What to Expect

I’m new here…What can I expect?

What door do I use to get in? There are two choices. The main doors, right off of McRae or the West office door by the semi circle driveway off of Millwood which has a ramp and a lift inside.

How long is the service? Services begin at 10:30am on Sundays and are on average 60 to 70 minutes in length.

What am I going to be asked to do? There are no ‘expectations’ however we’d like you to know that you are invited to participate as much or as little as you feel comfortable.

Is there a children’s program? Yes, there is a vibrant program for children ages 3 to 12.  Children begin upstairs with their family in the sanctuary and will be invited to proceed to the children’s program after ‘Children’s Time’, approximately 10 to 15 minutes into the service. There is also childcare available for babies and toddlers provided by Senior High School volunteers.

Is there a program specifically for youth?   Our youth group is all about creating a safe space for youth to develop their leadership skills and find their voice in the wider church through games, discussions, outreach projects and participating in services throughout the year. Youth in grade six and up are welcome to participate in L.U.C.Y, Leaside United Church Youth.  The group meets on Sunday’s, the time alternating between 2 and 4pm and 7 and 9 pm.  All L.U.C.Y meeting times can be found on the website calendar.

Is this an Affirming congregation?  Yes, Leaside United Church became an Affirming congregation in April 2015.  We continue to actively engage in and offer educational opportunities throughout the year as well.

What languages are spoken in the service and in the congregation? Services are offered in English.

Can I participate fully from my wheelchair?  Leaside United church has an accessible ramp on the West Office Entrance off of Millwood Road and an elevator/lift to the left inside the entrance which will take you to all floors in the building.  There is also a wheel chair accessible bathroom off of the North sanctuary doors.  There are two areas in the sanctuary to accommodate wheel chairs. Currently there are no automatic doors, however greeters, ushers and the Church Officer is always available for assistance.

Is it a formal or informal service? The services at Leaside are a mixture of traditional worship with progressive theology. While there is order to our services, there is also a feeling of welcome and relaxed warmth.

What should I wear?  There is no dress code at Leaside United. You’ll see people who dress in their Sunday best and people who dress in blue jeans and T’s and some in between.

How can I arrange to have a conversation with the minister? There are several ways to do this. Our ministers contact information is on our website, or you can call the office 416-425-1253 and request an appointment, or you can speak to them in person on Sunday morning.

What’s the music like?  Leaside United church has a vibrant choir whose repertoire includes traditional, progressive and secular selections of music. There is a Casavant Pipe organ as well as a piano that is used for services.  Throughout the year there are also a variety of guest musicians.  For younger people there is a Jazz ensemble called C-Flats and a junior choir.

How will I know what to do during the service?  When you come to a service at Leaside United you will be greeted by friendly folks who will offer you a ‘Bulletin’ which contains the outline for the entire service so that you can follow along. Please don’t hesitate to ask these greeters if you are unsure about anything, they’re happy to help. Hymn titles are accompanied by a number and acronym, i.e. MV 14 Where Two or Three Are Gathered is the 14th hymn in the soft covered book called More Voices. The other book used is VU, Voices United.  As a general rule of thumb we stand as able to sing. We are aware that visitors and newcomers don’t always know the routine so please don’t worry about not doing something right…you are welcome here just as you are.

Do you have special services?  Communion is celebrated about once a month and there are special services for Christmas and Easter.  Baptisms occur throughout the year, during regular Sunday morning services and are arranged by the families and minister. We have also held special services such as Lessons and Carols, The Blessing of the Animals and The Blessing of the Bicycles which take place after our regular Sunday morning service. Dates and times are always posted on our website.  We also host weddings, funerals and memorials.

How is Leaside United funded?  Individual United churches receive no funding from the United Church of Canada. Each church is responsible for the funding of all operations, activities and outreach projects. All money comes from Offerings, fundraising events and or bequests. These monies pay for building maintenance (repairs, upgrades), staff salaries,Worship/Sunday school supplies plus funds for all outreach projects. Offerings are not fees or dues given out of obligation. They are gifts of thanksgiving from the heart.

How do I make an offering?  What is PAR?  Envelopes (which can be found in the pews) can be used for weekly offerings. If you put your name and address on the envelope then a receipt will be mailed to you for income tax purposes.  Collection is done by volunteer ushers who will bring plates and pass them through the pews.  Offerings are simply placed in the plate and passed along to the next person.  It’s perfectly okay to pass the plate along without putting in an offering. Offerings can be weekly (cash or cheques) or by PAR (pre Authorized Remittance from a bank account). You can contact the Church Administrator for personal envelopes or for more information about PAR.

What do I do when the service is over?  There is a blessing, given by the minister, at the end of the service. The minister will walk down the centre aisle after the blessing and the Music Director will play a postlude on the pipe organ.  Once the postlude is completed everyone is invited to share coffee, tea, goodies and conversation in the Hearth room which is located through the North (right) doors of the sanctuary (by the large tree mural).

Questions?  Call us at (416) 425-1253, Email us at office@leasideunited.org

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter