What Can I Expect on Sundays? Entering a church for the first time, or after a long absence, can lead to more than a little anxiety. You wonder whether or not you’ll fit in, whether you’ll stand out as a newcomer, and what you will be asked to do.
With that in mind, here is a brief description of what happens at Lawrence Park Community Church.
Worship begins at 10:30, but many people arrive a few minutes early in order to pour a cup of coffee which they then take into the sanctuary—the room where we worship together.
If you have children who need nursery care, one of the greeters at the door will take you to our nursery facilities. Your children will be well cared for, and if there is a problem, someone from the nursery will come and get you to make sure your children are comfortable. If your children are a bit older, bring them into the sanctuary. More on that in a minute. Take a seat. Anywhere is fine.
Shortly before the service begins, some gathering music is played—a prelude, in church-speak. It is usually from the classical repertoire and played on the organ. The service begins with the minister rising to greet everyone, and share some announcements. The minister gives everyone an opportunity to greet their neighbours. After that we’ll sing some hymns and listen to the choir.
A few minutes after the service begins, the minister will tell a children’s story. After that the Sunday School teacher and Youth Leaders will lead the children to rooms where they will engage in their own activities. If you would rather keep them with you, that is fine as well.
The service proceeds without announcement. Songs that we sing together are projected on screens. The choir will sing a few anthems along the way. A congregational member will read scripture, and the minister will deliver a brief but pointed meditation.
After that a prayer for the life of the congregation, nation, and world is offered. A collection for the support of the church’s work is taken. We certainly don’t expect guests to feel obligated to put anything in the collection! Many members, who give via PAR or credit cards, also let the plate go by. You won’t feel out of place.
The service ends with a blessing and song and a final musical offering—the postlude. The congregation then rises and leaves the sanctuary. By now the coffee pot is full again, and snacks for all ages are available at the back of the church. If you stick around for a few minutes, someone will be sure to say “hello,” to you and help you feel at home.
At no time in the worship service will members be called upon if they have not first volunteered. So if sitting quietly and just listening fits your comfort level, you can do just that.