If you come in person for the 10 am service, coffee will be ready about 9:30 in the welcoming space at the church entrance. Be sure to say hi to Colleen Blair, our Minister for Seniors and Hospitality, who will be there to greet newcomers and answer any questions.
If you can’t make it in person, the service is streamed live on our YouTube Channel. Streaming starts about 9:50 am and includes a lively chat box. We would love it if you would say hi in the chat box and tell us where you’re watching from.
What happens before and after church?
All the doors at Highlands are open on Sunday mornings, whether you enter from the main doors on Edgemont Boulevard or one of the doors off the parking lots. There will be greeters to welcome you, answer any questions, and help you find your way around the church. After the service you'll find coffee and tea in the welcoming space where you can chat with others, talk with the minister or browse the action table or other special interest displays.
What about parking and transit?
There are three parking lots onsite and more free parking under Thrifty Foods across the street – entrance off Ayre Street. There are bus stops directly in front of the church and across the street (routes 246 and 232). Bus service is every half hour on Sunday mornings.
How accessible is the church?
The parking lot on the north side of the church has eight spots reserved for those with limited mobility, and there are two additional spots in the south parking lot. A ramp leads to the main door on Edgemont Boulevard, bypassing the stairs. If you enter through the back doors from the parking lot, an elevator takes you to the sanctuary level.
The sanctuary has spaces reserved for wheelchairs and walkers. Greeters will help you find them. There's also an extra wheelchair in the foyer that you can use.
Where do I sit? What do I wear?
Sit wherever you like. If you’d prefer not to be captured by the cameras live streaming the service, you can sit in the balcony, at the back under the balcony, or along the left side edge of the sanctuary.
As for what to wear, some people like to dress up for church, others come in shorts and tees. There's no dress code at Highlands. You can come in your soccer clothes, or your pj’s for that matter – you’ll always be welcome!
What's the service like?
The worship service starts at 10 am with the ringing of the Tibetan prayer bowl and lasts for 60 to 70 minutes. It combines time for reflection with great music, both for listening and singing. The minister’s reflection, or sermon, is brief and approachable. The theology is progressive and looks for the metaphors in biblical scripture that relate to the challenges we all face today.
Will I have to stand up or be singled out?
No. We love visitors and will greet you at the door or in the welcoming space, and we'll do our best to make you feel at home. You'll never be called on or introduced from the pulpit unless it's been arranged in advance.
Will you ask for money?
No. If you'd like to donate to the life and work of the church, you can do that without anyone watching. There are envelopes and a box at the back of the church for this, or you can donate online. It’s a personal choice and you're welcome regardless.
Do I have to sing?
Only if you want to! With talented musicians and choirs, music is a huge part of Sunday mornings. We hope you’ll join in as you feel comfortable, but it’s up to you.
What about the kids?
Children are welcome and cherished at Highlands. There’s a space for families with young children right near the front of the sanctuary, with some quiet activities and small toys. This way, children can see everything that’s happening up front and feel included. Parents or grandparents are invited to be with their young ones. You’ll also find activity bags with crayons, markers, and colouring sheets at each entrance.
Most Sundays there’s a time early in the service for children and youth to gather at the front for a story or a question to think about. Then children and youth who'd like to can go off together for Sunday school, while others who'd like to stay in the sanctuary can do just that.
If you have very young children, a qualified nursery caregiver is available on Sundays from 9:55 am until after the service. Infants and toddlers aged three and under are well looked after in a fully equipped nursery. However, your little ones are also welcome to stay with you during the service.
Safety in numbers
Masks are no longer required by law to be worn to attend church services. However, Highlands wants to ensure that you’re comfortable and safe when you’re in the church, whether it’s Sunday morning worship or small group gatherings. The air circulation system in the sanctuary is state of the art and we continue to be respectful and cautious around others. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, you are encouraged to do so, no judgement. You are welcome here.