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What to Expect

Welcome to Jubilee United Church!

We’re probably not what you expect … but you’d probably like to know what to expect when you show up.

The ministry style at Jubilee is relaxed and informal.  The sermons take a contemporary approach to understanding spirituality and its value in everyday life.

The music is a blend of uplifting hymns and songs, embracing traditional and contemporary music. We are very proud of our Phoenix organ, as well as our choirs, soloists, other musicians and a Music Director who is also a noted Jazz Musician.

At Jubilee, we offer a welcoming atmosphere that embraces traditional church folk as well as those who have never been inside a church. There are no secret codes or special handshakes; we are regular people sharing together.

We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, filthy rich, or dirt poor. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying newborns, skinny as a rail, or could afford to lose a few pounds. We welcome you if you can sing like an angel or can’t carry a tune in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re “just browsing”, just woke up, or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re more religious than God, or haven’t been in church since your nephew’s baptism.

We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, hockey dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians and junk-food eaters. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps; and if you don’t like “organized religion”, you’ll find compatriots here.

We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down their throat as a kid, or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts … and you!

When you arrive, there are people greeting and chatting, handing out bulletins that outline the complete service for you as well as provide you with invitations to the many activities at Jubilee.  The Worship Service starts at 10:30 with a piano or organ prelude starting around 10:25 – some people like to sit and listen to the prelude or take the time to let go of the worries of the week and prepare themselves for worship; others like to talk with neighbours, friends and new acquaintances; we encourage everyone to be aware of the people around them and to act accordingly.

There is no real dress code, with many people in jeans, some in jackets and ties or dresses and even hats from time to time.  However you like to dress, you will likely see somebody dressed in very similar manner.

There is a nursery for Infants – any greeter of usher can direct you; and there are programs for Children and Youth during the service.  The programs are part of “iWonder”, and young people will be invited to join the folks in iWonder just after the first hymn in the service.

Speaking of hymns, we usually sing four.  We use the United Church resources Voices United and More Voices as our Hymn Books.  We stand as we are comfortable standing during the singing of hymns.

As the Worship Service proceeds, there will the Lighting of the Christ Candle with a brief reflection on where the person lighting the candle has seen the Light of Christ or Presence of God in the world; there are usually a couple of shared Prayers, time for Silence, a Choir Anthem and sometimes another Musical Feature.

There will typically be two or three readings from Scripture as well as a Sermon.

Toward the end of the service, there is a “Offering Time” when plates are passed through the congregation.  Many people pass these plates by as they give to the needs of the Church through PAR (Pre-Authorized Remittance) directly from their banks; others put money in marked envelopes or put cash on the plates.  This money is used to support the building and staff of Jubilee, but also to reach into the community and provide leadership and support for those in need.  You are not expected to “pay” for the Worship Service by putting money in the plate, so please feel free to pass the plate on when it comes to you.  There may come a time when you wish to support the diverse Ministry of Jubilee United Church and at that time you will know how (envelopes, PAR, cash) and how much you wish to contribute. Donations by PAR, Cheque or marked Envelopes will receive a Tax Receipt at the end of the calendar year.

After the service, many people stay seated to listen to the Postlude, and then join others in the adjacent Foyer and Garden Room for coffee and cookies, conversation and fellowship.  Many people coming for the first time use a blue mug for coffee to indicate that they are new and may not know very many people – or sometimes people take a blue mug because they’ve been away for a while and want folks to know that they are back.

The service starts at 1030am and typically ends at 11:45am.

With all of that said, please expect us to do the unexpected together from time to time:  insert Drama into the service, move the Scripture around to highlight or inspire, laugh or do something out of the ordinary … expect us to make mistakes (because we will) and expect us to involve you in the life of Jubilee United Church and the Community as you choose to be involved.  If something seems peculiar or if you have a question about anything, speak with the person next to you or speak to our team:  Rev. Anne Dionisio, Rev. Norm Seli, Jennine Profeta (Youth) and Dr. Daniel Rubinoff (Music Director).