Sunday Service

Visiting Us for the First Time

We welcome everyone to join in our worship services. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been to church before or are of a different faith. We will greet you warmly, treat you with dignity, and respect your privacy. Nobody will try to ‘convert’ you to Christianity or to our understanding of it.

Every Sunday Worship Service begins at 10:00am.

Why Worship?

Worship is a time when we gather together to give praise to God, and to learn together, so that we can follow the example of Jesus, working for justice and peace, and giving care to others and to the earth.

What to Wear?

Your regular clothing is just fine. Some people come in sweaters and jeans and running shoes, and others like to wear a suit or dress up a bit. Whatever you feel comfortable in is fine with us. Most people do not wear hats or head coverings.

When You Arrive

As everyone comes into the main church area (the sanctuary), a "greeter" will shake each person’s hand and say hello — it’s a nice way to start off! There is a rack inside the door where you may hang your coat.

Entering the Sanctuary

You will see some people (ushers) giving out the printed "Order of Service" – stop to get this. It will tell you what’s happening during the service and includes words of some prayers. The other handout is "First Things First " — announcements and coming events you might want to know about.

The Usher may offer to help you find a seat, or you can find one on your own. You will notice that we have comfy chairs instead of wooden benches to sit on! None are reserved — you may sit wherever you wish.

Who Leads the Service?

A few people do. The minister almost always participates, and may or may not be wearing a formal robe. He or she usually sits and preaches (speaks) from the pulpit, at the front left side of the church. A lay leader also participates. This person is someone from our congregation with a little extra training who provides us with leadership. They do not wear robes, and usually sit & speak from the front right side of the church.

A child is selected each week to carry the "Christ Candle" into church as the service begins.

Another member of the congregation often comes forward to do one of the Bible readings.

Music and Singing

We love to sing — and listen! Music is a big part of our worship. You will hear the organ playing before the worship service begins, and after it. During the service, we all sing a few hymns together — the number of the hymn is in your "Order of Service" and will also be announced. You will find the words and music in "Voices United" located under the chair in front of you. We usually stand to sing; but if you prefer to sit, that’s okay too.

Our wonderful choirs, of all ages, usually sing a special song (an anthem), which we enjoy while sitting.

Children

We are delighted to welcome children! If you wish, infants and children up to 3 years old may spend the whole worship time in the Nursery, being cared for by our trained staff and carefully selected volunteers. Older children usually start off in the sanctuary, then after about 15 minutes, they leave to go to their own programme of worship — stories, games, crafts and snacks! You can go with them if you wish.

Bible Readings and Sermon

We usually have two Bible readings at the Sunday service. A lay reader (somebody from the church) reads one, and our minister reads the other, then starts into the sermon. The sermon is a way of relating the Bible readings to life today. Often the sermon teaches us something about the Bible and its history or makes us think more or ask ourselves questions about our beliefs and our relationship with God.

Prayers

Prayer is a way of bringing our thoughts to God, and listening quietly for God’s messages to us.

We usually sing "The Lord’s Prayer" near the beginning of the service.

Our lay leader gives the "Prayers of the People" — it’s different each week, and during this, we sit quietly, listen and offer up our own silent prayers.

The Offering

We make offerings of money as part of our worship, giving generously of that which has come to us from God. Offerings are used to support our church, and to help others through various United Church programmes across Canada and the world.

Many people have their offerings withdrawn directly from their banks, so you won’t see them putting anything into the collection plates. Others will place gifts of cash, or special envelopes into the collection plates.

Visitors may make an offering if they wish. It’s also fine to pass the plate without contributing. Nobody will judge you, either way.

Holy Communion

Everyone is invited to Christ’s table for communion — and we mean everyone — youngest to oldest, from our church or not! However, if you wish not to participate, that’s perfectly okay too. We don’t have communion every week.

Communion is a symbolic meal that is open to everyone, of bread and wine – well, grape juice usually! It’s a reminder of Jesus’ last supper with his followers and continues as a sign of God’s enduring love for us.

We celebrate Holy Communion (also called The Lord’s Supper) during worship at selected services throughout the year. Communion is also offered to shut–ins upon request.

We welcome all people to the "Table of the Lord". You do not have to be a member of our congregation or denomination to participate in communion. We encourage all children to share in communion.

 

Coffee Time

After the service, we like to stay and talk to our friends, while enjoying coffee, tea or juice. Please join us!

Welcome Table

This table at the back of the church is the place to visit to find out more about First United. Pick up some information to read at home.

Hearing Assistance

A special system is available to assist if you have difficulty hearing. Just ask one of the greeters, or ushers where to get the headset. Please return it to us at the end of the service.

Large Print Materials

The Ushers will be happy to give you a large print order of service and words to the hymns if you ask.

Accessibility

Ramps and an elevator make it easy to get around our building. There are wheelchair accessible washrooms on each level. There are several reserved Handicapped parking spaces on Peter Street near our door.