What to Expect
Our Sunday worship services are a central part of our community life together, and we'd love for you to join with us as we seek to experience God through musical worship, prayer, teaching and fellowship. To help you feel more at home in our service, here is a brief outline of some of the core aspects of our Sunday service and its symbols.
On Sunday mornings, coffee, muffins and fruit are served from 9.30 am to encourage fellowship before the service. Similar fellowship happens afterwards over coffee (and quite often a lunch). On Sunday evenings, we fellowship with snacks and free COBS bread after the service. These times are an integral part of our community worship.
The “Empty” Cross:
The cross hangs in the centre as it is the reason we celebrate and gather together as the family of God. It is raised and “empty” (Jesus is not hanging on it) because our Lord is risen and reigning. He has authority over us, so the cross is angled to look over the podium and the pews.
The wooden lectern in the centre of the platform was made by one of our members, Rick Parkinson, and so we refer to it as the Parkinson Podium. From it we proclaim the Word of God. It enjoys pride of place because it represents God speaking to us - a reality we celebrate in all we do.
Coloured Hangings (on the Sanctuary Walls):
The hangings represent our connection to the eternal, universal church. The colors change with the changing seasons of the church calendar (Christmas, Lent, Easter, etc.) based on traditions that go back to the early church. We also structure our teaching plan (the sermon series and home group curriculum) around the church calendar.
Worship Team to the Side of the Stage:
When we worship, God is the audience and we are all the “performers”. The worship team is not performing for us, rather they lead all of us to worship God. We’re on the stage and God is the audience enjoying our praise. It is beautiful to God not because of the sounds we make, but because of the hearts we bring. Our enjoyment comes from celebrating his presence.
During the initial time of musical worship in our Sunday morning service, children celebrate with us by waving flags. In this way, they feel like a welcome part of our worship, and express themselves (and their excess energy!) in a way that is meaningful for them. Furthermore, we are able to share in their enthusiasm. When the musical worship time ends, the children and youth (under 18 years old) are invited to their age specific classes and services. (Babies and toddlers can go the nursery from 9:50am and stay throughout the service).
Offering is an act of worship. It is an expression of trust and thanksgiving. As we give of our financial resources, we confirm that our sense of security comes from our life in God and not from our wealth and possessions. The offering is used to bless others and to do the work of ministry at University Chapel and around the world through our supported Christian workers.
We celebrate communion every week as a remembrance that our God has redeemed us to Himself. No matter how bad our week has been, or how convicting the sermon was, or how we feel right now, we have full access to the Father through the work of the Son in the enabling of the Holy Spirit. All who follow Jesus are welcome to participate in communion.
Communion Leaders & Servers:
Communions is led and served by different people each week. They are people who know Christ, and who are active in serving God in our community. In this way, we acknowledge the priesthood of all believers, and a seek to represent our mutual love and respect for one another as members of one body.
We often have a time of "corporate" or community prayer after the sermon or at the end of the service. Prayer expresses our dependence upon God and trust in Him. In prayer we give our concerns to Him and express our love for each other as we pray for those in need.
The University Community Chinese Bible Study meets every Saturday evening:
5:00-6:10pm ESL Bible Study & Basic English Skills Classes
7:15-9:30pm Worship & Group Bible Study
Sunday morning service begins at 10:00am with coffee and fellowship at 9:30am.
Sojourn Church evening service begins at 7:00pm followed by snacks, and free COBS bread (bring your own shopping bags).
Korean-language service begins at 2:00pm followed by snacks and fellowship.