Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, a combination of the former St. Andrew's and Transfiguration congregations consists of two locations, both beautiful churches that reflect our Anglican tradition and the peace we find in prayer as God's people. Many are drawn to join our worshipping community or to be the location of observing some of life's milestones. We welcome all people to join as members, and we also invite non-members to feel comfortable in approaching us to work with them in planning and conducting the various ceremonies which mark the important changes in their lives.
Weddings and Civil Unions are the most common sacraments non-members ask us to perform and we welcome these opportunities. It is important to note specifically that St. Andrew's and Church of the Transfiguration, in full accordance with the policies of the Diocese of Newark, offers same sex couples recognition and access to all sacraments, including Marriage.
Good Shepherd is an Episcopal Church. Our religious tradition requires certain expectations of the couple and the practical working of the church requires others. Since the relationship of members and non-members to the church is different, so are the expectations related to planning and expenses. A member is defined as any person who has attended services and pledged for at least one calendar year prior to the ceremony. The Rector is available to discuss any aspect of this process with couples wishing to proceed.
Expectations of any couple, member and non-member, are these:
- At least one member of the couple is a baptized Christian (not necessarily Episcopalian).
- The couple has undergone an appropriate pre-marital counseling series by the Rector or an agreed upon substitute. Normally four sessions are held. If either of the couple has been married twice or more already, an outside counselor is required for the series. Divorce documents must be presented at the first meeting with the Rector if that has occurred. Permission by the Bishop for remarriage is required but the process is completed usually within 30 days.
- Ceremonial aspects, floral arrangements, and musical selections are all subject to the approval of the Rector.
Please discuss any questions about your financial expectations during the preparations with clergy or contact the parish office.
Financial contributions to the church and Rector are used to fund various ministries of this church.