matter who you are - whether a long-time Christian or
seeking to know God in a Christian congregation for the
first time - we welcome you. You are a child of God who has
gifts and new ideas to offer this community.
We recognize and honor the reality
that it can be difficult to go to a new church for the first
time. We also assume that God is calling you to deepen your
relationship with God – and we take that very seriously. Our
aim is to make you as comfortable as possible so that you
can have an experience of God during your time in worship.
Since you are visiting us through cyberspace right now, and
may not have attended St Paul's or St Alban's yet, here are
a few highlights to make you feel most comfortable
What is worship?
Worship is what forms us as a
distinct community. It is a time to gather together to give
praise to God. It is also a time to refresh ourselves, to be
ready to go back out into the world as followers of Jesus
and to make a difference in the world. In part, worship is
also the time when we practice living in the kingdom of God
(what the world would be like if God were in charge)
including putting God into the centre of our lives.
Who can worship?
Anyone is welcome to participate in
worship. It doesn’t matter if this is your first opportunity
to explore the Christian faith or if you haven’t been since
you were a child. Nor should you feel embarrassed or somehow
unworthy. This is a new day and you are already a beloved
child of God.
When you arrive
You will be warmly welcomed by a
greeter or usher. An usher will give you a bulletin with any
announcements and will be pleased to answer any questions
you may have.
First of all, if you have children
- stop worrying! Children are very much a part of the
life of this church. We are delighted to have them in the
worship service. Please remember it isn’t going to bother
anyone else if your kids make noise, move around or are just
simply being kids. We are quite used to it. We think we have
done our job if children are comfortable being themselves in
Where do I sit?
Anywhere you like – really! We
value hospitality here and there are no reserved seats. It
is true that folks tend to sit in the same places week after
week, but no one’ s nose is going to get out of joint if you
happen to sit in their favorite spot. In fact, they will be
glad that you have taken the risk of coming to church and
more than likely warmly welcome you.
Depending on what time you arrive, you will likely
hear music playing, or if you are really early, it may be
silent. Feel free to sit and relax, wander around and check
out the rest of the building, or talk with others. It is up
Welcome & Announcements
The Warden will begin the service by
welcoming visitors. You will not be singled out nor asked to
stand up. There is time for a few announcements that are not
printed in the bulletin.
Most newcomers like to know the
unwritten rules about what to wear and how to act. We are a
pretty laid back place. Some people are more comfortable
dressing up in business attire, while others prefer to wear
jeans. It’s entirely up to you.
Length of worship
Expect the worship time to last
between 55 to65 minutes; on rare occasions, it may go a
Music and singing
Music is a big part of worship. For
most, music is a primary way to experience God. Somehow it
brings us closer to the God. However, that doesn’t happen
every time or for everybody. Once again, we want you to be
as comfortable as you can, so if you’d rather listen than
sing, that’s fine. Likewise, if you feel self-conscious
because you don’t think you can sing, don’t sweat it – no
one will likely hear you or think twice about it. Plus, God
thinks your singing is great!
Bible readings and sermon
Typically there will be 3 readings
from the Bible each Sunday. These readings are usually
selected from the lectionary - a three-year cycle of
readings chosen by the Christian church as a whole. There
are occasions when the Priest will select another scripture
such as in a sermon series.
There are several translations of
the Bible into English from its original Hebrew and Greek.
We find the most scholarly and inclusive version to be the
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).
The offering is an important act of
worship for Christians. It is symbolic of our belief that
everything we have comes from the blessings of God. It is
also an act of generosity and an important way to make a
difference in the world. The money given goes to support the
ministry programs at our churches (including salaries), as
well as Anglican Church programs across Canada and
throughout the world to help others. Visitors are not
expected to participate in the offering. It is perfectly
acceptable to let the offering plate pass you by.
If you decide to make St Paul or St Alban's your home, you
may want to begin participating in the offering.