WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU ATTEND A SERVICE AT ST. GILES
We are so glad you found us! We hope that you will come see us! When you do you can park in the lot behind the Royal Bank. Street parking is also available, and we try and leave the parking spots right outside the church for those with mobility issues. And speaking of that, our building is completely accessible, including a lift for those who have trouble with stairs.
When you enter the church you will be greeted by a volunteer (we call this person a sidesperson - and there are usually two at each service) This person will give you a service bulletin which outlines the service. Any books we are using will be in the pews and the bulletin will tell you what page numbers for both the service bits and the hymns. If you have questions the sidespersons will be happy to help. Other church members will also be happy to help.
The service begins when our Priest welcomes everyone and we sing the opening hymn.
If you have young children with you, we do have Sunday school. The children attend the first portion of the service and we invite them to the front for a Children’s story after the first hymn. You are welcome to come with your child if they are nervous about coming up without you. Following the story they can go to Sunday School with our awesome teachers! And you are welcome to go with your child if they don't want to attend without you, or if you would like to see what goes on during Sunday School. If you prefer, your children are welcome to remain with you in the service. We have activity boxes to keep them amused. If you don't see them, ask the sidesperson, or another member of the congregation.
The readings are read by members of the congregation, the psalm is shared by all and the Gospel reading of the day is read by the Priest or the person preaching that day.
Following the sermon our pianist will play, giving time for quiet reflection.
Prayers are offered, read by a member of the congregation and then we have the offering.
Just before the offering/collection is taken up, we share the Peace. People around you will turn to you, shake your hand, and say something like 'Peace be with you' or 'the Peace of Christ' or some simply say 'Peace' Some people will leave their seat to greet as many people as possible in the time allotted. Sometimes the Peace gets quite lively; You can take part as much or as little as you feel comfortable.
For the offering, if you don't wish to contribute, that's fine, we are just really glad you are here.
Most Sundays are Holy Eucharist (Communion). All are welcome to receive both the bread and the wine. Communion is served at the front of the church. A sides-person helps let people know when it is time to make their way up to the front. If you are unsure what to do please feel free to ask anyone around you. Basically we go to the front of the church, kneel at the railing (if able) and wait for the Priest to come with bread (actually a wafer). She will place the wafer in your hand, saying something like "the body of Christ, broken for you" The usual response is "amen" Then you put the wafer in your mouth. Next, a volunteer will come by with a silver cup which holds the wine. We refer to this as the common cup as we all drink out of the one cup. The cup is wiped clean after each person drinks from it. If you are not comfortable with this process you can just touch the cup. If you have any questions about this our Priest would be happy to have a conversation about it.
And if you don't feel ready to receive communion you are still welcome at the communion rail. Just cross your arms over your chest and instead of the bread and wine, you will receive a blessing. And if you'd rather stay in your seat, that is fine too.
**NOTE** Because of the Covid-19 pandemic we no longer kneel at the railing. We line up, and remain standing when we receive the bread, then move to the right where we receive the wine
After the service there is a bit of a line up to greet the priest on the way out. The priest may have already introduced herself when you came in, if not please do introduce yourself. Many people will likely talk to you, it’s just like that here. We love visiting!
Following the service we usually have coffee time downstairs. We really hope you will join us for this!
So, if you would like to join us on a Sunday to see if this could be your spiritual home or just for a visit, we are always pleased to meet you!
WHAT IS AN ANGLICAN?
Anglicans are part of a global communion of churches known as the Anglican Communion, which currently has around 85 million members worldwide. We trace our spiritual heritage back to the Protestant Reformation in England, when the church recovered the centrality of the Bible and of the importance of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. At the same time, the Anglican church retained many of the practices and traditions that stretch back to the earliest centuries of Christianity. Thus, we worship using the liturgy (set patterns of worship); we beautify our place of worship in traditional ways; we celebrate the sacrament of Communion weekly; we have the traditional orders of Bishops, Priests and Deacons; and we understand ourselves as but a small part of the history of God’s people that has been going on for two thousand years.
But the best way to learn what an Anglican is is to come and worship with us. It may be a learning experience, but we believe that the traditional ways of discipleship are worth keeping!
CAN I TAKE COMMUNION?
At St. Giles, everyone is welcome to receive Communion at the Lord’s Table. You will be offered a wafer of bread and a common cup of wine to drink from.
If you do not wish to take Communion, you are welcome to come forward to receive a blessing. Just indicate this to the priest by crossing your arms in front of your chest when you are at the altar rail.
CAN I ATTEND A SERVICE EVEN IF I DON’T CALL MYSELF A CHRISTIAN?
Absolutely! We would love to meet you wherever you are on your spiritual journey. The best thing we can offer you is a clear, real picture of who Jesus is and why we follow Him. Each one of us has our own spiritual journey we are continuing.
I AM A FIRST TIME VISITOR, WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
People who attend St. Giles wear everything from jeans to business casual attire. Wear what you are comfortable with. We are casual about dress, serious about God! We don't really care what you're wearing, we're happy you are with us!
IS St. Giles WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE?
Yes, the church is fully wheelchair accessible through the main entrance of the building. We have a lift, making all three levels accessible. If you need help we are happy to assist!
IS THERE PARKING?
Most people park in the city lot on 12th Avenue, behind the Royal Bank. There is also street parking. The spots right in front of the church entrance are usually used by those with mobility issues.
WHO GOES TO YOUR CHURCH?
We have quite a mixture of people at St. Giles. Our congregation spans the ages, from newborns to folks in their 80s and beyond. You’ll find just about every type of person here – married, single, divorced, widowed – professionals, workers, retired. But even more important than the kind of people who go here is the kind of people who are welcome here – everyone! We are an affirming church, open to everyone! All sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, races, abilities, bodies, cultures, languages, and backgrounds are welcome here.
WHAT DO YOU OFFER FOR CHILDREN ON SUNDAY MORNING?
Children are a special part of our congregation and we value them as full participants in the life of our church. Sunday School classes for children take place in our lower hall during the 10:00 a.m. service.
WILL I BE ASKED FOR A DONATION DURING THE SERVICE?
The collection plate is passed during the service, however the decision to donate is entirely up to you, as is the amount. Our church, its facilities and our community ministries are entirely supported by voluntary donations, so all donations are graciously received and very welcome. Further details on how you can help to support St. Giles, including the various ways in which you can donate, are available on our ‘Donations’ page.
WHAT IF I COME FROM A DIFFERENT FAITH BACKGROUND?
People who attend St. Giles come from a wide variety of faith backgrounds. Together, we focus on biblical truth and teachings, and pursuing an active relationship with Jesus Christ. You don’t have to be a member of a specific religious denomination to do that.
I AM DEALING WITH A PERSONAL ISSUE; CAN I SPEAK WITH A REVEREND/PRIEST?
Yes. our priest, Archdeacon Wilma, is here to help parishioners and the community at large with a range of personal issues, both spiritual and practical.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
Attending services is a good start, but if you feel you'd like to do more that's great! You are welcome to volunteer during Sunday services, reading, being a sidesperson etc. You might want to join our Altar Guild, where you will learn how to set up the Altar for Sunday services. You can further your faith, and meet people, by attending our events and study groups These are usually announced in church at the beginning of the service and information is usually always printed in the bulletin.
CAN I BOOK AN EVENT AT THE CHURCH?
Please contact the church if you have a booking inquiry.
HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CHURCH?
We would love to answers any questions that you may have about St. Giles and the Anglican Church of Canada. If you didn’t find what you were looking for on our website, please email or call the church. Or speak with our Priest.