Our Door is Open
It is our hope that as soon as you arrive you will feel the warm welcome of this parish community. Here are few things about which you might be curious:
Although we are an Anglican parish, many of our members come from other faith traditions- United Church of Canada, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, and so many more. We welcome everyone and embrace our diversity as another gift from our Creator. No matter what faith tradition you may be from, or if you have no faith tradition, you are more than welcome
St. Andrew’s is a diverse church in so many ways and what we wear each Sunday is one of those ways! Above all we want you to be comfortable. This is Sidney and as you may have found, this is a casual and comfortable community. Wear what feels good to you and you will fit right in. Some people will wear their “Sunday Best” while others will be in everything from casual to jeans.
When you arrive: Parking
There is ample parking, with some areas closer to the door than others. If you find it easier to be dropped off right at the door, that is fine. Most people enter by the main door (on the south side of the building, just off the main parking lot). But some of our folks feel it is easier to enter by the north door (along the side of the church that faces onto Oakville Street). That door has no stairs or ramp, so it is the wise choice for some. Handicap parking spaces are available on both sides of the building, as well.
A Sidesperson Will Welcome You
We don’t pounce, but we do want you to feel welcomed and are ready to answer any questions you may have. Sidespersons will offer you a service bulletin and can answer your questions. You will be invited to sign our guest book, if you wish to do so.
Sunday morning worship during most of the year is held at 7:45 am, 9 am and 11 am. In the summer (from JUne to August) the services are at 7:45 am and 10 am. The 7:45 am service is a traditional Book of Common Prayer service, without music. The 9 am service is a family oriented service with praise music and a projected liturgy. The 11 am service is a choral service with the choir and more traditional hymns. During the summer, our 9 and 11 services are combined at 10 am. We also worship at 10 am on Thursday mornings. At various times through the year, we also have additional services during the week. These additional services or any changes will be listed on the "Events Page" church calendar on this web site.
We are quite relaxed and don’t want you to miss any part of our worship, but if you arrive a little late, please feel free to come on in, anyway! You can always join the worship after we have begun. Sidespersons will be at the door near the back of the worship space to welcome you. Our Sunday services each usually last about an hour. At about 10 am, after the 9 am service and before the 11 am service, we have a coffee and tea time in our church hall.
There are washrooms available near the back door of the sanctuary. Signs will lead you to them, and sidespersons will also be happy to point you in the right direction. Please feel free to leave the service at any time that you wish to do so, and then come back in at your convenience. We are a very casual lot- no one will be offended.
Once you enter the worship space, choose a seat anywhere you feel most comfortable. There are no “assigned” seats. Here you will notice our diverse parish family, as some will be happily greeting and catching up with each other while some will be sitting quietly and praying. Before the service begins, our rector, Eric, will invite the congregation into some silence to prepare our hearts for worship.
We follow the rich Anglican liturgy in our prayer books and also in the Iona (Celtic) tradition. For the 7:45 am and the 11 am services, our Psalms and some other parts of the service can be found in the prayer book. Your bulletin will guide you as to the pages. Our worship leaders will also announce which pages we will be next looking at, and you will also find that people sitting near you will be happy to point you in the right direction as we go along. The 9 am service is the easiest to follow as the whole service is projected on a screen, so you need only look up and you will know what is coming next.
If you are not familiar with a liturgical style of worship, we believe you will find it meaningful as everything we do or say has purpose and the service flows from one piece to the next in a rhythm that quickly becomes very familiar. There will be times that we all sit and times that we stand or kneel. In any of these times, you will see that some people choose to continue to sit, or stand, even when others are doing something else. There is no “right way” to worship God- and you are welcome to do whatever feels most comfortable for you.
We Celebrate the Eucharist Every Sunday
At the centre of who we are as a parish family is our celebration and receiving of the Holy Eucharist, also known as The Lord’s Supper or Communion. It is our tradition that all are welcome at God’s altar and are invited to receive Communion.
The Sidespersons direct us when it is our turn to come to the altar. Some will kneel at the altar rail and some will stand. You will be offered both bread and wine. To receive the bread, simply place one hand on top of the other, palms open and up and the bread will be placed on your top hand. To receive the wine, you may drink from the cup or if you prefer, simply place your finger-tips on the base of the cup. If you prefer not to receive one or both simply cross your arms in front of you. This will indicate that you prefer a blessing, which the priest will offer. After you receive, return to your seat.
Children are welcome at the altar. Parents can indicate to the priest whether the children are to receive a blessing or participate in the bread and wine (or just the bread).
The Peace and Fellowship
Our liturgy begins with music and scripture reading followed by a Sermon. The service includes a time when we pray for our needs and the needs of others, and an opportunity to greet one another and offer “The Peace of the Lord” to each other.
Some will stay at their seats and offer this greeting to those close by while others will step out into the aisle to greet others. You will hear some joyful voices during this time. After the Peace is exchanged, we will proceed with the Eucharist.
At the end of the 9 am service, we have a tradition of holding hands and singing a farewell song. If you feel comfortable holding hands, please do so. But you will also note that some choose not to hold hands as we sing; that is fine, as well.
After the service ends, we enjoy some refreshments together. We hope you will want to stay for a few minutes, but if you need to be on your way, we certainly understand. We are just glad you have joined us!
See you next time!
Some of the photos on this page are used with permission.