What to Expect at Trinity United

What to Wear

Our congregation is varied and diverse. On any givWelcomeen Sunday, you will probably find someone in jeans and a t-shirt (shorts in the summer) and someone else wearing a tie. So wear whatever is comfortable for you.  Hint: Our building is not air conditioned so lightweight clothing is encouraged in the summertime.

What to Expect When You Arrive

what to expect before churchIf you come through the big black front doors any time after about 10 a.m., you will be greeted by this week’s hosts as you enter. If you have any questions or concerns, these are good people to ask. They know where the washrooms are and how the Sunday School program works.

Then you can head up either stairwell into the sanctuary where ushers will be stationed with bulletins and announcement inserts. If you are the kind of person who likes to know what to expect, please ask for a bulletin. If you’d rather just go with the flow, just take an announcement insert and follow along on the screens. The ushers also have large print bulletins for those who prefer as well as hearing assist devices to help those who need a little extra amplification to hear the service. The ushers are also great people to consult either at the beginning or during the service if you have any questions. If you or someone with you needs the elevator, please use the door on street level marked office. Someone will greet you there and show you how the elevator works.

what to expect murmel murmelOnce you have a bulletin or announcement insert, you can find your way to whatever seat you like. Hint: While the ministers love to have people at the front, United Church people are famous for sitting towards the back. So, if you don’t want to sit by yourself, you might want to avoid the first three rows except during busy services like Christmas Eve when the place is mostly full.

What to Expect During the Service

Each Sunday our worship includes a variety of music, a reading or two from the Bible, an opportunity to reflect on how that ancient wisdom might speak to our everyday lives, and time for prayer together. Our sanctuary is decorated each week with beautiful banners and weekly displays that help to bring our theme to life. Visuals on the screen add layers of meaning to the words spoken. Our service format varies somewhat from week to week depending on the theme of the Sunday and whatever special events might be happening. The order of service for each Sunday is in that week’s bulletin and all the instructions you need to participate are also up on the screens. Usually we stand for hymns and some prayers and sit for everything else but people are always free to stay seated if that is more comfortable for them.  The screens and bulletins indicate when to sit and stand so there is no guesswork.

Children

what to expect childrenChildren are an important part of our community of faith and we don’t expect them to behave like little adults. It’s quite common for toddlers to get up and move around during the service. Children of all ages are always welcome in our worship services and we often find opportunities for children to participate in leading the service.

Should you prefer, there is also a family room downstairs with a change table, toys, comfy chairs and a speaker that allows you to hear the service. Families are welcome to use this space at any time and you will often find a group of kids playing in there after worship during coffee hour.

From September to May, we offer a Sunday School program for children ages 3 to 13. Children begin upstairs with the congregation in worship until after the theme conversation with the ministers then they head downstairs for Sunday School.  From time to time during the year, we have special all-ages services which include the entire congregation for 0 to over 90 in a participatory worship-experience together.  On communion Sundays, the children usually begin downstairs in Sunday School and then come upstairs to join us for the feast.  Children of all ages are welcome to receive communion.

During the summer when there is no Sunday School, an activity table for children is provided at the front of the sanctuary near the cross. Children are welcome to go to this table to use the craft supplies there or to help themselves to some supplies to take to their pew.

What about the Offering

what to expect offeringWe collect an offering at every Sunday service and most special services like Christmas Eve as well.  The gifts offered by the congregation during worship as well as by pre-authorized remittance (PAR) and on-line help us to do the work of the church in this community.  76 % of our income comes from donations.

As a visitor, we hope you will feel free to simply pass the plate along.  No one will notice as many of our regulars give monthly by PAR and don’t put anything in the offering plate either.  As you begin to feel connected here, we hope you will want to support our ministry.  Any contribution you can make helps.

Trinity is a registered charity.  So that you can receive a tax receipt for your donation, we need to know who you are.  You can do that by asking an usher for a visitor’s envelope, requesting a box of envelopes from the church office, or by giving on-line or through PAR.  Check out the Donate page  for more information on ways of giving.  Tax receipts are issued for donations received in the previous calendar year each February.

What to Expect During Communion

what to expect - communionApproximately once per month, we celebrate the sacrament of communion together.   At Trinity this is a family feast and everyone is welcome – young and old, newcomer and long-time member, those who think they understand what communion means and those who find the whole thing very mysterious.  You can find out which Sundays are scheduled for communion on our Worship Schedule.

Communion is generally served by “intinction” (or rip and dip).  We usually have three stations for communion at the front of the sanctuary.  After the communion prayers, the servers will be served and then you will be invited to come forward if you wish to receive communion.  It is fine to choose not to come forward for communion.  For an invitation to truly be an invitation, you have to be able to say “not today” too.

If you come forward for communion, the bread server will rip off a piece of bread from the loaf and hand it to you.  Bread servers use hand sanitizer before serving. Then you will be invited to dip the piece of bread in the cup and eat it before returning to your pew.  If someone would like communion but would rather not come to the front, they can indicate that to an usher and the communion servers will bring them communion in the pew.

Because we believe that God’s invitation to come and eat is for all people regardless of allergies or addictions, we use grape juice at all stations instead of wine and we offer a gluten-free alternative to the wheat-based bread at the centre station upon request (with a separate cup for dipping to avoid cross-contamination). Should you or your loved one have other food allergies or concerns related to the sharing of communion, please give us a call at the church office (204-857-4471).

Join us at Portage Pride

Saturday, September 16 we will march with the Trinity banner in Portage’s 2nd Pride Parade.  Join us at the parking lot at Stride Place, Island Park at 10 a.m. for speeches and 11 a.m. for the parade. Look for our Trinity banner.

Sunday School Resumes

Our Sunday School program gets underway for another year on Sunday, September 17.

“I feel at home at Trinity through all my life circumstances. At Trinity I experience meaningful and real connection… with myself, with people young and old from a variety of walks of life, and with God.”