Metropolitan United has two Sunday worship services: a small Communion service at 9:30 a.m. and a major service 11:00 a.m. with an organ prelude, a thoughtful sermon, two anthems sung by our 32-voice choir, other instrumental music, and after-church fellowship. If you're considering visiting us, the 11:00 service will give you the best sense of what we're about. For that service, the carillon begins playing at 10:30 and the organ prelude begins at 10:45. The actual procession of the choir is at 11:00, and the service usually concludes at 12:15. For this week's information, click here. For an introductory brochure about worship at Metropolitan United, click here: Metropolitan United 101
Welcome to the church
Everyone is welcome to attend Metropolitan’s worship service. It doesn't matter if you have no religion, another religion, or if you've never been to church before. When you arrive at the inside doors you will be greeted by a church volunteer who will give you a Sunday Bulletin that explains what will happen in the service. Please feel free to sit anywhere you like. (And there are seat cushions at the entrance if you’d like one.)
The Order of Service
Everything you need to know about our Sunday morning service is listed in the Bulletin. We call this the "Order of Service." It's a play-by-play of everything that will happen during the service. The usual service begins with the congregation joining in a hymn as the choir comes in (we stand up to sing), a short introduction (in the program, the boldface type is what the congregation is invited to say in unison), a prayer (in the United Church, we sit down to pray), two more songs (standing up), three Bible readings, a sermon (about 20 minutes), “Passing the Peace” (shaking hands with people nearby), the Offertory (a donation to the church, if you can), another hymn (standing up) and some prayers (sitting down), a closing hymn and blessing (standing up). There is a postlude played on the organ and most people stay seated until it’s finished.
Music and Singing
We're truly a congregation that loves music. We stand up for hymns unless the order of service says “please remain seated." If you're not sure when to stand or sit, watch the choir. If you are unable to stand, or are just plain tired, feel free to remain seated. There’s always a special musical performance at the Offertory. Sometimes all the music is played by our Metropolitan Silver Band, often the Offertory features special musical performances by our choir soloists or the Metropolitan Handbells.
There are usually three readings from the Bible each Sunday, chosen by the Christian church as a whole (Protestants and Catholics), which rotate on a 3-year cycle known as “the lectionary". The sermon is related to one of the Bible readings, and generally one of the choir's anthems is, too.
The offering is an act of worship for Christians. It is also an act of generosity. Offerings support the ministry programs at our own church, and various ministry programs across Canada and throughout the world. Some people prefer to put their offering in a green envelope (in the pew in front of you), others put cash into the dish. You get a tax receipt for donations over $20 if you fill in the address information.
About seven times a year, we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion at our 11:00 a.m. service, and each week at our 9:30 a.m. Sunday Service. You're sure to hear our ministers say "all are welcome at Christ's table", and they mean it. The sacrament is open to everyone--regardless of your religious denomination, gender, sexual orientation, native language or age. If you're not comfortable with this (and some people are not), just stay in your seat and don't worry. No one will pressure you to particpate by receiving the elements of bread and grape juice. But, if you do want to take part but don't know what to do, our ministers will give brief instructions, or you can just do what the people sitting around you are doing.
Following the service, we gather in the back of the Sanctuary for coffee and conversation. If you're a newcomer, please stay and join us. You will have a chance to meet the ministers, mingle with other folks and chat, as well as enjoy some sweet treats.
We are delighted to welcome children into our worship experience. We offer Church School from September until June, and include welcome children of all ages, from age four to teenagers. This program is available for all members, adherents and visitors to the church. In addition, we have quiet space for parents and children if you need to leave the sanctuary during the service. Children are invited to attend the first part of our 11:00 a.m. service with their parents. About 15 minutes into it, the entire congregation shares in a special Children's Time called "Encountering the Child Within," which includes a tale or lesson related to a scripture reading from that morning. Then, the children run down the centre aisle heading downstairs to Church School.
Metropolitan is wheelchair accessible. We also provide mobile hearing aids and large print hymns and Bulletins. Pew seat cushions are available from the ushers or greeters.