What to Expect

The Southminster-Steinhauer community holds its primary public gathering on Sundays at 10 a.m.  Anyone is welcome to this gathering and you are welcome exactly as you are. You don’t have to look fancy for us, you don’t have to be anything but yourself.  You can be anonymous or introduce yourself to whomever you wish.  You won’t be introduced as “visitors” or drawn out in any way.  Each person participates or not according to their own comfort.  It is the community’s goal to value each person as they are.

What can you expect when you come?

When you come through the doors of Southminster-Steinhauer United Church, you find some people that will want to welcome you.  These are people that once you meet them, can answer any other questions you might have.  There are coat racks in the lobby and washrooms to the right down the short hallway.

As you continue into the Large Hall, where we gather, you might meet another person who will offer you a “Morning Messenger”  This is a sheet of projects, gatherings, schedules and notices.  Some of this material might be interesting to you and some might not, but it does give you an idea of the kinds of things that happen throughout the week.  The chairs are arranged in semi-circular rows.  You can sit wherever you feel comfortable.  There are no reserved seats, so don’t worry about taking somebody’s chair.

The gathering time lasts between 60-75 minutes and usually there’s a particular flow to the gathering time.  Songs are sung, prayers are shared, there’s often a time spent with children, some readings, and a message.  There’s no “inside” language or words  that you need to know to feel a part of things – everything needed to participate can be seen on the screen.

Near the end of the gathering, there will be time when various people stand and highlight some announcements.  After this, offering plates are passed around the room.  There is no expectation that you must put something in the plate.  If people desire, they give what they can.  The money that gets collected is used to support the work of the congregation in the community, the ministry staff, and the work of partner agencies throughout the world through the United Church Mission and Service Fund.    You can see the organizations and projects that have been supported by our congregation by visiting our Outreach Commitments page.

After the gathering time, some people grab a cup of coffee or juice and catch up with friends.  On the second and third Sundays of each month, there are lunches sponsored by different groups.  If you have the time, you are welcome at any of these lunches.

On the first Sunday gathering of each month, we celebrate around the table.  This is a part of the service where we celebrate the family of faith and recognize the deep spiritual elements of life that are symbolized in the meal of bread and cup.  All people, whether members of Southminster-Steinhauer or any church are welcome at the table.  If people choose to participate, they come from their seats to one of the groups of servers around the table.  A piece of bread is offered from a basket, which may be dipped in the cup of juice, then eaten.  We love this celebration because it connects us to one another, to the earth and all that is spiritual within and around us.

Coming to Southminster-Steinhauer with small children

Infant and child-care  for small children is provided in a well equipped room adjacent to the large hall.  Children can be left in capable hands here, or you can stay here and play with your children while still viewing and hearing what’s happening as part of the group.

Nursing mothers will find comfortable space here also.

Preschool and School-aged children

Children from preschol through Grade 6 are invited to attend Circle Groups. This interactive and fun learning environment for children.  Children usually stay with parents in the large hall until after the “Time for All Ages” partway through the gathering.  At this point, our leaders will lead the children to the small hall, where a time of learning and fun dedicated to them begins.  Parents are most welcome to come with their children for their or their children’s comfort.  Of course, children are also welcome to stay in the large hall gathering throughout.

There is a place for Youth

For those in Junior and Senior High School, the Youth Cafe meets during the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month  Youth gather in their youth room for conversation, learning and connection.  This also begins partway through gathering after the “Time for All Ages”

Special Needs

We are a welcoming and affirming congregation of people who encourage those with physical or special needs to seek us out. Features include a spacious handicap parking area with signage, easy front door drop off, power assist Entrance doors, greeters to help as needed, elevator to Lower Level, a no step building, wheelchair friendly washrooms, hearing assist devices, large print programs, and powerpoint large screen projection.  Audio recordings of each week’s reflection are available to download on the Reflections page.

For any additional Special Needs please contact the Church office.