You’ve made your way through the Larch Street doors and across the entrance lobby of St Andrew’s Place. By the time you climb the six steps into the gathering area of St Andrew’s United Church, the greeters will be smiling at you and offering you a program for the 10:30 AM service of worship. Although the wide-open doors clearly invite you to come on into the worship space, your mind may still be doing some last-minute gymnastics.
1. Is what I’m wearing okay?
If you’re dressed comfortably, then you’ll fit right in. There is no particular dress code at St Andrew’s.
2. How will I know what to do at the right time during worship?
You know that program you were just handed? It will walk you through the service!
3. What about children, do they stay in the worship space for the whole time?
From September through June, children share in the opening parts of worship, then are invited to go to the second floor for children’s programming if they wish. Children join us for communion once month, usually the first Sunday of each month. At any time, children are welcome to stay with parents or hang out at the Children’s Area in the worship space. There are toys and activities available for them there. We don’t worry too much about the noise factor!
4. What if I’m all on my own?
Both newcomers and regulars often come on their own. After worship, we enjoy coffee and juice in our 2nd Floor Activity Hall. It’s a good way to mingle and get to know people a little better.
5. What do I do when the collection plate is passed around?
Not to worry. No donation is required from you as a visitor. If you decide to become a regular attendee and to support the work of the church financially, any contribution is received with appreciation. Offering envelopes are available, just ask one of the greeters.
6. Where should I sit during worship?
Wherever you like! No one has first dibs on any particular seat (except the choir behind the piano). Look around, you might want to sit close to the choir and the organist/pianist. Or, if you have little ones with you, you might prefer to be close to the Children’s Area. By the way, if you strain to hear, you might want to take a phonic ear from the person just inside the entrance doors.
7. What if I don’t know any of the songs? Or if I don’t feel like singing?
You don’t have to sing if you’d rather not (although you might find yourself singing along in spite of yourself!). We enjoy a great mix of music. Some traditional, some more contemporary. We sing from two books (Voices United and More Voices, both of which you will find at your seat) and usually the words to the songs are projected onto a big screen at the front.
8. What if communion is served when I’m there?
At St. Andrew’s, everyone is invited to share in communion. It doesn’t matter what age you are, what your church background is, or when you last shared communion, if ever. If you are seeking to follow in the way of Jesus, then you are welcome, at the table. Communion is celebrated once a month (usually the first Sunday), and alternates between the bread and juice being served to people in their seats and being served from two stations at the front. Just follow the crowd or, if you wish, simply observe until you feel ready to participate.