Phone: (517) 351-4627
Note: Please be aware that this email is monitored by a group of members to help us respond promptly and forward requests to clergy or the appropriate people as needed.
Address: St. Andrew Orthodox Church, 1216 Greencrest Avenue, East Lansing, MI, 48823 --- Note: There is also a map at the very bottom of this page
Parking: Parking is across the street (Greencrest Ave) from the church. The parking lot is owned by the church but also used by the adjacent H&H Mobil service station and a gentleman who rents a portion to sell Christmas trees. Please don't mind the tow trucks or the Christmas trees; that's the lot to park in!
Entrance: After you cross Greencrest Ave, enter the church along the left side (between the rectory and the church) through the brown awning. Then proceed up the steps to the narthex and enter the nave for liturgy. Restrooms are downstairs to the right along with a coat rack. Occasionally we use the outside steps that lead up to the front doors, but only for major feasts (the doors will be propped open at such times).
Handicap Accessible Entrance: There is an elevator which provides access directly to the nave, to the basement, and directly to the outside. It is accessed from outside the church adjacent to the side entrance under a portico.
Miscellaneous: Restrooms and a coat rack are located in the basement. Coffee hour and fellowship in the basement always follows Sunday Divine Liturgy. From September to May, church school is held following liturgy for toddlers through high schoolers. There is an unstaffed nursery available during liturgy; it is adjacent to the nave with a glass window so you can still watch the service.
Notes for 1st Time Visitors to an Orthodox Church like St. Andrew: When you enter you'll likely hear the chanting and singing of the liturgy, or it may be quiet depending on when you arrive. The atmosphere is quiet and reverent as people prepare themselves for worship before liturgy. Once it has begun, it may feel something like a contemplative monastic service. Don't worry at all if it has already started when you arrive. Please come in. Others will surely trickle in after you!
As you come up the steps you'll enter the narthex. Feel free to reach out to an usher if you would like a little guidance (or a parishioner arriving at the same time as you). Ushers will likely be in the candle store room or just inside the doors of the nave and will be glad to explain things to you. If the liturgy has not yet started the doors to the nave will be open, while after it has begun you'll find them closed. Assuming it has not yet started, just enter and find a place you would like to sit. Parishioners will often venerate icons and light candles at the front of the nave when they enter during this time (and even after the liturgy has begun). Don't worry about this when you are new. And you may hear chanting before the liturgy has begun--particularly if confessions are being heard by the priest at the analogion (stand) at the front right of the nave. You may enter as usual during this time.
After the liturgy has begun, ushers will generally open the doors of the nave to welcome you, but if they are not there at that particular moment or don't see you, feel free to open the doors to enter. It is customary to wait to enter during certain periods after the liturgy has begun (e.g., to wait until after clerical processions such as the little and great entrances, or if the sermon has already started to wait until it is finished), so following the usher's lead will help you feel more comfortable if you are worried about doing something awkward. But please don't worry, just join us! No one will mind it one bit nor expect you to understand the subtleties of Orthodoxy. You'll almost inevitably find that the attention of all is swept up into the worship of God and focus on their own repentance.
Sit wherever you like. There are liturgical books on the backs of the pews that are relatively helpful, but you may find you need to skip around in them a bit. Feel free to ask an usher or parishioner for help. You'll also notice that people will be standing a lot, crossing themselves, bowing, moving to the front of the nave to light candles, venerate icons, and pray. These acts may be done together by everyone at the same time, or only by one and not coordinated. Don't feel any pressure to "get it right," there isn't such pressure and it is all about the healing and conversion of our hearts. You may prefer to simply sit and observe. If we are fortunate enough to see you again, you'll start to pick things up and learn by immersion and by conversation with our clergy and parishioners, or by reading a book, something you find online, listening to a podcast, or watching a video.
It is important to note that all Orthodox Christians regularly participating in confession may receive the Holy Eucharist or Communion, but one must be Orthodox to receive out of reverence for the Holy Mysteries and obedience to Holy Tradition. During Communion a parishioner may offer you blessed bread (called antidoron) which all are welcome to receive, but do not feel obligated to receive if you would rather not. No one will be offended if you politely decline.
At the end of the service there will be announcements and then everyone is welcome to proceed to the front to greet our priest and receive some bread. This is a good way for the priest to meet you briefly. But if you would feel more comfortable, you may simply exit the nave. We invite you to join us for coffee hour in the basement before you go. This is a good chance to meet someone and talk with clergy a litle. By the way, don't worry if you need to step out quietly during the service, for instance to use the restroom in the basement. It's completely fine; you are our guest!