Here is some helpful information that we hope makes your first “First” visit more relaxing!
There are two main entrances to the building, one off Okanagan Avenue and one off the main parking lot (which is accessed from 5th Street SE). See Find Us.
The parking lot is not big enough for everyone but there is plenty of parking on the street. On Sundays, you can park in the City Hall lot across Okanagan Avenue. There are special spots near the building for handicapped parking.
Announcements – Our announcements of First events and community news (and there is lots happening) begin at 10:30. You will also find these printed in our “First News” which our greeter will provide to you as you enter the sanctuary. Our time of worship begins immediately after.
Children – We are excited to have your children join us in the sanctuary for worship! However, if your child is distressed or fussing, feel free to use the library just off the sanctuary. The large window and adjustable speaker allow you to comfort or play with your child while being able to hear and see what is going on. The reality is that we expect a certain amount of sound from kids so you don’t need to worry about every sound your child makes. We love to have them with us! There are cloth activity bags on the cart just inside the sanctuary full of things for young children to do during the service. Feel free to borrow one as you come in.
Order of Service – Our “order of service bulletin” is displayed on the projection screen at the front, which means you can just sit back, relax and follow the order as it unfolds. If you require a printed version, a limited number of copies are available at the back. Some folk prefer to just follow the hymn lyrics on the screen, but if you like to read the music or sing harmony, hymn books are also available from the cart at the back.
Stand Up? Sit Down? – Sometimes newcomers worry that they won’t know when to stand up or when to sit down. It’s easy – just do what everyone else does. Generally we stand up for hymns, unless instructed otherwise. If there are changes then someone will usually let you know.
Gift of Peace – We do have one practice that is unique to this congregation and we like it a lot. It is at the very end of the service and is called the Gift of Peace. The minister starts it with one other person. The person receiving places his or her hands together in the traditional attitude of prayer and the giver covers them with his or her own. The Giver says, “May the peace of God be with you.” The receiver responds with “And also with you.” The greeting is passed to the person on the end of each row and that person passes the peace to the next person and so on to the end of the row. This way the whole congregation is connected as the blessing is passed from one to another. And if you don’t do it just as described, it doesn’t matter. It’s what’s in your heart that matters.
The church library is in the foyer just where you come in. Your children are welcome to pick up a book or two and take them into church if they like. We only ask that you replace them when you leave. You are also welcome to sign out books to take home.
The main floor of the church is fully wheelchair accessible and a handicapped washroom is available. The upper floor is accessible by using our chair lift. The entrance to this space is off Fourth Street (SW corner of the building). Please ask us for more information.