting! All we have done this year is wait!
Yet there is a difference between a faithful, hopeful waiting and the kind of anxious waiting we naturally do.
The kind of waiting we learn at Advent is a waiting that takes us somewhere – closer to God, closer to our true selves, closer to unity with God, ourselves and others.
Advent begins this Sunday, November 29th. Come join us or tune in over our livestream at 10:00 to learn this fruitful and peaceful practice.
For more depth:
Join our three-week
Mini Retreat, over Zoom
beginning next Wednesday, December 2, at 5:30 p.m.
Watch this space for link.