Worship - always under construction!
Worship imagines the world we want. At CBUC, our community comes together every Sunday morning at 10am to focus its intention on creating that world. It’s a challenge. We’re making a lot of it up as we go along. But always we strive for a service that is relevant to our lives; full of the joy and nurturing that comes from sharing the journey. Blending the sacred with the mundane, we remain rooted in the rich spiritual traditions of our United Church heritage. Our worship reflects this dynamic tension and energy.
So what happens when you worship at CBUC?
When you come to worship with us, there’s no need to wear your “Sunday Best”, unless you feel like it. Take your coffee into our Living Room or Sanctuary and look around you before the service begins. What do you see? All ages of people checking in with one another. Children laughing and running up and down the aisle. A few persons sitting quietly, contemplating the image and quotation projected on the screen.
You will soon discover that our lively 75 minute projected service has something for everyone. Children under 3 will find our staffed nursery next to the Sanctuary filled with toys to amuse; parents are welcome to stay with their child and enjoy another cup of coffee while listening to the worship or leave their children with our qualified staff and enjoy worship in the sanctuary.
You’ll notice that the first half of our worship is upbeat and child-friendly. Following a couple of songs and prayers, the children are invited to the front of the Sanctuary to participate in a conversation and a song with our chlld and youth leader Jes Beckerley. Afterwards, they leave for their own program in the church hall. Parents are welcome to go with their children as needed. If your child doesn’t want to take part in the church school, he or she is always welcome to remain in the Sanctuary with you.
During the second half of Sunday worship, our musicians offer songs that introduce the day’s theme. The community will also have an opportunity to offer financial contributions to the life and work of the church. Many members contribute using pre-authorized remittances and may choose not to put any donations into the offering plates. Guests can contribute too but they are under no obligation to do so.
One of the ways we support each other through life’s crises and joys is through the Prayers of the People. Led by our pastoral care minister Margaret Harper, this prayer lifts up the concerns we are carrying in our individual lives as well as for the greater community and world. These prayers are listed in a blue book found on a special stand as you enter into our Sanctuary. Anyone is free to write down their concerns or celebrations in this book during the week or on Sunday morning before the service, to be shared later during the Prayers of the People.
Our service concludes with the minister’s message. Like a TED talk, Mark uses images, scholarship and humour to connect a Bible story with our real lives outside the church building. The message is always relevant and hope-filled, created to keep our hearts, minds and doors opening to all that the sacred web of life offers.
One last song and a simple blessing will see you out the door and into the world for another week of transformative living. May it be so!
When we offer inter-generational services or special seasonal celebrations that incorporate drama and guest soloists, the order of service will naturally change. Music and artistic expressions of all kinds are highly valued in our worship; we believe they offer other ways of opening hearts and minds to compassion and truth.
No doubt as CBUC’s journey continues, worship will evolve. But that’s a good thing… an enlivening thing…God is always making all things new; so must we….