WHAT TO EXPECT
If you’re a visitor to our church, welcome!
Whoever you are, whatever your background, beliefs, or experience with church, we would love to welcome you to one of our services. All of our weekly services are open to everyone.
We’re sure you’ll probably have some questions, so we’ll try and answer the most common ones here.
Where are your services?
Our church is located at 9702 Beattie Drive, in Hudson’s Hope in beautiful British Columbia.
We are ideally located right in the centre of town, next to Beattie Park, along highway 29. If you drive through our lovely little town, you can’t miss us.
What time are your services?
We meet at 10:30 am on Sundays throughout the year. We recommend you arrive around 10-15 minutes before the service so that we can help you find your seats, and provide you with any information you may need. We try to start promptly, to ensure we finish on time and so everyone gets home in time for Sunday lunch.
We try to ensure our services finish by 12:30, but coffee, refreshments, and good conversations are available after the service, and you would be more than welcome to join us for these.
If you would like to join us for pre-service prayer, some people choose to come a little early to pray. This is open to all, from around 9:30 and is especially valuable if you have any specific needs or requests, we would love to pray for them.
We also have additional events throughout the week — make sure you check our calendar (coming soon) or all of our upcoming events.
What should I wear?
You should come in whatever helps you feel comfortable.
We are a really diverse northern community, with a lot of different people, and everyone is welcomed just as they are. Some of our members choose to dress up their Sunday best, and that’s great, but others are hunters and outdoorsmen, and feel most comfortable in their hunting camo, and that’s fine too! Most of us tend towards casual, but there are really no rules.
We are a northern community, so we’re well aware that function often trumps form, especially in our winters, so make sure whatever you wear is comfortable.
All we really ask is that the clothes you wear make everyone feel comfortable, not just yourself. As a common courtesy, we ask that you don’t wear anything that is likely to be distracting or offensive to other people.
Our pastor, Luke, tends to keep things “business casual” most weeks — he will usually wear a shirt, but no tie, and chinos or slacks, not jeans — but we are pretty flexible and accommodating depending on the event, the weather, and the needs of our congregation.
What does a typical service look like?
We always want to make space for God to lead, and so, any given service may be a little different, but services usually have a few consistent elements.
We will sing some songs, we will pray, we will read the bible together, and our pastor, or a guest speaker will usually give a talk (called a “sermon”) based on Scripture.
The Bible talks about praising God through singing, and so each week, we do that. This is a valuable part of our weekly worship. The songs we sing are a good mix of modern and contemporary praise and worship songs, as well as old-favourite hymns too. On any given Sunday, it is possible that our worship will feature a mix of both of these types of songs, but the first Sunday of each month is designated as “Hymn Sunday” and our worship will typically be focused around traditional hymns specifically. The rest of our services tend to be a bit more contemporary, but each worship leader will bring the songs they feel God has led them to, so there is always variety.
If you don’t know the songs, we project the words onto our screen, and also have hymn books available on Hymn Sundays, so you can follow along, but no-one will judge you if you choose to just sit or stand quietly and listen to them, and reflect on the words we sing.
When we sing, you may see some of our members dancing, kneeling, raising their hands, or showing other outward symbols of their worship. Don’t let this scare you — this seems to be a natural human reaction when we hear music that connects with us, and we wouldn’t be overly concerned if we saw this at a music concert. We believe we are singing songs of thanks and praise to the God who created the universe, and so some of us choose to express that physically with our bodies, as well as our voices.
Our service will also include prayer. Prayer is a vital part of our relationship with God, and is really just a conversation with Him. We believe our faith is a real relationship with God, and in any healthy relationship, communication is key. We believe that when we pray, God hears us, and that this can make a huge impact in our lives and circumstances.
Finally, our services include Bible reading, and preaching.
Preaching is when our pastor, or another person gifted in teaching scripture, shares a timely and relevant message from scripture. We are an evangelical church, which means that we believe that the bible is the primary way through which God speaks to people today. We believe that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). When we preach, we start with the inspired words of God, and then, our pastor or other preachers help apply these to our lives and situations. We hope that through our preaching, you will learn more about God, apply his word and revelation to your life, and grow deeper in your relationship with him.
Sometimes, we also have “Sharing Sundays” where instead of a traditional sermon, we allow members of the congregation to bring a thought, scripture, story, or prayer to encourage one another. These happen on the first Sunday of each month, alongside communion and a pot-luck lunch.
What about children?
Children are very welcome in our church. We love having children in our church, and encourage them to worship and learn with us.
When you first arrive, you will worship together as a family. This is a really important and valuable opportunity to spend some quality time together as a whole family, and will help you feel a little more comfortable with what is happening, and get a feel for who we are. It’s also a great opportunity to introduce your children to our children’s workers who will be leading children’s Church for them. Someone will always be happy to point you in the right direction, This is especially useful if your children are a little clingy or shy, and gives you a chance make that first contact before going downstairs with them to our children’s church rooms.
We have a wonderful Children’s Church program. Its fun and friendly, with loads of crafts, games, songs, videos, stories, toys, quizzes, and prayer, all of which will hopefully keep your children really entertained, while also helping to teach the message of the Gospel, and re-enforce God’s incredible love for them.
Will I be expected to give money, read, pray out loud, or do anything uncomfortable?
No. There is never an expectation to do any of these things, or do anything at all that makes you feel awkward or uncomfortable.
You will see all kinds of things happening in our service.
Our members and regular attenders do give financially to the life of the church, and there may be part of our service when this happens, but if you are a guest or visitor, or even a regular attender who cannot afford to give, there is no exception at all that you do this.
You will also see people reading from scripture, praying out loud, sharing testimonies, news, or updates, sharing communion, or doing other things from the front of church or their chairs. However we would never ask anyone new to do any of these things, and if anything else at all that we do (for example, standing to sing) makes you feel at all awkward, is difficult. or is unfamiliar to you, you are welcome to simply sit back and observe anything that happens for as long as you want.
If you do want to take part, you are more than welcome to sing along, pray out loud, or share prayer requests, at relevant parts of the service if you feel comfortable doing so, but there is never an expectation to do that at all.