While Metropolitan United Church is a busy destination all week long, the cornerstones of our week are Sunday worship services. We offer a small Communion service at 9:30 in the Founders' Chapel (the northeast corner of the Sanctuary) and a major service at 11:00 that fills the entire Sanctuary. This later service comes complete with a thoughtful sermon, beautiful choral music and after-church fellowship. If you're considering visiting us for the first time, the 11:00 service will give you the best sense of what we're about. Here's a "Metropolitan 101" to give you a sense of what you can expect on Sunday morning.
A warm welcome
Everyone is welcome to attend our worship service. It doesn't matter if you are United, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, have no particular faith, are of some other 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. We're just happy you came and hope you find some spiritual sustenance with us.
What to do when you arrive
When you arrive in the building you will be greeted by a church volunteer who will welcome you and give you a bulletin, or "Order of Service." Feel free to sit wherever you like.
Everything you need to know about our Sunday morning service is listed in the bulletin you will receive from one of our greeters. We call this the "Order of Service." It's a play-by-play of everything that will happen during the service. Generally, when something is written in boldface type in the Order of Service, that means that the entire congregation is to speak the words in unison, also called a "response."
There are three readings from the Bible each Sunday, chosen by the Christian church as a whole, 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. See the Bible Readings and Sermon sections for more information.
Music and Singing
We're truly a congregation that loves music and are blessed with an inspiring music ministry. We stand up for all hymns unless the order of service says “please remain seated." Some congregations wait until the hymn is about to start before they stand up: at Metropolitan, our congregation gets up almost as soon as the organ introduction begins. If you're not sure whether to stand or sit, watch the choir. If you are unable to stand, or are just plain tired, feel free to remain seated. We have lots of information on this site about music at Metropolitan.
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, or feel that you don't understand the ritual well enough to take part, 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.
The offering is an act of worship for Christians. It is a symbol of our belief that everything we have comes from God. It is also an act of generosity. Offerings support the ministry programs at our own church (including staff remuneration), and various ministry programs across Canada and throughout the world to help others.
It is perfectly acceptable for you to let the offering plate pass you by, but any offering you make helps us keep our door open and our community services in operation. If you'd like a tax receipt for your offering, just place your gift in one of the green envelopes and provide us with your mailing address on the outside of the envelope (pencils are available).
If you decide to make Metropolitan United Church your home church (and we hope you do!), we hope you will consider regular participation in our offering through PAR. It helps us do our work. You can also choose from many other ways to contribute your time, talents and resources. See our Contribute/Get Involved section for more information.
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 Ministry team, mingle with other folks and chat, as well as enjoy some sweet treats. Once a month, we offer short tours of the church and the Casavant organ.
We are delighted to welcome children into our worship experience. We offer Church School from September until June, and welcome children of all ages, from newborns to teenagers. This program is available to children of 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 carefully crafted tale or lesson related to a scripture reading from that morning. Then, the children leave for Church School in the newly renovated Metropolitan Centre.
Metropolitan is wheelchair accessible. We also provide mobile hearing aids and large print hymns. Pew seat cushions are available from the ushers or greeters.