HELPFUL TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST VISIT
You may have gone to church all your life, stopped when you were young or never gone at all. It does not matter. Everyone is welcome at St. Andrew's.
Sometimes visiting a new place can feel a bit daunting, so we've put together some "Frequently Asked Questions" we hope might help you feel more comfortable!
We’d love to be able to meet you personally and say ‘hello’. It would be great to find out more about your story and to answer any of your questions about church.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I wear?
Bottom line, wear what you are comfortable wearing. Some of us come casual, others more dressed up. It’s your call. After all, we are thrilled that you’re with us and want you to be more focused on the experience than what you’re wearing.
Will I fit in?
Whether you are coming as a family or on your own, or even if you are totally unfamiliar with a Presbyterian church, you will find a place here and people who are just like you.
How will I know what to do?
Our greeters will welcome you as you enter the front doors. One will hand you a bulletin that outlines the morning service and upcoming events. There are no reserved seats in the church, so feel free to sit where you'd like. There are times during the service when people stand. And you will be invited to do so as you are able. If you have difficulty standing or are minding a baby or toddler, feel free to sit throughout the entire service. Some people do.
Do I have to put money in a collection plate?
We do take a collection during the service. Like everyone else, we have to pay the bills, but making a financial contribution during the service is totally voluntary. If you don’t want to put anything in the plate the day you visit us, just hand the plate along to your neighbour. Many regular members donate by pre-authorized payment or write a monthly cheque, so you won’t be the only one passing.
When are the services and what are they like?
We have a weekly service that starts at 10:30 Sunday morning. We have music provided by a pipe organ and choir. Children are invited to the front to hear a brief message after which they can participate in our Sunday School.
Our service is traditional, with several short Scripture readings, traditional hymns, prayer, and the minister's sermon. The sermon is based on Scripture, and communicates the relevancy of God's Word to our situation in today's life and society. It is important to have God's guidance in our personal relationships, in our family lives, and in our daily contacts with people. The sermon is a means to hear God speaking to us through His Word and giving us the guidance we need.
The service generally ends around 11:30 and is followed by coffee and tea in our auditorium. We hope you will stay and join us for this fellowship, but if you have other commitments, we understand.
Can I take Communion? What do I do?
Communion is served four times a year. All baptized Christians regardless of church background are welcome to take Communion. An elder will distribute the bread by bringing the plate to each pew. Each person takes a piece and holds onto it until everyone has been served, and everyone eats together. This procedure is repeated with the distribution of the grape juice.
Where do I park?
Parking is available in the library parking lot, down the hill on High Street, as well as on Stavebank Road.
How do I get into church?
The main doors are on the south side of the church on High Street. If you are unable to manage stairs, we also have a ramped entrance on Stavebank Road. Both doors are unlocked and people come both ways. Once the service begins, the east door is locked for security reasons and you can ring the door bell for entering.
Is St. Andrew's a child-friendly church?
Most definitely, and if your family happens to include children or grandchildren, we want them to feel at home with us, too. We believe children and youth are not future members of the church; they are part of our church family now, and their interests and their contributions are important to us.
Nursery care is available in our well-equipped nursery on the main floor during the 10:30 service. Supervision is provided by volunteers.
Children's Christian Education classes are provided for children from kindergarten to high school. The children can sit with their parents in the Sanctuary for the beginning of the service. Just before the minister's children's story, the children will be asked to come to the front of the church. When the story is finished, they are taken to their classes. Parents can collect their children from their classes, or meet up with them in the auditorium for coffee hour. Classes for high school and grades 7-8 are held on the upper level. Kindergarten through grade 6 classes take place downstairs. Parents are welcome to accompany their children downstairs.
Where do I get more information about St. Andrew's?
You can speak to the Welcoming Elder at the end of the service. He or she will make an announcement during the service to this effect. There is also a guest register that you can sign to help us identify you as a new member. We also have greeters that will welcome you as you enter. You can also call the church office for information.
I'm shy, how do I get to know people?
We make an effort to greet and welcome visitors and make them feel at ease. The goal is to make the experience agreeable to you, so we’ll follow your cues as to how your visit will go. We won’t single you out or mob you. If you want to be anonymous for a while, we respect that. If you want to get acquainted right away, we have people who will be happy to get to know you and introduce you to others. And after services each Sunday we get together – shy or not, members or not — for a coffee, tea or juice and some friendly, casual conversation. You’re welcome to stay for that and get to know us in a social setting.
What if I say or do the wrong thing in church?
We all do from time to time, but where better to do so than amongst friends. And in reality, there really aren't many ways that one could slip up. Relax, and be yourself.