From the outside, the blue house at 530 Arizona Ave. looks like just another modest home. A small sign out front is the only indication that one of the youngest Episcopal churches in the diocese of Iowa uses the house. Although the church is young, it attracts many people from the Northwestern College campus.
In a town famous for its Reformed churches, not much is known about the Episcopal tradition. The Episcopal Church is an American version of the Anglican Church in England. Services are liturgical and follow The Book of Common Prayer, which is the main book used apart from the Bible.
“I enjoy the preaching of the Gospel and the quality of sermons as much as any church I’ve attended,” said history professor Michael Kugler. “I also think the liturgy in The Book of Common Prayer is among the most beautiful writing in the world.”
Senior Lindsey Boulais also attends the Church of the Savior and feels at home during services and fellowship.
“I love the community of the Church of the Savior,” Boulais said. “It truly feels like a family, especially with the mixed generations.”
The Church of the Savior was incorporated as an official church in 2007 after branching off from St. George’s Episcopal Church in Le Mars. Until August of 2009, when the Church moved into its current building, the congregation met in the NW music room. The Church has not been incorporated long enough to even be listed in the diocese of Iowa.
Like any church in a college town, much of the attendees are students, faculty or staff members. Approximately one-third of the congregation is made up of students.
Seth Currier, director of service learning at NW, has been attending the church for several years.
“I really enjoy the Easter Vigil, which is done the night before Easter, as well as the hymns we sing every Sunday,” Currier said.
The Church of the Savior is little known on NW’s campus and in the state of Iowa. But its anonymity hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the only growing Episcopal churches in Iowa. Services are performed by the Rev. Karen Wacome and are at 10 a.m.
“I encourage people to try Church of the Savior because it is small and welcoming,” said senior Meghan Schuster, another attendee of the Church. “I know everyone in the congregation and enjoy staying after to talk to people.”