The United Church offers baptism to people of all ages. You don’t need to be baptized to participate in the Highlands community. But Baptism is a symbolic and public act to signify a desire to follow the teachings of Jesus, and to belong to a church community. It is a public declaration of your intention for you or your child to explore a spiritual path and receive the support of Highlands in your Christian formation.
At Highlands, our Minister symbolically baptizes a child or adult by dipping his fingers into water that has been blessed, and then touching the child’s or adult’s head.
The baptism of children and infants takes place at Highlands during regular Sunday services. Whatever the age of the child, whatever the denomination of the parents, Highlands welcomes the opportunity to bring children into our faith community and provide support for parents seeking to raise their children in a spiritual environment. A baptism preparation meeting takes place about one week before each baptism. Adults being baptized are also confirmed into membership in the United Church and attend a New Members group to explore this path.
For more information on child and adult baptisms, contact our Lead Minister, Rev. Will Sparks, at 604-980-6071.
Weddings are wonderful celebrations! A church wedding performed by a minister is similar to a civil wedding performed by a marriage commissioner—both services must meet the legal requirements of the Province of British Columbia and must be registered with the Department of Vital Statistics. But in a church wedding the spiritual dimension of marriage is as important as the legal.
You are welcome to be married at Highlands whether you are part of the congregation or not; whether you have been married before; whether you and your partner have different religious backgrounds; whether you are different genders or not. We welcome you!
The staff at Highlands United Church would be pleased to assist you with coordinating your wedding service. To prepare for your ceremony, Highlands will provide you with a marriage workbook to guide you through a standard ceremony and provide you with wording options that most closely complement the type of ceremony you are seeking.
To prepare for your wedding at Highlands
- Apply for a Marriage Licence within 90 days before your wedding date*
- Contact the church office to:
- set a time to meet with the Minister
- book a rehearsal time
- confirm when the wedding party requires access to the church to decorate and when the flowers are to be delivered
- At the rehearsal, please bring your marriage licence, your cheque for the fees and donation, and any digital music that will be played during the service.
*The marriage licence can be obtained at various locations.
Costs will depend on the type of wedding you choose. For example, you might want to hold your reception at the church as well as arrange a soloist to perform. You can expect to pay the following fees:
- Wedding Service in the Sanctuary or Chapel: $400
- Minister’s Fee: $225
- Musician for Wedding (optional): $150
- Musician for Rehearsal (optional): $75
- Soloist (optional): $100
- Administration, Registry, Event & Facility Coordination: $150
- Reception Space Rental and use of Commercial Kitchen (optional): $300
We strongly encourage you to attend Sunday morning worship in the weeks preceding your wedding. Worshipping with the congregation on a Sunday morning will serve to enrich your wedding and your marriage. Services are at 10:00 am.
Highlands can provide help and comfort in your time of loss, even if you are not part of the Highlands congregation, by supporting you and your family as you grieve, and by assisting with arrangements that involve Highlands Church and its facilities.
The Highlands ministry team can help you plan a memorial service or funeral that best reflects your wishes, honours the life of your family member or friend, and acknowledges your loss. We can help you choose scripture readings, music and prayers, discuss the eulogy or words of remembrance and help your family and friends determine all aspects of the service.
You do not have to be part of the Highlands church community. Please feel free to contact the church office at 604-980-6071 for further information.
Memorial services are held in the Sanctuary at Highlands United. It has the capacity to seat 350 people comfortably. If you and your family would prefer a smaller group, the Highlands Chapel can accommodate up to 12.
Donations and Fees:
Costs will depend on the type of memorial you choose. For example, you might want to hold a tea or reception at the church as well as arrange a soloist to perform in addition to Highlands music coordinator, Geordie Roberts.
You may expect the following fees:
- Memorial Service, including the use of the Sanctuary or Chapel and custodial care—minimum $400 (qualifies for a Charitable Donation Tax Receipt)
- Minister’s Fee–$200
- Musician: $150 (Our Music Coordinator, Geordie Roberts, is happy to consult with you about appropriate music for the service before, during and after the service)
- Audio Visual Technician $100 for standard service
- Administration, Registry, Event & Facility Coordination: $100
- Memorial Service Bulletins, designed in consultation with you and your family and may include scanned colour photos, obituaries, poems or special readings, a custom and personalized design–$50 for 100 memorial bulletins
- Memorial Garden Service and Interment of Ashes–$150, includes plaque in the Memorial Chapel
- Catering: Highlands Catering Team will be pleased to prepare a full Luncheon Reception or Memorial Tea for you. Reception costs range from $7 to $8.50 a person.
- Reception Space and Commercial Kitchen Space rental–$300 if you are using an outside catering company
The Memorial Garden is located to the west of the church building and is a special place for the interment of ashes. If you want to make a special gift to Highlands at the time of interment, it would be applied to the upkeep of the garden through the Highlands Memorial Fund. The garden was developed and is maintained by gifts, and may be visited at any time. Memorial plaques are placed in the Highlands chapel.