Sunday Worship ~ 10:30 AM
At St. Matthew’s, we worship in the tradition of the United Church of Canada, a protestant denomination that cherishes independence of thought, openness to God’s Spirit at work in the world, and commitment to peace and justice for all.
Our primary gathering time as a community is Sunday morning worship at 10:30am. Sunday services last about an hour and fifteen minutes, and are followed by a time of fellowship and refreshment for all.
All ages are welcome in our worship services. Some children like to be present for the whole service, but many choose to go downstairs for the Sunday School program during the second half of the service. There is also a nursery and caregiver provided for the littlest children.
Our Sunday School is intentionally flexible and open – there is no registration or membership list, and the program is arranged so that each week stands alone. Any children who are at church are most welcome in Sunday School.
On a Sunday Morning at St. Matthew’s, You Can Expect…
An Usher, who will greet you at the door and give you a service bulletin, which outlines the service for the day. The usher may also lead you to a pew, if you wish, and is happy to give you any directions you may need.
A Door on Your Pew! St. Matthew’s sanctuary is over 150 years old, and still has its old-fashioned numbered box pews. Despite the numbers, none of our pews is reserved. If your door makes a loud click when it opens or closes, you are not alone!
A Service Bulletin, printed on paper, which outlines the service of the day, including all the words of prayers, the hymn numbers, the scripture readings, sermon title, and choral anthems of the day, and announcements for the weeks ahead. The service bulletin includes stars ** beside those parts of the service during which the congregation stands, and indicates in bold face when there are worship words which are spoken by the whole congregation.
Fellowship Time After the service, all are invited to enjoy each other’s company over a cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of juice, and cookies.
…and You Can (nearly always) Also Expect…
A Prelude and Postlude Usually played on the organ, this music begins our service by bringing us into a quiet space, and ends our service by sending us out into the world with joy and energy.
A Call to Worship, and a Prayer of Approach which gather us together and open our spirits to God’s Spirit in our midst.
Scripture Readings Usually from both the Older and Newer Testaments of the Bible, and usually one of these is dramatized.
A Time with the Children A theme conversation with the children at the front of the church, after which the Sunday School program begins downstairs. As the children leave, the congregation is invited to share the Peace of Christ in greeting one another.
A Sermon A fifteen minute (or so) reflection on the meaning of the scripture reading and its message for our lives today.
Hymns and Choral Music Hymns (sung by everyone) and Anthems (sung by the choir) which draw us into a contemplative space, encourage us on the journey, or inspire us in joy and thanksgiving.
The Offering and Stewardship Moment The offering of money – collected in plates passed by the ushers – is a tangible sign of our commitment to the work of St. Matthew’s locally and globally through the Mission and Service Fund of the United Church, aspects of which are described each week in the Stewardship Moment.
Prayers of God’s People and the Lord’s Prayer Our collective prayers for neighbours near and far, for those facing particular circumstances, and for ourselves, concluding with the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples.
Commissioning and Benediction Words that send us out into the world with God’s blessing.
OTHER SUNDAY SERVICES
St. Matthew’s congregation also leads monthly Sunday Services on the second Sunday afternoon of each month, 2pm, at two residential facilities in the city: Victoria Hall Residence for Senior Women, now at Caritas Building, Mount St. Vincent Melville Heights Residence.
Potluck Church happens 4-5 times a year, usually on a Tuesday or Wednesday from 5:30-7pm, and is often nicknamed “church with food” or “church the way Jesus did it”.
Basically, it’s a potluck supper for all ages that happens in the church sanctuary like regular church!
The Worship and Music Committee are our hosts – everyone brings something to share, whether homemade or storebought – and we enjoy good food and fellowship with an informal community - building spirit.
Just like regular church, Potluck Church is open to all, and a great way to get to know others in the community.