We are always happy to see new faces at St. John’s.
Our main Sunday service is at 10:30 and includes music and communion. It is about an hour. It includes a program for children and youth from the beginning of September until the end of June. The 10:30 service is live-streamed and posted on YouTube. The video camera is normally filming the front of the church rather than the people in the pews.
We also have a smaller service at 8:00 a.m. without music, which uses the older language of the Book of Common Prayer, which is held from the beginning of September until the end of June. It is about 45 minutes.
We have a Sunday service at 9:00 on Zoom, which is about 45 minutes; please email Lucia for the link.
All are welcome at St. John’s: we really do mean all, no matter who you are, or what you do, or don’t believe. Here is what to expect on a typical Sunday at St. John’s Church:
When you arrive at St. John’s, you are welcome to park along Temperance Street, or come in the driveway next to 124 Queen Street and park in the small lot behind the parish hall, or park in the lot belonging to Morris Funeral Chapel on Queen Street.
Entrance and accessibility
On Temperance Street there is an entrance to the worship space. If a ramp is easier for you than stairs, you are welcome to use the ramp entrance. The worship space, the parish hall, and all other rooms on the ground floor are accessible, and there is an accessible washroom adjacent to the parish hall, next to the kitchen.
The worship service
You will not need a bulletin or any pieces of paper: The words of our worship service (including the words to the hymns and songs) are projected on a screen at the front of the church.
We have sides-persons (similar to ushers) who can help you out if you have any questions. They are normally at the back of the church greeting people before the service begins, so feel free to say hi. If you would like to stay in touch, we invite you to write your name, email address, and contact information on the clipboard by the door.
Children are welcome to come forward for a brief children’s message and to go with the teachers to the parish hall for our children’s program in the middle of the service. There is also a nursery parents can use with their young children if they would like. Children are also welcome to stay in church with their parents. We are happy to have kids in church with us, and don’t mind a little extra noise. Crayons, colouring sheets, and other kids items are available from the sides-persons.
Have a seat anywhere you like; people will be happy to share a pew with you. Before the service some organ or piano music will be played, and the custom is to be silent, pray, and reflect before worship begins.
Our Sunday service includes three readings from different parts of the Bible.
You will hear a reading from the Old Testament (the parts of the Bible written before the birth of Jesus) and the New Testament (the parts of the Bible written after the birth of Jesus) read by a church member (layperson) who comes forward to the lectern. We will stand to sing a short song or hymn before the priest reads a passage from one of the four gospels (the parts of the Bible that tell the teachings of Jesus and the accounts of his life, death, and resurrection) As a sign of respect, everyone who is able remains standing during the reading of the Gospel.
After the Gospel lesson, there’s a sermon.
Following that, we stand to say either the Nicene Creed or Apostles’ Creed, two ancient statements of the basic beliefs shared by most Christian denominations. On some Sundays we sing a musical version of the Creed.
Then we share in the “Prayers of the People” which vary by the week. There is a sheet of paper in the back of the church for people to write the names of people they would like us to pray for, and you are welcome to write the names of people you’d like us to include. We also pray for each person who attends St. John’s on the week of their birthday each year. If you would like to be included in these prayers, please tell Lucia when your birthday will be (or email her) and we’ll be glad to include you.
We have a prayer in which we confess our sins, and hear the assurance of God’s forgiveness of us. At “the peace” we greet one another with a wave, a smile, the word “peace” or all three.
The sides-persons will invite one or two people from the congregation to help carry the bread and wine to the altar for communion. We often ask children or teenagers to participate in this way; if you don’t feel comfortable doing this, it is also perfectly okay to decline.
We give our offerings as an expression of thanks to God for the blessings in our lives, and to do our part to support the church’s ministries. Some people put cash or a cheque in the offering plate; others who give electronically take a card hanging in the pew and place it in the offering plate as a symbol of their gift. You are welcome to participate if you choose to: there is no obligation.
The next part of the service is Holy Eucharist (an ancient Greek word meaning Thanksgiving), also called Communion, the Lord’s Supper, the Mass, or the Sacrament.
In The Anglican Church all baptized people, including children, are welcome to receive Communion, regardless of what denomination you were baptized in.. The sides-persons will come by the pews, from front to back to invite you to go forward.
As a safety precaution, each person sanitizes their hands, and then holds their hands out flat in front of them, and the priest will place a wafer of bread into your hand, while the priest says “The body of Christ, the bread of heaven.” You then step to the side and consume the bread. There will also be a person holding a chalice (cup) of wine, which you are welcome to sip from. Some people choose to receive the bread but not the wine (or vice versa) which is perfectly acceptable also. We have gluten free wafers available for those who request them.
If you would prefer to receive a blessing instead of the bread and wine, please cross your arms over your chest when you come forward and the priest will give you a blessing.
If you do not wish to come forward for Communion or a blessing, you may stay in your seat; no one will think it strange or judge you.
We finish with a prayer after communion, a blessing from the priest, and another hymn as the priest goes the back of the church. After the dismissal we invite you to join us in the parish hall for coffee and muffins (or in the summer lemonade and cookies outdoors).
If you have not yet met the priest or others in the congregation, please do so; we would be delighted to get to know you and to help you get to know us!