Visiting a new church can be intimidating …
What should I wear? Where do I park? Where do my kids go?
Below are some answers to some of those questions.If you have other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Upon arrival you will be welcomed by a member of our church community – a greeter – as you enter the church through the covered entranceway. Our Sunday service takes place in the hall or “Sanctuary” to the left of the foyer. Another greeter will be handing out bulletins as you enter the worship area. The bulletin includes the order of the service and announcements.
The Sanctuary is laid out in a manner which reflects our Christian heritage. You will see a stage, or “chancel” at the front of the Sanctuary with a podium or “pulpit” where our minister and other speakers address the congregation. Cushioned pews in stadium seating layout face the pulpit.
Once inside the main entrance you will find yourself in the lobby, or what is often referred to as the “Narthex”. There is a Welcome Table at the front of the lobby with a guest book and information for newcomers. If you wish, please sign our guest book; we would appreciate the opportunity to contact you by email, letter or phone to welcome you and answer any questions you may have. There is also an Action Table with sign-up sheets for events and volunteer opportunities, copies of recent sermons, articles of interest and information about all the activities and events taking place at Mount Seymour United.
There is a Lending Library past the minister’s office, at the end of the hallway leading off the left side of the main hall. Enjoy comfortable seating while you browse the collection, or feel free to use the sign out sheet to borrow a book.
Will I fit in here?
We are an “open and affirming church”. At Mount Seymour, you’ll worship with single people and married couples; families with two moms and those with a mom & a dad; seniors and twenty-somethings; recent immigrants and those whose heritage in North America goes back generations.
We recognize, celebrate, and give thanks for the many diverse gifts of God among us. We hold that discrimination is incompatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ. We commit ourselves to honor all people and to work diligently to make all fee welcome. We affirm all relationships founded on the principles of God’s love and justice.
We’re an interfaith family. Is that okay?
Yes. We embrace interfaith families. Our denomination, the United Church of Canada, has a deep commitment to religious freedom. Our congregation includes interfaith families and visitors tell us that they feel welcome at our services. We hope you will feel at home in ours. And everyone is invited to participate how and as much as feels “personally right.”
What if I’m not sure what I believe?
No problem. Everyone’s faith journey is different. Some members of our congregation are lifelong Christians for whom the United Church has always been a home. Others grew up in another denomination (a wide variety of denominations!), but felt pulled toward Mount Seymour as adults. And others have come to us from secular backgrounds. It’s not unusual to hear someone at Mount Seymour to share that she or he is just now exploring emerging, spiritual feelings. Most likely, you’ll find someone at our church who can identify with your journey or finds him or herself in “a place” like you.
When are services?
Our worship service is held on Sunday morning at 10 am. Worship lasts, on average, about an hour and a quarter. Fellowship happens during coffee and social time immediately after worship.
What should I wear?
God doesn’t care what you wear to church, and neither do we! Dress as casually or formally as you feel comfortable. Most folks are somewhere in the middle.
How do I get there?
Mount Seymour is on Parkgate Street, one block west of Parkgate Shopping Centre and two blocks west of the turn off for Mount Seymour in North Vancouver. Directions (via Google Maps). We’re also easily accessible by public transportation with a bus stop on Mount Seymour Parkway.
Where should I park?
We have a parking lot which accommodates many. If it is necessary, there is street parking along Parkgate Street.
Where do my children go?
Children of all ages are welcome in the sanctuary during our worship services. We expect a degree of noise and movement! Children begin the service in church with everyone. There is a blanket with quiet toys and drawing supplies for those who need to be active. There is a sharing time for the children with the whole congregation. For those who find their children are loud and active so that you are uncomfortable, you are welcome in the café space where the service is piped in to allow you to listen.
Is there Sunday School?
We offer Children’s Community (formerly known as Sunday School) for ages 3 to 12 at 10 am during the school year. Children begin the service in church with everyone. There is a blanket with quiet toys and drawing supplies for those who need to be active. There is a sharing time for the children with the whole congregation after which time the children will leave for Children’s Community until the end of the service.
I have a physical disability and/or hearing problem. Is there any special assistance?
Mount Seymour United is wheel chair accessible. If you are concerned that you may have difficulty hearing the service, please visit the Welcome Table to inquire about the use of a headset. Hearing aid users can activate the T-switch on their aids to link into the church sound system.
What sort of music will I hear?
Mount Seymour offers music from a wide range of genres and styles. We have a talented pianist and organist in Julian Pattison, our Music Minister. On a typical Sunday morning you might hear traditional anthems and new, more modern hymns. Once a month we have a service made up primarily of Gospel music, led by Marcus Mosely and Dominique Hogan.
What about after the service?
We invite you to stay for coffee and social time immediately following the service. You can meet some of our members and our ministers, Nancy Talbot and Wade Lifton. We understand that you might not be able to stay or feel comfortable staying at first, so don’t feel bad if you need to rush off!