As a two point charge, our worship services, while holding common elements, are somewhat different. Regardless of whether you decide to attend worship at Riverview United in Elmsdale or Nine Mile River United in Nine Mile River, everyone is welcome to attend and experience our worship services. It doesn’t matter if you have no religion, are of another religion, or if you’ve simply never been to church before. You will be greeted warmly, treated with dignity, and your privacy will be respected. No one will try to “convert you” to Christianity or to our particular form of it. Although some Christian churches may be into that sort of thing, we simply aren’t.
Worship is the central ministry of the church, the time when we all gather together to give praise to God, as well as be equipped and sent forth into the world as followers of Jesus who care for the earth and its peoples.
We are delighted to welcome children into our worship experience. At Riverview United Church, children start off in worship with adults, then go to the front for a time with our minister, and finally go downstairs with leaders for Sunday School. Children up to 5//6 go to the nursery and participate in age appropriate Bible storytelling and crafts. Children older than that gather together in a separate classroom. You are welcome to join your children in their classrooms. Everyone in Children’s Ministry has to provide an up to date Police Records Check. Children are also welcome to stay with you in the sanctuary for all of the service.
The sanctuary is what the worship space is called. You may sit anywhere you wish. If someone comes and tells you to move because “you’re in their spot”, this person is in violation of our hospitality – but nobody’s perfect and people can be ignorant of our values, let alone common sense hospitality. When you enter the sanctuary, there is often music playing.
Welcome and Announcements
The Minister usually begins by welcoming you in the name of Jesus Christ. Announcements are shared about some of what is going on in the Faith Community and the wider community. You will be invited to sign the guestbook, don’t worry – we won’t phone you at dinner time (or anytime) or show up at your door. You may however receive a call if you have left your phone number. You will also be invited to stay and enjoy some community time over tea, coffee, juice etc. following worship.
Music and Singing
Christians love to sing! (Well, most of them. Some just like to listen.) Music in the morning service is a blend of traditional Christian hymns and more modern worship songs. All the words to our hymns and songs are either in our Hymn Books, Voices United, or projected on the screen. Feel free to join in or just listen. We have an adult choir that offers us a ‘Ministry of Music’ on most Sundays.
We celebrate the sacrament of holy communion on a variety of Sundays throughout the church year. Everyone is welcome to participate in this sacrament, however if you are not a Christian or you really don’t feel like you understand it enough to do so, you are perfectly welcome to stay in your seat. Instructions as to how to go up to communion, or receive it in the pew, what to do with the bread and wine will be given by the minister. .
The offering is an act of worship for Christians. It is symbolic of the fact that we believe everything we have comes from the blessings of God. It is also an act of generosity. Offerings support the ministry programs at our own church and various programs across Canada and throughout the world to help others. It is perfectly acceptable to let the offering plate pass you by.
If you choose to make Elmsdale Pastoral Charge your church home and would like offering envelopes or to participate in the Pre-Authorized Remittance plan, please call the church and arrangements will be made.
Bible Readings and Reflection
There are usually 1 or 2 readings from the Bible each Sunday. These readings are chosen by the Christian church as a whole, and rotate on a 3-year cycle known as “the lectionary”. We usually follow the lectionary, which means our children get the same readings in Sunday School, although our minister occasionally goes ‘off lectionary’ in order to address a specific issue or theme.
There are several translations of the Bible into English from its original Hebrew and Greek. We find the most scholarly and inclusive version to be the New Revised Standard Version (“NRSV”).
Rev. Catherine’s sermons are available on our website, her own website My Window On God’s World, and through an email distribution list.