A congregation of the United Church of Canada
Welcome to Faith United!
Start here to find out some basic information about our worship life, and what to expect when you visit.
Then please explore our website!
Sunday Morning Worship @ 10:30 am
- Uplifting, inspiring, joyful worship with a mix of contemporary and traditional music, in a modern building with video screens and soft chairs, and a warm, friendly, positive, and spiritual vibe!
- Joyful Noise – our children’s program for kids 3 and up – we look at Biblical stories through activities, play, crafts, games, and fun!
- Baptism – we Baptize infants, kids, youths, and adults – contact the office or have a chat with Rev Larry for more information
- Weddings – we would love to have you get married with us at Faith! Give us a call!
Worship – What to Expect
Visiting for the first time?
Everyone is welcome to attend and experience our worship service. It doesn’t matter if you have no religion, are of another religion, or if you’ve simply never been to church before. You will be greeted warmly, treated with dignity, and your privacy will be respected. No one will try to “convert you” to Christianity or to our particular form of it.
Worship is the central ministry of the church, the time when we all gather together to give praise to God, as well as be equipped and sent forth into the world as followers of Jesus who care for the earth and its peoples. Our usual worship service lasts around 75 minutes.
When you arrive
When you arrive in the building you will be greeted by someone! (That’s the idea, anyway… sometimes they’re busy with a lot of visitors and you may slip by them.) They will help you find where you’re going and answer any questions you may have.
We are delighted to welcome your children into our worship experience.
Infants and children under 3 may be cared for in the nursery either by our qualified and screened nursery personnel, or by yourself (you can see and hear the church service from there). The nursery is found up the stairs and immediately on the left.
Children older than 3 begin in worship with adults, then go to the front for some time with the minister (if desired), and then depart with their leaders for Joyful Noise (Sunday School). You may accompany your child if you wish, and stay for all or part of the program.
Entering the sanctuary
You may sit anywhere you wish (but if you sit in the choir you’ll have to sing!).
When you enter the sanctuary, there is often music playing. If you’re early enough, you may even catch the choir still rehearsing. You may sit in silence in your seat, or chat quietly with a friend.
You can leave at any time during a service, but quietly please if we are in the middle of something.
An Affirming Congregation
Faith United is officially an “Affirming Congregation”. Our mission statement says it like this:
we will: strive to provide a spiritual home that is openly welcoming, nurturing and safe whatever a person’s ability/disability, age, ethnicity, exceptionality, gender identity, sexual orientation, or social or economic circumstance
It’s more than just being welcoming and open – it’s about being Public, Intentional, and Explicit about that welcome.
Faith United is fully accessible on the main level and upstairs; Handicapped parking spots are posted nearest to the large window and right out front.
Hearing or Visually impaired
We have an excellent Hearing-Assist technology; Just ask a greeter or walk over to the sound booth and ask for some help. We use video screens extensively in our worship; If you have trouble seeing the screens or would like a large-print order of service (handout) just let us know!
Welcome and announcements
We begin the service by sharing announcements and welcoming visitors. You will not be singled out, nor asked to stand up.
Where stuff is and what it’s called
Christians have a sort of unique language with many vocabulary words you won’t be familiar with. For starters, we have special names for rooms, hallways and so forth. There is no test – lots of folks use the common names and not the church lingo.; Here’s a little primer:
|What is commonly called||What we call it|
|Entrance lobby, inside the main doors||Atrium|
|Room where worship is held (the room with all the chairs)||Sanctuary|
|The “stage” area in the sanctuary||Chancel|
|Altar (a term for it used by some churches)||Communion Table|
|Sunday school (traditional term for Sunday morning children’s programs)||Joyful Noise|
|Washrooms, which are located in the Atrium and in the Sun-room by the main entrance to the church.||We call them washrooms too!|
What to Expect – continued
We usually celebrate the sacrament of holy communion on the first Sunday of each month. Everyone is welcome to participate in this sacrament, however if you are not a Christian or you really don’t feel like you understand it enough to do so, you are perfectly welcome to stay in your seat. Instructions as to how to go up to communion, what to do with the bread and wine (juice) and what to say, will be explained at the time. When you receive the piece of bread/cup an appropriate reply is “amen”.
We use a pasteurized grape juice instead of wine.
We generally serve communion in stations – we will form 3 stations, where you will be invited to come forward and receive your bread, then dip it in the cup, then eat it and return to your seat. If you would prefer to remain seated servers will bring the bread and cup to you in your seat (you are free to consume it as you receive it). There is a gluten free bread option at the middle station (where the minister stands).
Music & Singing
Christians love to sing! (Well, most of them. Some just like to listen.) We are blessed at Faith United with a fantastic music ministry including a chancel choir and instrumentalists.
Music in the service is a blend of traditional Christian hymns and more modern worship songs. Feel free to join in or just listen. There are hymn books on a cart at the entrance to the Sanctuary (the red “Voices United” and the spiral bound “More Voices”) for those of you who like to read the music.
Visit our Music at Faith page for information about our various music ministries.
Bible readings and Sermon
There will be 1 or 2 readings from the Bible each Sunday. These readings are chosen by the Christian church as a whole, and rotate on a 3-year cycle known as the Lectionary. There are several translations of the Bible into English from its original Hebrew and Greek. We find a scholarly and inclusive version to be the New Revised Standard Version. We usually project the scripture readings on the screens so you can read along if you wish.
The sermon is an oral presentation by the Minister on the bible texts and relates to how we understand their meaning in our lives today. This usually lasts about 15-18 minutes. Our “Messages” page gives you written versions of sermons preached, and of course you could watch a recorded service on YouTube and scan to the sermon part.
A Greeting of “Shalom”
At one point in the service members of the congregation are invited to greet one another by saying “Shalom”. Shalom is an ancient word of faith meaning peace, wholeness, wellness, flourishing, blessing etc. This is based on an ancient teaching to make peace with your neighbour before making your offering to God.
You are invited to stand up and greet those around you, and then sit down when you feel done. It is OK to say nothing, or something like “good morning” if you prefer, but saying “Shalom” feels really good! This is a time to extend peace, but not for general conversation. This part of the service may seem a bit chaotic to the casual observer, but is well loved by regular attendees.
The offering is an act of worship for Christians. It is symbolic of the fact that we believe everything we have comes from the blessings of God. It is also an act of generosity. Offerings support the ministry programs at our own church (including salaries) and various programs across Canada and throughout the world to help others. It is perfectly acceptable to let the offering plate pass you by. If you put your donation in one of the small envelopes found on the hymn book cart, fill out the info, we will make sure to send you a tax receipt.
You could also make an online donation by clicking the DONATE button on the top of the website!
Following the service, we gather right in the Sanctuary for coffee, tea, juice and a social time. If you’re a newcomer, you are most welcome. It’s a great way to get to know people.
You are most welcome to visit as often as you wish. If you have specific questions scroll to the bottom of this website ways to reach us. And if you feel this is the community for you just mention it to Rev Larry and he will explain about formally joining.
Thanks for taking the time to read our website.