Who can worship?
Anyone is welcome to participate in worship. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been since you were a child, or if this is your first opportunity to explore the Christian faith. Nor should you feel embarrassed or somehow unworthy. It is a new day and you are already a beloved child of God.
What is worship?
Worship is what forms us a distinct community. It is a time when we gather together to give praise to God and to be equipped to go back out as followers of Jesus who make a difference in the world. In part, worship is also the time when we practice living in the kingdom of God (what the world would be like if God were in charge) including putting God into the centre of our lives.
Where do I sit in the worship?
Anywhere you like – really! We value hospitality here and there are no “reserved” seats. It is true that folks tend to sit in the same places week after week, but no one’s nose is going to get out of joint if you happen to sit in their favourite spot. In fact, they will be glad that you have taken the risk of coming to church and more than likely warmly welcome you.
Depending on what time you arrive, you will likely hear music playing, or if you are really early, you might catch the choir rehearsing. Feel free to sit and relax, wander around and check out the rest of the building, or talk with others. It is up to you.
What happens during worship?
Praise hymn sing
We open our worship time right at 10:00 with the singing of 2 or 3 short hymns of praise. These are most often led by the choir and/or the youth. Please join in.
Welcome and announcements
The Minister will begin the service by welcoming visitors. You will not be singled out nor asked to stand up. There is time for a few announcements that were either not on the screen or printed in the “Life of the Community” bulletin.
Pink Communication Sheets
You will be asked to fill out the top of our Pink Sheets as they get passed around the sanctuary. Don’t worry, we won’t phone you at dinner time (or any time) or show up at your door. We will only send you a letter of welcome, unless you indicate that you are in need of other information, services or contact from us.
We have moved to “paperless” and “heads-up” worship at Eagle Ridge. Everything you need to know will come up on the big screen as the service progresses, including words to all the songs and anything else the congregation is supposed to say. [Hint: at the bottom of the screen to the right you will see “…/” and a word that indicates what’s coming up next.]
Most newcomers want to know the unwritten rules about what to wear and how to act. Eagle Ridge is a pretty laid back place. Some people are more comfortable putting on nice clothes, while others prefer to come in jeans. It’s up to you.
Length of worship
Expect the worship time to last between 75 and 90 minutes, although once in a while it may go a little longer.
Music and singing
Music is a big part of worship. For most, music is a primary way to experience God. Somehow it brings us closer to the Holy. But that doesn’t happen every time or for everybody. Once again, we want you to be as comfortable as you can, so if you’d rather listen than sing, that’s fine. Likewise, if you feel self-conscious because you don’t think you can sing, don’t sweat it – no one will likely hear you or think twice about it. Plus, God thinks your singing is great!
The music in our service is a blend of traditional Christian hymns and more modern worship songs.
All the words are projected on the screen. Hymn books are available at the front entrance for those who like to read the music. Hymn numbers are displayed on the screen for all hymns.
Also known as the “Children’s time,” this is the time in the service that the Minister gets to spend directly with the children and youth. The children and youth are invited to come to the front as they are comfortable.
Bible readings and sermon
Typically there will be 1-2 readings from the Bible each Sunday. These readings usually come from the “lectionary,” a 3 year cycle of readings chosen by the Christian church as a whole. There are occasions when the Minister will preach on another scripture text such as in a sermon series.
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).
Prayers of the people
At Eagle Ridge, we have adopted a prayer practice in each service that is relatively unique. Following the sermon, the Minister lights a candle from the Christ candle and brings it down to two or three small tables spread throughout the sanctuary. After beginning the prayer time, the Minister will open the prayer time to everyone else.
While quiet music is played, members of the congregation come to the table where they are invited to say a prayer, either in silence or aloud, and to light a candle or two. If you wish to include someone else in your time of prayer, or to have someone pray with you or for you, one or two of the tables will have someone standing nearby who is available for you. Also, if you wish to have the congregation praying for someone or something important to you, you are encouraged to ask for their prayers during the “Life of the Community” time at the beginning of the service.
Most often, prayers are spoken for oneself, others, or for something happening in the world, whether they be for God to effect change or to give God thanks for some blessing.
The offering is an important 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 and an important way we can make a difference in the world. The money given goes to support the ministry programs at our church (including salaries) and various programs across Canada and throughout the world to help others. Regular attenders use the offering box located at the front entrance or donate by pre-authorized remittance (PAR). Visitors are not expected to participate in the offering. If you decide to make Eagle Ridge United your home, you may want to begin participating in the offering.
About 10 times a year we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion. Just as everyone was invited to eat with Jesus, so is everyone welcome to participate in this sacrament. However, if you are not entirely comfortable or feel like you need to understand this sacrament better, you are perfectly welcome to stay in your seat.
Following the service we gather at the back of the sanctuary for Fair trade coffee, tea and juice. This is a great time to mingle with other folks and get a sense of our community. Pastor Dave tries to protect the first 15 minutes after the service to greet and chat with newcomers.
If your visual impairment means you can’t read the big screen, but you can read a large-print document, there are large-print orders of service available at greeter’s table when you enter the sanctuary.
When should I arrive?
Worship is at 10:00 – Sunday School, and Youth Groups, too.
There is parking in the lot beside & behind the church. Overflow parking can be found at Glen Eagle Secondary school, which can be accessed through the Eagle Ridge Lot.