All are welcome in this place! We really mean it. It doesn’t matter what you wear, who you love, or where you were born or if you come alone or with others, or if you have a religious tradition or not, we gather to explore, to share and celebrate – all ages together – what God is doing in our lives.
When you first arrive, a greeter will welcome you at the door and tell you something about the morning’s worship service. Please consider accepting a nametag, but you don’t have to and it’s ok to say “no, thanks.” You will be offered a copy of the Happeningspamphlet, and may be surprised to discover that it is not a typical bulletin or order of service. Happeningstypically includes a short commentary on the Scripture, theme, Core Value/Bedrock Belief and Seed of Learning for the day. It also describes events and mission opportunities that may interest people in the congregation. Happeningsalso provides contact information for St. Paul’s and its staff, as well as a list of our Core Values and Bedrock Beliefs that underpin everything that happens here.
We also have a mingler, someone who helps you once you are inside the building. You’ll also be invited to help yourself to coffee and other delicious refreshments that you can take to your pew or table to enjoy during worship. There is a five-minute break at the halfway point of worship so that you can replenish your refreshments and engage in conversation—but if hunger or thirst strikes sooner, please feel free to help yourself at any time.
The first thing you may notice is that people of all ages participate in worship, from the lighting of the Christ Candle, to the sharing of hospitality, to participation in song and liturgical leadership and serving Communion. Everything you will need to help you participate in worship is projected onto the screen. Worship typically begins with a short video clip and continues with words of introduction and welcome, a Treaty Six Land acknowledgement, and an intentional connection to our congregation’s Core Values and Bedrock Beliefs. Next, an informal, ever-changing group of singers and musicians leads us in a cycle of usually four songs. All of the lyrics are projected onto a screen, so there is no need to juggle songbooks. Please feel welcome to pick up an egg shaker so that you can add some percussion to the musical accompaniment!
Next comes prayer, perhaps including a psalm or other responsive reading. Aspects of mission are highlighted. We don’t typically pass an offering plate, but if you wish to contribute to the life and work of St. Paul’s, please look for the beautiful pottery Agape Bowl located on the table just inside the main doors of the Worship Center. We are grateful for all the ways folks give.
The Seed of Learning conversation takes us into a five-minute break. This is an opportunity for all of us to develop stronger relationships with each other as we engage in meaningful conversation and share refreshments. A video countdown signals that it is time to return to our seats and focus on the day’s Scripture and Message. The Prayers of the People, a hymn, and a blessing lead us into our ever-popular missional closing song—Go, Make a Difference!
If you happen to come on a Sunday where Communion is served, know that we practice an open table. People of all ages are invited to come forward (as they are able) to receive a small piece of bread, which is then dipped into the common cup of grape juice. A gluten-free bread option is always available. If you are not able to come forward please know that you will be happily served wherever you are seated.
After worship is concluded, please feel free to linger and enjoy more refreshments and conversation. Learn about our Spiritual Growth Groups or check out the lending library. Ask about the various mission-based activities we currently support, including our partnership with nearby Sutherland School. Find out how to get involved with weekly hospitality or music leadership. If it’s spring, summer or fall, feel free to check out our garden spaces.
St. Paul’s is an active and vibrant community, and we are excited to welcome you and your family to worship here!
#radicalhospitality #pangenerational #positiveexperience