Trinity-St. Andrew’s delivers a Christ-centred message, but the people who come to Sunday services have many different beliefs. We call ourselves the “Progressive Downtown Church.” Our hope is that every single person who enters our doors realizes they are beloved children of God. Your relationship with God is very personal, and while we try to challenge each other in our faith, at the end of the day your faith is between you and God. And we are grateful for the many ways God works in this world!
There is no dress code at TSA. Three-piece suits are fine (although you may get hot!) and so are holey jeans. We want you to be comfortable.
When you arrive at the church, you’ll see we have a parking lot. We can hold a fair number of cars, but not all cars. This is what the parking lot looks. In the winter snow inevitably gets I the way and reduces the number of cars that can safely fit into the lot. There is additional parking along Chapel Street, and if you are able to walk for five minutes, there is a municipal lot just north of the church
Which doors do I come in? Any of them! The main doors are the ones closest to Prince Edward Street. If you come in these doors (which are accessible and automatic), you will find yourselves at the back of the church with a friendly person ready to welcome you. You can also come in the doors that lead to the church hall (also on Prince Edward Street, but further south). These are also automatic. The double doors off Chapel Street will also be open, and they are also automatic.
When you arrive, make sure you get a bulletin from one of the greeters. It will have the order of service, so you will know what is going on for the hour. It also has announcements so you know what is going on all week. Please find the sign-up sheet at the back of the church if you want to receive our monthly newsletter, or if you are interested in reading or greeting during the church service. Sometimes we want the people to participate in a prayer – your part will always be in bold print, while the leader’s part is in regular font.
Have a seat! There are four spaces left for wheelchairs in the centre of the church, and we can stow walkers off to the side. Before 10:30 people often like to chat with their neighbours. Sandra, our organist, will play some music just before the service to gather us all together. Feel free to look around – we have beautiful windows – and you might just see someone you know.
We begin the service by acknowledging the land where we are gathered. Since before we began marking time, this land has been home to many different nations of people. Most recently, the Mississaugas of Alderville called this land home. They also signed Treaty 20 and the Williams Treaty, which defines the relationship of this land.
After that we will share some announcements that may not have made it into your bulletin. Then we begin the service. We usually stand to sing songs and hymns. Part way through the service we will invite the children to come forward and have an interactive conversation that relates to the theme of the day. We say the Lord’s Prayer together, then while we are singing a song that is appropriate for the kids, they head to another part of the church where they have a lesson and do a craft. Anyone is welcome to join the Sunday School. We have regular volunteers who lead the classes. We also have a nursery if you want to bring your baby or toddler to church, but don’t think they will enjoy sitting in a pew for an hour!
At TSA we share Bible messages every week, read by volunteers from the congregation. Sometimes it’s just one reading, sometimes we read from several different books in the Bible. Sometimes we do a Psalm with a sung refrain, lead by the choir. It changes a lot.
Most weeks, after the Bible lesson, the choir shares an anthem, accompanied by the piano, organ, or the “Trinity Pickers”, our pick up worship band. Are you a musician? Maybe this is something that will interest you!
The longest part of the service is the sermon. Rev. Wanda preaches in many different styles. Sometimes they feel like a Ted Talk… sometimes they feel like a music presentation. She always tries to tie the Bible reading to today’s world, right here in Brighton. And she is very open to feedback if you disagree. We are an open congregation with many different beliefs…
We take up an offering after the sermon. This is completely voluntary, but comes from the biblical tradition of tithing, which literally means “1 tenth”. The church depends on the generosity of members to carry out its many programs and outreach projects. Did we mention it’s completely voluntary? In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus reminds his listeners that we tend to value the things we spend our money on… even back then he was saying that! While we encourage people to give what they can, there is no entrance fee, and no obligation to give. On the other hand, if you would like to give regularly, please ask us about PAR
After the offering we pray together. We pray for ourselves, for each other, and for the world. It’s a tradition here at TSA that we leave a space in the middle of our public prayers for the people, and let the people speak. If you are worried about someone, or a world situation, feel comfortable speaking that name or situation. You may hear others speaking at the same time as you. That’s OK. God can hear many things at once.
After the prayer we have a final hymn, then the service is over. The minister will go to the back of the church so she can say goodbye to anyone who has to leave. if you aren’t in a rush, please come to our church hall for fair trade coffee and tea, and snacks. It’s a great time to catch up with your neighbours, and learn anything else you need to know about our church.
You are welcome here at TSA, and we can’t wait to meet you!