A Road Map to the Service
We celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday ("Eucharist" means thanksgiving; it is sometimes called "Communion" or the "Lord’s Supper"). We strive to make worship real and relevant, so the service regularly changes depending on the season. Everyone in the congregation, including children, is encouraged to take part in the service.
As You Arrive
As you come through the entrance from the parking lot, you’ll see a greeters’ table on the other side of the screen. At the 10:00 AM service, the greeter will give you a weekly bulletin (with all the prayers, songs and notices you will need for the service) and introduce themselves. At the 8:30 AM service, please take a copy of the weekly bulletin from the greeter's table, and proceed to the chapel.
If they're comfortable, many people wear name tags at the 10:00 AM service. It helps everyone get to know each other better. If you'd like, the greeters can give you a name tag to wear. The washrooms (including a wheelchair accessible one) are down the hall to the left. Please feel free to leave the service at any point, for this or any other reason. We encourage nursing mothers to stay in the worship space throughout the service, if that feels comfortable for them.
The nursery is at the end of the same hall and is volunteer staffed for the 10:00 AM service. We take children up to age 3 in the nursery beginning at 9:55 AM. There will be two parish volunteers supervising the children. If you’d prefer to keep your child with you in church, please do so.
Entering our Worship Space
The 10:00 AM service takes place in the main worship space. We do not pass a collection plate during the service. If you are a visitor for the first time, we are happy for you to be our guest, but if you’d like to make an offering to support our work, please leave it in the basket at the back of the worship space. Our worship space changes shape on a regular basis. The chairs may be arranged in a horseshoe, a square, or a circle. There will always be a table (altar) in a prominent place. Feel free to sit anywhere you like. In a lot of churches, people come in, find a chair, and then kneel quietly. Because we don’t have kneelers and the concrete floor is not very comfortable, we usually stand or sit during prayers.
Michael greets us and explains any special plans for the service. The children proceed to children's church just before the opening hymn, which is printed in the bulletin. If you’d like to accompany your child and meet the teacher, please do. The church school classrooms are down the same hallway as the washrooms and nursery. We then move on to the collect (collecting our prayers for the day).
Next a story is told about our origins, through readings of the Hebrew text (Old Testament), the psalm and the Christian text (New Testament). Sometimes we will read modern or secular texts instead. We stand to sing an introduction to the Gospel and remain standing while it is read to show our willingness to carry the good news into the world. The sermon follows. This is our priest’s reflection on the readings or themes for the day. It is intended to be encouraging, educational and challenging.
A worship leader will come forward to lead us in the Prayers of the People, when we remind ourselves of the needs of our church, our world and those we care about. Prayer is a way of hearing how God calls us to respond. Then we "share the peace," which is a public expression of forgiveness and mutual service within the community; people may hug or kiss each other, or more commonly shake hands. We usually say “peace be with you”, or simply “peace”. Please do whatever you find most comfortable.
During the offertory hymn (10:00 AM service), volunteers bring the bread and wine and the financial offerings to the table. This is a sign that we are offering our lives and our assets in thanksgiving. The servers prepare the table for communion and the children return from children's church. We begin the Eucharist by blessing the bread and wine and offerings.
Following this prayer of thanksgiving, we sing a contemporary version of (10:00 AM service) or say (8:30 AM service) the Lord’s Prayer. Please pick your children up from the nursery at this point (10:00 AM service). Michael proceeds to break the bread and then it is shared. Everyone is welcome to take communion, regardless of religious affiliation or age. We usually come forward to the table row by row. You simply put your hand out to receive a piece of bread and eat it. When the cup is offered, you may guide it to your mouth with your hand and take a sip. It is customary to say Amen after receiving. Young children receive the bread and wine as you see fit. Your child may take a piece of bread or you may wish to break off a piece of your own. If you prefer, you may ask one of the priests to bless your child.
During communion, the choir sings and/or leads in a selection of contemporary or traditional music. The congregation is always welcome to join in.
The prayer after communion reminds us of our responsibility to ministry in the world. At this point in the 10:00 AM service, one of our wardens offers announcements. At the 8:30 AM service, Michael offers the announcements. If you have a message you wish to have announced, please speak with the warden or Michael before the beginning of the service. We have a final hymn (10:00 AM service) and then dismissal.
Please join us for coffee, tea, juice and conversation in the gathering space (10:00 AM service). At the 8:30 AM service, join us for conversation in the gathering space. If you have not already met Michael, please introduce yourself.