Someone will greet you for Sunday worship at either the St. Peter Avenue entrance (up the main steps) or as you enter from St. John Street (the glass doors with wheelchair accessible elevator). Hearing assistance is available at the console near the St. Peter Avenue entrance inside the main sanctuary. Ushers will assist you in finding a seat as well as provide you with an order of service bulletin.
The Sanctuary is designed and furnished to enable worship. The congregation sits in pews that face forward to the Cross of Christ, our Saviour Jesus was Crucified on a cross but rose again in three days. Between you and the cross is the Baptismal Font and the Communion Table. These are symbols of the only two Sacraments of our church. Sacraments are celebrations of God’s giving of God’s Self as it has been already revealed through Jesus Christ. Outward and visible signs of the inward and spiritual grace of God.
The Baptismal Font is where we welcome all people into God’s family through prayer and symbolically washing with the simple gift of water just as Christ washed away the sin of humanity. Baptism is celebrated at various times through the year during Sunday morning worship.
The Communion Table, often called the Lord’s Table, is central to our faith. Jesus shared bread and wine with his followers to remind them of the need of forgiveness which is given through the grace of God. Celebration of Communion is held 5 or 6 times a year with prior notice.
A Bible, a Cross and a Candle of Hope are the only items normally left on the communion table for regular worship. These are symbolic of: the Word of God, the Saviour, the Light of the World. The cup and plate, for bread and grape juice, are symbolic of the sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ for the unity of all God’s people. Flowers are usually donated by an individual or family who want to celebrate or remember someone’s life. They are placed at the front of the church acknowledging the beautiful gift of God in all creation. The lectern facing you on the left is commonly known as a pulpit, that is where the minister speaks and leads worship and where the Word of God is read from the Biblical scripture. Members of the congregation will often assist in the worship. The sanctuary is often filled with the music of our pipe organ, piano, bell or chime choirs, the voices of adult, youth or children's choirs, praise team, solos and your voice. All add to the praise and grace of worship. The choir faces you and offers anthems, blessings and leadership in our singing. There is always room for you in a choir! We are blessed with many talented voices and musicians. The words of many of the songs we sing together are found in Hymn Books called Voices United and are available at your seat with music or in larger print, words only. Today you can often just follow the words on the projection screen.
Offering plates will be passed during the service to collect your offering to the work of Christ’s church locally as well as any gift to the national church’s Mission and Service fund. Visitors are our guests and not expected to make an offering. As you decide to join us on a more regular basis, envelopes are available at your seat and upon request. Numbered envelopes better enable tax receipts which are issued once each year. You can also sign up for PAR, preauthorised remittance.
Canadian and United Nations flags, stained glass, plaques and the pipe organ all are part of the history of our church which remembers the sacrifice and generosity of those who have gone before us, leading us to this day. Following worship every Sunday you are welcome into the gym where coffee, tea and juice are served. This is a social time of meeting and getting to know the people who worship with you.There is often opportunity to pick up books, movies or sign up for events.
WORSHIP (*) indicates when to stand if you are able. The order is usually similar each week but a printed bulletin or the projection screen will guide you through with any changes to the routine.
During July and August regular services are held. Junior congregation is offered by one teacher to all young children who prefer to gather together. A family service is a time for you and your church family to worship together for the full service. On holiday Sundays we normally will adjust worship to be of interest to all ages. These services are usually less formal and often involve more active participation. Nursery is usually available at any time throughout the service on these Sundays for children 5 and under.
BAPTISM This Sacrament is always celebrated at a Sunday morning worship. Parents are required to meet with the Minister prior to the service. Because Jesus was baptised, Baptism is about uniting with God’s people who discover together the need for forgiveness. The United Church of Canada acknowledges the Baptism of anyone baptised in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. After Baptism, the family is strongly encouraged to participate in this or another church.
COMMUNION This meal was first shared by Jesus at the conclusion of the traditional Passover meal remembering how God saved the people of Israel from slavery. Now through Jesus Christ we have been saved from the emptiness of death. Eternal life with God is offered and nurtured in remembering how Jesus’ body, like bread, was broken and his blood, like wine, was shed for our salvation. The United Church of Canada normally will use grape juice instead of wine to enable all people to participate in the sacrament. At whatever age or stage of life, you are invited to receive this sacrament to nurture your searching faith or in celebration of your committed faith. Please receive this bread and grape juice (no alcohol) as the gift of grace it is intended to be, remembering that having been created in the image of God we are all equal. This sacrament is also offered at home if you are physically unable to attend worship.
CONFIRMATION Confirmation class for youth begins in February and runs until the end of Lent. Candidates are then asked to confirm the faith of their Baptismal vows.
MARRIAGE Stamford Lane United Church will marry at the minister's discretion. Wedding celebrations are arranged through the Minister, and the couples are required to meet with the Minister prior to the wedding.
FUNERALS Funerals are conducted upon request of next of kin of anyone at any time. Service is held either at the funeral home or at the church. Arrangements are made with the Minister. The In-Touch Committee may also be available if requested for catering a reception following the service, $15 per person including food.