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Frequently asked questions

Welcome to Highlands

I’m not part of any church. Can I come to your church? 

Of course! We’d be glad to have you visit. All are welcome at Highlands, no matter what your faith is or where you are on your faith journey. Whoever you are, whomever you love, whatever your gender identity, whatever your sexual orientation, your ability, your age, your ethnicity, your race, your life circumstances, whether you live on the North Shore or somewhere else, you are welcome here.

We’ll say it again: whoever you are, whatever you want to ask, you are welcome and accepted.

Highlands is not just a place for Sunday worship. It’s an active community where there’s something interesting happening every day of the week. 

Here are some pages you might want to explore on the website:

  • Are we the church for you? — a roadmap through different sections of the website designed for newcomers and those who want to know more about the Highlands experience
  • Dip your toes in here! — an overview of activities, groups, and volunteering opportunities within the church and the community
  • Minister’s musings — every Friday one of our ministers comments or reflects on the goings on in the church, in our community, or in the world at large

If you’d like to dip your toes first, you can watch live or recorded services by visiting the Highlands YouTube channel.

Highlands in person

I have small children. Can we attend services?

Yes! Highlands welcomes all children, from infants to teenagers. There’s a special section at the front of the sanctuary for you and your little ones where we offer activity bags to keep them entertained during the service. Children up to four years old can stay with you during the service, or you might want to take advantage of Sunday nursery care. School-aged children and youth can also take part in the Sunday School programs that are offered. Find out more about nursery, children & youth here.

What should I wear?

There’s no dress code at Highlands. We want you to be comfortable. Some like to dress up, and others prefer to wear shorts, even in the winter chill. Thinking of heading to the gym after church? Does your child have a soccer game in the afternoon? That works too. 

How do I get to Highlands?

Highlands is easily accessible by car or public transportation. 

We’re located in the heart of Edgemont Village in North Vancouver, BC. Our address is 3255 Edgemont Blvd, North Vancouver. You can find a Google map to Highlands here

You can find more detailed instructions on parking at the church here

You’ll find bus stops for routes 246 and 232 directly in front of the church and across the street. Bus service on Sunday mornings is every 30 minutes.

Is Highlands wheelchair accessible?

Yes. The parking lot on the north side of the building has spots reserved on Sunday mornings for those with limited mobility. In the sanctuary, there are spaces designed for wheelchairs and walkers. Greeters will help you find those. There’s also an extra wheelchair in the foyer.

Can I come and talk to the ministers?

Absolutely! Just call the church office at 604-980-6071 and set a time for conversation and a cup of tea or coffee.

Highlands online

What is Highlands online?

At Highlands online, we bring the Highlands United Church community mission — to live, grow, and thrive — to wherever you are. Going to church should be simple, joyful, and an option for everyone. That means we can come to you. If you have a smartphone, tablet, or computer, then you essentially have our church wherever you are. Highlands has been worshipping online for over eight years and we think we do it pretty well, so if you haven’t joined us online before consider this an invitation. And if you have, we'd love to see you again.

How do I get to Highlands online?

We currently share our worship on YouTube. You can visit and type “Highlands United Church” in the search box to find our channel or you can click here to get to the Highlands channel directly and bookmark us for the future. You will see a few different playlists, and the scheduled upcoming service listed at the top. Simply scroll around until you find what you’re looking for. 

Do I need an account to watch a service online?

You can watch all of our services without signing up for anything. You only need an account if you wish to participate in our live chat (which we highly encourage!) If you wish to sign up for an account, click “Sign In” on the top right hand side of the screen to follow the instructions. Fun fact: if you have a Gmail account, you already have a YouTube account! Just log in with that information. You can also use a Google account. Set one up independently if you don't want your name associated.

How do I chat during an online service?

YAY! Great question. This is the fun part. If you're used to chatting on Livestream, the YouTube setup will be familiar. Simply look for the chat box on the home screen and type your comment in the box. 

