“Anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship.” – Rick Warren
Worship has also been defined as “The absolute acknowledgment of all that lies beyond us—the glory that fills heaven and earth. It is the response that conscious beings make to their Creator, to the Eternal Reality from which they came forth; to God, however they may think of Him or recognize Him, and whether He be realized through religion, through nature, through history, through science, art, or human life and character.”
Praying, singing, silence, listening to a message, scripture reading, reflection, playing an instrument, listening to music, giving an offering, baptism, communion, being still, greeting others, smiling at someone – each is an act of worship.
Sunday services are at 10:30, and normally last for an hour. Our services are a blend of traditional and contemporary: thoughtfully integrated prayers, reflections, music and readings create a meaningful worship time. Children are very welcome and normally leave to “do their own thing” for part of the worship time.
Comfortable chairs have replaced pews in our new sanctuary, and the flexible seating allows us to configure the sanctuary space for special services. Words to hymns and prayers, as well as images and video, are projected onto the front wall, allowing for “hands-free” reading and “heads-up” singing. Hymns are chosen from both the Voices United and More Voices hymn books, and both the organ and piano are used throughout the service, depending on the style of music. The minister and choir director work closely together in the planning and preparation of services, and the choir provides strong musical leadership from the front. Following the wishes of the congregation, choir gowns are worn, with stoles that change colour according to the liturgical seasons.
Thought-provoking sermons are preached, both by our minister and, when required, by a strong group of lay persons from the congregation. Special guests from time to time allow us to explore other faiths, experience alternative types of worship, and learn how our Mission & Service money is used. We sometimes partner with other United Churches in the area for special services, especially at Christmas and Easter. We have an Easter Sunday morning sunrise service on the Bluffs, followed by coffee and hot cross buns.
Everyone is invited after the service to a social time in the auditorium with coffee, tea, juice and sweets.
The labyrinth is an archetypal symbol, a divine imprint found in various forms in all religious traditions. It has re-emerged in the 21st century as a metaphor for the spiritual journey through life and a powerful tool for meditation and transformation.
Different from mazes that have dead ends and are more like puzzles, a labyrinth leads us surely to its centre. The twists and turns of its path reflect the ebb and flow of our journey through life.
When we walk a labyrinth, we let our own experience be our guide, praying that we are able to shed whatever would keep us from receiving what God wishes to offer us. We sense journeying inward, to receive what God wants to bestow on us at this moment of our life. We exit along the outward path, aware that we return to others bearing gifts to be shared with all.
The labyrinth at Scarborough Bluffs is a replica of the five inner circuits of the labyrinth at the Cathedral of Chartres in France.
“Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path…exactly where you are meant to be right now…And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.” – Caroline Adams