What if I’m having tech issues?

If you’re watching the service live and something goes wrong, check your Internet connection first and try refreshing the page. If this doesn’t work, feel free to write us a comment or enter your concern in the chat box. Sometimes our Internet and sound does funny things too. Our tech team will look into it and fix it as soon as they can!

I’m concerned about my privacy on YouTube.

You're welcome to watch our services without entering any personal information. You can watch YouTube videos without signing in. If you'd like to comment or chat, your name will appear as it is on your Google account. For more privacy concerns, check out our Online Security series on our YouTube channel.

How do I subscribe?

We’re glad you asked — subscribing is important! When Highlands reaches 100 subscribers they give us our own URL address, which makes it a lot easier for people to find us. To subscribe you can visit our channel and click the red “SUBSCRIBE” button beside our name. That’s it!

What we believe

Can United Church people believe whatever they want? 

The United Church of Canada doesn’t direct you or anyone else in what to believe. We’re more interested in providing a safe and open place for you to ask questions. Highlands is a place to find support on your faith journey. Have a look at our vision and what we believe to learn more.

What does Highlands believe about the Bible?

Simply, Highlands takes the Bible seriously but not literally. We try to understand the Bible in its historical context and we explore what it might have to say to us today. We believe the various books of the Bible were written by faithful people, in particular historical situations, and often for particular communities of faith.

I'm interested in the theology of the United Church. What can you tell me?

This fall, we'll be exploring the series Theological Banquet with Janet Gear based on her book "Undivided Love". Tune in to YouTube to watch the services starting September 17th for 7 weeks or contact Will Sparks join in the book study happening Tuesday evenings at 7pm in person as well as via zoom.

We're also hoping to lead discussions on apocalyptic eschatology. The Weekly Highlights will give more details as we develop this program. 

Life milestones 

Can I have my child baptized?

Highlands offers baptism to people of all ages. If you’re considering baptism, you can call the church at 604-980-6071 or write to Will Sparks or Julie Lees to meet with one of our ministers and begin the conversation on what baptism means to you and your family.

Can I get married at Highlands? 

Yes! Everyone who’d like to be married at Highlands is welcome, whether you’re part of the congregation or not, or if you’ve been married before. It doesn’t matter if you and your partner have different religious backgrounds or are different genders or not. We’ll help you craft a meaningful ceremony that celebrates your love. 

Call the church office at 604-980-6071 or contact Will Sparks or Julie Lees to have a chat with one of our ministers.

Activities and events

When is your next Thrift Sale and what donations will you accept?

We will be offering occasional pop-up Thrift Sales throughout the year, such as a Spring Sale, Antique and Collectibles Sale or "Thriftmas". Visit the Highlands Right Now section of the homepage or read the Weekly Highlights to find out more about upcoming sales. You can also call the church office at 604-980-6071, find out more about the Thrift Sale or see a list of what types of items you can donate.

Do you still hold your annual Flea Market?

Our Gigantic Flea Market was Highlands’ largest fundraising event held yearly in October. We are in the process of transitioning away from that and opening a permanent Thrift store in 2024 in the Lower Floor of the church.

While this is in progress, we will be offering occasional pop-up Thrift Sales throughout the year. As always, you will find amazing bargains and good quality clothing for the whole family at our sales. Sale announcements will appear on Highlands home page and in the Weekly Highlights.

Can we rent space at Highlands?

Highlands is a hub of activity year-round, and the church supports dozens of community groups through the rental of space. Space is very limited for new long-term programs, but enquiries about short-term and one-off events, such as concerts and public forums, are welcome. 

For more information and availability, please contact our Facilities Coordinator with all the details of your event or program.

Links to other Community Support Groups on the North Shore 

North Shore Food Providers  

North Shore Housing Options 

Do you have more questions? If these answers aren’t the ones you’re looking for, just write to us or call 604-980-6071.